Dr Emanuele A. “Manny” Alfano, Respected Italian American Community Leader, Passed Away Last Week

Dr. Emanuele A. “Manny” Alfano, a highly regarded Chiropractor, Educator, Civic leader, and nationally recognized leader of the Italian American community, passed away on Sunday, June 19, 2022.

Visitation will be at the Biondi Funeral Home of Nutley, 540 Franklin Avenue on Thursday, June 23 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. There will be a Unico National Ceremony led by Past-National President Paul Alongi at 7:15 p.m. The funeral will be conducted from the funeral home on Friday, June 24 at 8:15 a.m. There will be a funeral mass celebrated at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield, at 9:30 a.m. The entombment will be at Gate of Heaven Chapel Mausoleum, 225 Ridgedale Avenue, East Hanover.

Dr. Alfano was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. His parents, Stefano and Maria (Ditta) Alfano, were Sicilian emigrants. After elementary and high school in Newark, he graduated Seton Hall University with a degree in Physical Education and then taught in the Newark School system for many years. While working as an educator he entered New York Chiropractic college and earned his Chiropractic degree and practiced for many years.

In 1969 Dr. Alfano married Patricia Marinaro and raised a family in Bloomfield, New Jersey. They have three children Stephen Alfano (Tracey), Victor Alfano (Wynona), and Maria McKeon (Sean); They also have six grandchildren: Ashley, Alyssa, Stefano, Gabriella, Sienna and Christian.

A long-time musician, Manny’s music career spanned over 70 years, beginning with the Italian American Feast Bands while still in high school. A long-time member of the A. F. of M, he played trumpet and was the lead singer in a variety of musical groups, including The Preludes, Brotherhood, and Unico 5. He continued to meet with fellow musician friends for lunch, they called themselves the ROMEO Club (Retired Old Musicians Eating Out).

Dr. Alfano was extremely active in community and civic activities. He served with the Central Little League in Bloomfield; Civil Rights Commission of Bloomfield; participated in the Township’s Holocaust program and was awarded the Heritage Award by the Township of Bloomfield. He also introduced the World of Difference program into the Bloomfield school system – training teachers to help students deal with defamation and intolerance. He helped organize Bloomfield United We Stand March.

Dr. Alfano became a member of the Bloomfield Chapter of UNICO National in February of 1980 and served as Chapter President and later District Governor of New Jersey District II. He co-founded the Belleville Chapter and together with the Bloomfield chapter of UNICO, founded the Young Italian American A.C.E.S. Club of UNICO National. Along with the A.C.E.S, he hosted The Feast of St. Joseph at St. Thomas’ church for over 30 years. This annual event has donated thousands to charities and scholarships. He was appointed the Anti Bias Committee Chair in 1990 and served in that position for decades. He organized with the ADL and UNICO the Debt to Honor program and curriculum for the New Jersey school system, which deals with the rescuing of Jews by Italians. Dr. Alfano, UNICO and the ADL sponsored a television program at CUNY University on defamation and stereotyping of Italian Americans. He launched the UNICO National Italian and Italian American heritage calendar. Dr. Alfano played a key role in obtaining equal membership for women in UNICO. In 2002 Dr. Alfano received UNICO National highest award the Vastola Award.

His activism and defense of Italian American heritage and culture inspired him to create an organization solely dedicated to that mission. In 1992 he founded the Italian American One Voice Coalition, “IAOVC,” which is dedicated to opposing Italian American stereotyping and defamation. As founder and president of IAOVC, Dr. Alfano is nationally and internationally recognized for his leadership in actively opposing anti-Italianism, bias and stereotyping of Italian Americans. He created, compiled, and distributed The Alfano Digest, IAOVC’s regular email newsletter, to more than 5,000 individuals and Italian American organizations nationwide. The Digest issues alerts on instances of bias, stereotyping, discrimination, and defamation and contains informative and educational Italian American cultural and heritage information.

