Our Stories

JPDS-NC Mourns the Loss of Dr. Robert Schattner

February 3, 2017 by Naomi Reem (Faculty and Staff)

It is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of our longtime friend and supporter, Dr. Robert Schattner. From the school’s return to Washington, DC, to its expansion to two campuses, Dr. Schattner’s extraordinary generosity ensured the school’s growth and success through the years. His warmth and charm, often on full display at Veterans Day performances, graduations, and community events, will be missed dearly. Dr. Schattner’s legacy will live on at JPDS-NC as both the North and South Campuses will continue to bear his name, and that of his wife, Kay (z”l), in perpetuity.

Born in the Bronx and educated at the City College of New York and then Penn Dental School, Dr. Schattner was successfully practicing dentistry when he invented Chloraseptic, the ubiquitous sore throat remedy. He subsequently invented Sporicidin, a product used by physicians, hospitals and dentists to disinfect medical instruments and equipment.

Dr. Schattner’s philanthropy enabled him to support a number of charities, most notably the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital and the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Schattner and his wife, Kay, became very involved in the JPDS-NC mission and, in 2002, provided lead support for the school to purchase its home on 16th Street, now the Kay and Robert Schattner Center North Campus. In 2009, JPDS-NC received a five million dollar challenge gift from Dr. Schattner, directed toward the renovation of the North Campus, development of green-space for outdoor play, and support for our tuition assistance program.

As JPDS-NC continued to grow, Dr. Schattner again rose to the occasion and helped launch an additional expansion effort, with a three million dollar challenge gift. A second building on 16th Street was purchased, and the Kay and Robert Schattner Center South Campus opened in the fall of 2013.

Dr. Schattner nurtured us as we grew, and set us on a clear path to serve families in and around Washington, DC. We are eternally grateful to him and Kay.

At Dr. Schattner’s request, there will be no funeral. We encourage members of the community to express their condolences through the Office of Institutional Advancement, which will coordinate the delivery of notes, memory notices, and the like to the family. You can reach the Advancement Office at (202) 882-4747.