Lubin-Green Foundation continues work with JFed

BY COLIN MURPHY, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

As the oldest supporting foundation of Jewish Federation, the Lubin-Green Foundation has awarded more than $3.1 million in grants since 1985 to Federation agencies and programs for children, seniors, Israel and mental health endeavors.

Karole and Tom Green are continuing their tradition of philanthropy through their family’s foundation, which is worth $10 million, most recently with a donation to the 2008 Kaleidoscope: [email protected] year long celebration.

“It’s a very, very important grant and we were in Jerusalem for its 50th [anniversary] and we’d like to be there for its 60th,” said Karole Green, president of the Lubin-Green Foundation. “This will be celebrated throughout the world, but of course the grant that we have given will be focused on the St. Louis area in celebration of Israel’s 60th.”

The Greens’ idea for a family Foundation saw its beginning in 1961, when The Max Lubin Foundation was established by Tom Green’s uncle Max Lubin with $5,000. Two dozen years later, Lubin-Green formed from the Max Lubin Foundation when the Greens decided to link it to Jewish Federation.

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“We wanted to help the Jewish community and we also wanted to help Jewish people throughout the world,” explained Green. “…We feel very blessed for all we have accomplished in life and it’s our way of saying, “Oh, thank you for all that we have.” This is our way of helping other people by forming a foundation, by setting goals, by obtaining them, by increasing our foundation’s ability to give to the world on a yearly basis.”

The Foundation has given to a wide variety of charities and causes which range from interfaith relations to the American Red Cross but Lubin-Green primarily gives to the Jewish community.

Among the myriad Lubin-Green grant recipients are the Jewish Information Service, which led to creation of the Jewish community website, www.jewihsinstlouis.org; the WINGS program of JF &CS which supports Jewish adults and their families living with mental illness; Partnership 2000, which connects St. Louis to its sister-city region in Yokne’am-Megiddo, Israel; Professional Excellence, a major initiative to enhance the Jewish community’s capacity to recruit, train and retain high-quality professionals for Jewish community agencies; and annual funding for 13 years of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) events.

“We will continue supporting wonderful causes and we’re just proud of everything that Lubin-Green has been a part of,” continued Green. “I know that we are going to be reaching out to more people over the years and that we are going to accomplish very much more than we have in the past with every year.”

To that end, Tom Green has pledged this year an additional $5 million to Lubin-Green to endow an irrevocable bequest that was set up in both he and his wife’s names. According to Green it is an ongoing partnership with the Jewish community to continue to support Federation’s Annual Campaign when they are no longer here. Accordingly, the Foundation will grow to $15 million.

Green takes pride in the Foundation’s work and setting an example for others to give back to the community. In addition to supporting charities and causes, Lubin-Green has oftentimes been instrumental in creating programs they endow. Such was the case for the need for a program called Jewish Professional Excellence which was brought to their attention by Barry Rosenberg, Jewish Federation executive vice president.

According to Green, young Jewish people who go into Jewish community work sometimes are professionals who are not educated properly and are not paid properly.

“That has changed since the Lubin-Green foundation began supporting this new program,” Green concluded. “…And it has really grown in a very large way. I am extremely proud of this.