Dr. Alfano was responsible for creating many IAOVC initiatives and activities and he regularly appeared in media and at events and meetings regarding Italian American issues. It is to be noted that his recent health challenges did not deter him from attending school board meetings in the past few months to oppose the elimination of Columbus Day. And, right up until his last days he was actively involved in continuing his mission to defend Italian American heritage and culture. He truly inspired so many with his untiring commitment to his mission, and has been recognized with a plethora of awards, honors and accolades for his lifelong dedication, commitment, and leadership.

Although Dr. Emanuele “Manny” Alfano is no longer with us, he has left behind a legacy of love for his family, his heritage and his never-ending dedication to his mission. That legacy will live on due to the extraordinary person he was and his inspiration to so many throughout his life.

Dr. Alfano is predeceased by his parents Stefano and Maria (nee Ditta) Alfano, and his brother Anthony Alfano

Services held last week

Visitation

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 4:00 pm to 7:15 pm

Biondi Funeral Home

540 Franklin Avenue, Nutley, NJ 07110

UNICO National Ceremony

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 7:15 PM

Biondi Funeral Home

540 Franklin Avenue, Nutley, NJ 07110

Funeral Mass

Friday, June 24, 2022, 9:30 AM

St. Thomas the Apostle Church

60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

Entombment

Friday, June 24, 2022, 11:15 AM

Gate of Heaven Cemetery & Mausoleum

225 Ridgedale Avenue, East Hanover, NJ 07936

Banner Image: Emanuele “Manny” Alfano. Image Credit – Italian American Museum

Italian American Museum

Logo A NEW HOME IN THE HEART OF LITTLE ITALY New Exterior The new Italian American Museum (IAM) will serve as a cultural hub and community nexus for Italian Americans and the Little Italy neighborhood. Through permanent and temporary exhibits, robust educational and cultural programming, and collaborations with the community, the IAM will become the preeminent center for learning about and engaging with Italian as a platform for sharing Italian American voices and celebrating Italian American achievements, the IAM will be interesting to both Italian Americans and non-Italian Americans, bringing Italian American culture and heritage to younger generations and a wide range of new audiences. The Italian American Museum preserves, promotes, and celebrates the culture and history of Italian Americans, serving as living record of their contributions to America and a bridge between the remarkable past and the evolving future of the community. By allowing Italian Americans to share their story in their voice, the Italian American Museum will encourage a full appreciation of what it means to be Italian American. News Progress Photos Building Update / Annual Appeal Dear friends, We are pleased to report that we have topped off our new building and the new brick facade is being applied. Below please find pictures of the new building and the brick facade. Topping off the building Close up of the new brick facade View of the brick facade on our building Due to COVID-19 we have postponed all of our fundraising activities for the year including our annual Golf Classic and Ambasciatore Awards dinner. However, we ask that you be as generous as possible during this time of our Annual Appeal since it will be our sole fundraiser for 2021. Please know that we sincerely appreciate your contributions and that funds raised will be used to support the construction for the new building. We do so look forward to seeing you again at the reopening of the “New” Italian American Museum in Fall 2022. We will be bigger and better than ever before. Thank you for your continued support of our Italian American Museum. Andrà tutto bene! Respectfully, Uff. Prof. Joseph V. Scelsa Italian American Museum 19th Annual Golf Classic to be held on Monday, June 6th at North Hills Country Club. North Hills Country Club Exhibitions The New Italian American Museum: Architectural renderings and model for the forthcoming newly designed museum. OUR STORY FROM COLUMBUS TO CUOMO From our beginnings in Little Italy The IAM is located on Mulberry Street in the heart of what was once the largest Italian community in the United States in the first quarter of the 20th century. We became aware of the need for our own Museum in 1999, with the launch of the first major exhibition on Italians in America at the New York Historical Society, “The Italians of New York: Five Centuries of Struggle and Achievement”. The exhibit was a great success and we realized that in order to be part of the cultural dialogue in America, we needed our own Museum. So in 2001, we were chartered in New York State as the first Italian Museum in America. In our Museum, we seek to tell our whole story from Columbus to Cuomo and everything in between, our struggles and our accomplishments through hard work, ingenuity and perseverance. It has not always been easy but we have much to be proud of, for our contributions to American society are enormous. Now we will have a secular cathedral for all to see, experience and appreciate where we came from and what we have achieved.

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