Services: Services will be held Sunday, May 25, at 11:00 am at Temple Shalom, 259 Richards Avenue, Norwalk. Burial: Internment will be immediately following the services at Independent Hebrew/Temple Shalom Cemetery on Richards Avenue. Shiva: Shiva will be observed at the Hershkowitz/Rivas home, Sunday, May 25, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm; and Monday and Tuesday, noon to 8:00 pm. Donations: In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Temple Shalom, the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, the Lustgarden Foundation for Pancreatic Research, or the Wilkerson Scholarship Fund c/o Jules Lang Esq, Lepofsky, Lepofsky and Lang, 16 River Street Norwalk, Connecticut.

Judith Rivas


December 8, 1955 - May 22, 2014

Former Common Councilwoman, Board of Education Member, Librarian

Judith Rivas, former Director of Library Information Services for the Norwalk Public Library passed away May 22, 2014.

Judith was born December 8, 1955 in the Bronx to the late Ismael and Ramona Rivas.  She worked at the library for over 28 years, where she loved helping everyone who came through the doors.

She was graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, Fordham University, and Southern Connecticut State University with a masters degree in library science.  Judith was a co-founder and active member of the former, but long lived, United Hispanic Action of Norwalk (UHAN), as well as a member of several other community organizations.  She especially enjoyed her work with the Wilkerson Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to needy but promising students in the Norwalk high schools.

In 1997, Judith joined the Norwalk Common Council to complete the unfinished term of then State Representative Joseph Clemmons, who had been elected to the State Legislature.  She proceeded to be elected to three consecutive terms in her own right.  One of her proudest actions while serving on the council was advocating for the city to purchase Fodor Farm, which was slated to become an oversized condominium development.  The city bought the parcel, and after several years of laying fallow, the farm was restored and is now a real gem for the City of Norwalk.  Judith was then elected to the Board of Education where she served for two and a half years before leaving to care for an ailing parent.

Judith is survived by her loving husband Neil Hershkowitz, her dear sister Migdalia Rivas, along with her niece and nephew Jessica and Daniel Joseph of Norwalk. She also leaves behind another dear sister and brother, Haydee and Ismael Rivas, stepmother Carmen Rivas, stepsister Zaida Hernandez and a niece Nancy Rodriguez, all from the Bronx.  Sister-in-law Eileen Goldsmith and husband Martin of Roslyn, New York, will also treasure her memory.  Finally, she is survived by a host of aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins in places near and far.

Services will be held Sunday, May 25, at 11:00 am at Temple Shalom, 259 Richards Avenue, Norwalk; internment immediately following at Independent Hebrew/Temple Shalom Cemetery on Richards Avenue.

Shiva will be observed at the Hershkowitz/Rivas home, Sunday, May 25, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm; and Monday and Tuesday, noon to 8:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Temple Shalom, the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, the Lustgarden Foundation for Pancreatic Research, or the Wilkerson Scholarship Fund c/o Jules Lang Esq, Lepofsky, Lepofsky and Lang, 16 River Street Norwalk, Connecticut.

  1. My condolences to the Rivas/Hershkowitz family, my heart or no words can express the loss of a loved one. Judy, a small women but the biggest and larger than life friend. Your kindness and love for people was so true, we all LOOKED UP to you, and now that you have departed we will continue to do so. If the world had more of our departed Judy, we would all be in marvelous. Your smile and kindness has left a monumental impression not just in me but in all of us who nknew you. From UHAN to the, BOE, the library, you were their for all, and for all hispanics who seeked your help. You never said no, never said you can’t, always lended a hand. For those that knew you, you will be greatly missed.. for those who didn’t know you, they missed out on the love and friendship you had so much to offer. Thank You Judy

    May 23, 2014
    Juan J. Colon -
  • I knew Judy for many years..what a wonderful person. and a small world as my dad knew her dad in the Bronx…RIP and my condolences to her husband and all her friends and family she leaves behind.

    May 23, 2014
    diana b -
  • My condolences go out to Judy’s family. I worked at the Norwalk Library as a teenager and I always remember her as being a happy, friendly woman, always ready with a smile!

    May 23, 2014
    Maria -
  • I knew Judy through various community activities and always found her views to be sensible, intelligent and based on a sincere desire to do what’s best for others. My sincere condolences to her family and friends on this untimely loss.

    May 23, 2014
    Marija Bryant -
  • To all those who knew Judy, you are better for it, she was the genuine article- giving, loving, kindest person one could possibly know. She gave so much of herself to all that knew her and to those who did not; The world needs more of people like Judy . She will live on through all that knew her. My condolences to Neil & her family, Love , Mimi & Jack

    May 23, 2014
    Mimi & Jack Cohen -
  • My condolences go out to Judy’s family and husband. I worked side by side with Judy Rivas for a long time for the Norwalk Community and the hispanics. Judy was small women but, with a very big heart. Words cannot adequately express the deep and heartfelt sympathy this message brings to Neil and her family. From Puerto Rico with love, my good friend and little sister.

    May 23, 2014
    Jose A. Bermúdez -
  • Neil, Rachel & I offer our condolences to you and your families. Judy was a kind and loving woman, always friendly, with a warm greeting whenever we met. She will be greatly missed at Temple Shalom and by all who knew her.
    Rachel & Fred Glotzer

    May 24, 2014
    Rachel & Fred Glotzer -
  • Neil and Family you our all in our prayers.
    We are very fortunate to have had Judy as our friend. It seems like yesterday that you both became a couple, we were very happy for you both. Even happier when you both married.

    As I recall, we became friends with each of you separately many years ago. Judy and I first met one day at the library while she was helping our youngest, over twenty years ago. Over the years we discussed how the School System and the Library should be partners with the goal to benefit all children.

