Esther (Erna) Jay of The Jay Companies Dies
May 19, 2011,
Esther (Erna) Jay
BROOKLYN, N.Y.-Esther (Erna) Jay, founder and matriarch of The Jay Companies, passed away May 15. She was 91.
Jay was born May 11, 1920, in Sanok, Poland. She escaped the invading Nazis in 1939 by fleeing east, but fell into the hands of the Russian Army. At the age of 19, Jay was forced to work in a Russian slave labor camp in Siberia until the conclusion of World War II. Esther and her husband Paul arrived in New York around 1950 and began to build what soon became a thriving family-based business importing and selling European tableware and giftware.
Jay instilled the importance of family and passed that culture on through generations, Hinton said, and her goal and driving passion was to create a company that would be a place for the family to work together, grow together, and prosper together. Her son, Harry serves as president and CEO, while grandsons Michael, David, Kalman and Adrian make up the executive board.
Jay is survived by her son Harry, daughter Susan Solny, as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.