Charles Marc Edelsberg, Founding Executive Director Emeritus of the Jim Joseph Foundation, received the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), for his leadership of the Jewish community. The ceremony took place at HUC-JIR’s Graduation on Monday, May 15, 2017 at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Edelsberg also presented the Graduation address. Read his remarks.
Responsible for $1 billion of philanthropy during his distinguished career, Dr. Edelsberg is renowned for his 35 years of experience leading and managing public and social sector organizations, in which he envisioned, conceptualized, designed and guided major new programs. His collaboration with diverse stakeholders – Boards of Directors, professional and administrative staff, teachers, clergy, university faculty, community members, advisory groups, technical assistant experts – ensured successful implementation of a variety of education and philanthropic initiatives.
At the Jim Joseph Foundation, he was the first executive to lead, manage, and organize all of the philanthropic activities of one of the 100 largest foundations in the United States and directed processes for $440 million of grant making. As Vice President and Director of Endowment at the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, he managed philanthropic activity for the Federation's Endowment Fund and 40 supporting foundations, 120 donor advised funds, and 230 special purpose funds. During his tenure, these various entities made $660 million of grant awards.
Previously, he served as Executive Director of Temple Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, OH. At Oberlin City Schools in Oberlin, OH, he served as Director of Curriculum and Educational Services, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and Superintendent. Previous, he was the Director of Title II Basic Skills Program at the Franklin County Department of Education in Columbus, OH, and taught at St. Xavier Academy in Providence, RI.
A sought-after expert and consultant, Dr. Edelsberg has provided guidance in foundation philanthropy, resource development, strategic planning, programming, and school equity. He is an Ambassador at Leap of Reason Performance Imperative and has served on the Boards and Advisory Committees of a broad range of organizations, including the Jewish Funders Network, Jewish Communal Service Association (now JPRO), Leading Edge, The iCenter for Israel Education, and CEO Onboarding (a joint program of the Jim Joseph, Weinberg, Schusterman, and Diller Foundations). He is on the Oversight Committee of the Berman Jewish DataBank at the University of Connecticut; is the Founding chair of United Jewish Community’s Family Philanthropy initiative and a member of the Advisory Committee of United Jewish Community, Planned Giving and Endowments. He was Vice President of Ohio Grantmakers Forum and on the Board of InterAct Cleveland.
Dr. Edelsberg has published articles and lectured widely on philanthropy, social sector excellence, education trends, measuring impact, strategizing for the future, planned giving, high impact grant making, Jewish education, pluralism and peoplehood, foundations as forces for change, collaboration and peer learning, and integrating organizational activity. Among his many honors and awards, he received the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America / JPRO Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award; was chosen as one of North America’s 100 leading educational administrators by Executive Educator; Ohio School Executive of the Year; and a Fellow in the Educational Policy Fellowship Program of the Institute for Educational Leadership.
Dr. Edelsberg received his Ph.D., with honors, in Humanities Education from The Ohio State University (1980), a certificate from the McIntyre School of Commerce at the University of Virginia (1980), his M.A. in Teaching from Brown University (1974), and his B.A., summa cum laude, in English Education, from The Ohio State University (1972).
Dr. Edelsberg and his wife of 43 years, Leslie, are parents of Allie Rae, z’l, sons Eric and Zack, and grandparents to four young children.