    Approximately about the same time we both became friends while volunteering together at the Temple. Our friendship continued over the years, with many experiences, especially with you both participating in our older daughters Bat Mitzvahs.

    Don’t forget that Judy was a giant in giving and helping others. She touched many lives, in many ways. We our thankful for her passion and kindness, as well as having her as our friend.
    We hope that you’re memories help you during this very difficult time. We our thankful for having known Judy, plus for her passion and kindness.

    With friendship, Ellen & Jeff Konspore and Daughters.

    May 24, 2014
    Ellen and Jeff Konspore -
  • My condolences to Neil, and family. She made going to the library a beautiful thing to do. Always so helpful her smile made it even better.

    May 24, 2014
    Rheba Newman -
  • My Condolences to Neil Hershkowitz, Migdalia Rivas and family. Judy accomplished so much in her short life. One of her biggest accomplishments, it seems, was using her gifts of love and intelligence to help so many people. I am grateful to have known her. May the memories of her big heart and ever pressing spirit comfort you during this time.

    May 24, 2014
    Sherelle Harris -
  • My condolences to the family. Despite her petite stature Judy was a force and gave so much making a big difference in Norwalk and in people’s lives.

    May 24, 2014
    Kathryn Hebert -
  • Condolences to Neil plus Judy’s family. Judy warmed the life of everyone who crossed her path. She was a living example of grace. We remember her as a lively woman, with spring in her step, and a twinkle in her eye. We were glad she knew she was publicly honored for her civic achievements. During the time we’ve known her, the last several years, she made a big impression; she will be missed. May the memories of her vitality and grace comfort you at this time.

    May 24, 2014
    Karen Alexander & Randy Gilmore -
  • Our condolences to Neil and to Judy’s family. Judy always had a smile with a kind word to all. Her gift of love of education came through in every Torah class she lead and the Temple library she organized. She will be missed, but her loving memories will live on on our hearts.

    Ellen Sue Hattenbach and Norm Gross – May 24, 2014

    May 24, 2014
    Ellen Sue Hattenbach & Norm Gross -
  • Judy was a force of nature. I will miss her gentleness, kindness, caring & love. She was an amazing woman.
    With love to you Neil…Cece

    May 25, 2014
    Cece Lampitelli-Giordano -
  • Our condolences to Neil Hershkowitz and to the Rivas family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Bob and Dana Von Kohorn

    May 25, 2014
    Bob and Dana Von Kohorn -
  • Billy Joel must have met Judy because she was the epitome of his song “the good die young”. Much too young, but RIP.

    May 26, 2014
    Rick Lowenthal -
  • Dear Neil and the Rivas family: You are in my thoughts these days, and I hope your many memories of Judy make your grief a little more bearable. Besides all the public service and one-on-one assistance that Judy gave so gracefully, I especially knew her private and generous contributions to the causes of justice and peace. I will always cherish our friendship of 28 years and her sharing of special moments in her life. Her death is such a great loss for communities and thousands of people.

    May 26, 2014
    Barbara Hudgins -
  • Dear Neil and family,

    I will always remember Judy as such a warm and friendly woman. Her welcome into the Temple Shalom family a long time ago is something I will never forget. We had a nice time chatting and singing at High Holy Day services this past year at the Saugatuck River in Westport. A beautiful memory. Rest in peace, dear Judy. I will miss you.

    May 27, 2014
    Lisa Goldberg Castillo -
  • Dear Neil and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Judy’s passing. She was such a warm and welcoming person. Wishing you comfort during this sad time.

    May 27, 2014
    Liz Glotzer Lebo -
  • Judy, you were amazing. You were a powerhouse. You were a beautiful person who made me feel less alone in Norwalk and in my profession as a librarian – and in the world. You were funny and smart and warm. I remember the laughs! We laughed in two languages, we shared many cultures. I have never forgotten you and never will. You gave so much to so many and I will always draw on that for inspiration for how to live.

    Neil, I send you hugs and condolences. Thanks you again for that visit you both made two winters ago.

    May 28, 2014
    Isabel Espinal -
  • My Dear sister Judy was a wonderful woman.my mother Carmen Rivas married Ismael Rivas her father when I was 8 years old and judy and migdalia Rivas welcome me with Open arms and love me and treated me with so much tender loving care.I recall Judy taking me to many summer trips to cape cod where we would go whale watching and also taking me to the norwalk aquarium.she always took the time to remember family and I will forever will be greatfull that I was bless with such a caring sister. she will make one year since she left us and miss her very much. I think about her all the time.I thank the good people that made her happy while she lived.my condolence to the ones that truly loved her and continue to love her.she will always be in my heart.I love you Judy.

    April 30, 2015
    Zaida hernandez -
  • I just learned today about the passing a someone dear to me as a childhood friend, companion and confidant. Judy Rivas I met in the early 1970s when she became active in a youth leadership program I had founded in the South Bronx called the Youth/Adult Cooperative Development Program under the auspices of the Bronx Environmental Society, Inc. on St. Ann’s Avenue. Judy helped me in immeasurable ways to care about the poor and the plight of residents in the South Bronx. I recall visiting her modest apartment where her loving parents treated me like a son.
    I lost touch with Judy as she departed to Fordham University and I to Cornell University. Yet, it was just around the time of her passing that I had been trying to locate her and others of those days in Facebook, Linkedin or the Bronx HS of Science alumni page. I didn’t succeed. Today I happened to just Google the name and the obituary, her legacy and wonderful life emerged. I now have some closure on that memory and the laughs, tears and embraces we had in our youth. You are in my heart and perhaps I’ll be blessed to see you on the other side of life one day. Roger Davis

    November 26, 2015
    Roger M. Davis -
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