NEWARK – The ACLU of New Jersey mourns the loss of board member and former treasurer Avi Tilak, who died on Dec. 2. Tilak, 62, of Denville joined the board in 2006 and served as treasurer from 2008 to 2012. “Avi was a thoughtful and intelligent voice on the board of trustees,” said Udi Ofer, executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey. “He strongly believed that it was important to defend the rights and liberties of everyone. We will miss him dearly and our thoughts go out to his family at this time.”
Born in Mumbai, India, Tilak came to the United States and lived in Lubbock, Texas, Greensboro, NC and Morristown, New Jersey before settling down in Denville in 1991.
In a biography that he wrote for the ACLU-NJ announcing his candidacy for the board, Tilak spoke admiringly of the rights enjoyed in the United States, but also recognized they could easily violated.
“Since coming to the United States more than three decades ago, what has amazed me are the individual civil liberties that we enjoy, unlike most other nations,” Tilak said. “Unfortunately, every government has a tendency to encroach on civil liberties. Our government is no exception.”vTilak earned his PhD in industrial engineering and owned and operated a technology consulting firm, ATD, Inc. before retiring in 2010. Tilak also served as president of the Denville Rotary.
He said he was drawn to the ACLU-NJ because, “it is the only organization I know that defends civil liberties regardless of the underlying political bent of individuals or organizations.”
“We will miss Avi both as a wonderful friend and as an exceptional board member,” said Frank Corrado, president of the ACLU-NJ Board of Trustees. “All of the board joins me in extending our deepest sympathy to his family.”
Tilak is survived by his wife of 33 years, Vasanti, their daughter Gaurie and son Hershed, all of Denville.