A Family Dedicated to the Deeds of Giving

by Carole Klein-Alexander

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“When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from that grantor's gift.”

—Maya Angelou

Throughout Jewish literature and liturgy, the belief that actions speak louder than words is a common theme. Jewish children learn at an early age that tzedakah—the ultimate “action”— is not a choice; it is one of the 613 mitzvot or obligations we live by. Tzedekah means “righteous behavior.” We perform acts of tzedakah to make a difference and create a better world. Tzedakah is not only about financial help, it’s also about making people feel good.

For several years, Janice Feinberg, Pharm.D., J.D., had been hearing from her friend Dianne Tesler, CJE Board member and consummate volunteer, of the compassionate care that CJE’s staff was providing to Dianne’s mother at Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation. So in 2006 when another Board memberand friend, Jim Mills, Chair of Celebrate CJE’s inaugural event, invited Dr. Feinberg, president of The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, to attend the festivities... how could she say no? Since then, after learning even more about all the “good deeds” that CJE staff provides throughout its continuum of care, the relationship between. The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg  Foundation and CJE SeniorLife has flourished. With the Feinberg Foundation’s annual gift, allocated to general operating funds, CJE has more resources to deliver critical services and programs to seniors who depend on us.

Dr. Feinberg has a unique perspective on the struggles facing many nonprofits that provide health and human services. She served as Executive Director,and more recently, Research Director, at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Foundation, which has a history of leadership, innovation, and expertise in medicines and aging. From her years working in the aging network, Dr. Feinberg is well aware of the challenges that the growing number of seniors will place on our health care system. Boomers, in particular, will feel the crunch the most and she believes that orga nizations like CJE have developed meaningful ways to allow seniors to age in place with dignity. As part of the Sandwich Generation, many Boomers are especially vulnerable because they are dual caregivers—of their children and their aging parents. At the same time, they may feel the pressure of planning for their own retirement years. The Feinberg family, including Dr. Feinberg’s brother, Joseph, and his wife Rhonda who live in Los Angeles, are deeply committed to philanthropy and keenly aware of the responsibility that has passed to them as stewards of the Feinberg Foundation. In 1969, the Feinberg brothers—Bernard, Louis, Reuben, and Samuel established The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation in memory of their parents. Throughout the years the Feinberg Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to religious, healthcare and educational organizations. After her uncle Reuben’s death in 2002, Dr. Feinberg took on the role of Foundation president and along with her brother and sister-in-law, continues the tradition of supporting worthy causes that mostly benefit Chicago-area residents. We are honored to know that Dr. Feinberg’s confidence in the leadership and mission of CJE is unwavering.


“CJE does an impressive job of trying to meet the needs of older adults...it provides a wide range of needed services to the most vulnerable... under the direction of creative, responsive leadership.”

— Janice Feinberg


Dr. Feinberg, an ardent denizen of Chicago, is a frequent speaker and writer on topics relating to medication use in older adults, geriatrics and long-term care. The recipient of many awards and honors, Dr. Feinberg has authored more than 90 articles published in the pharmacy and health care literature.

Yes, it is true that actions do speak louder than words. The initial action of Lieberman staff providing excellent care to a beloved mother sparked the impetus for a charitable gift by The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation... the ultimate tzedakah, which in turn has allowed CJE to provide vital resources to those in need.

We are so very grateful to Dr. Feinberg and her commitment to CJE, evidenced by The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation’s generous annual contribution in support of CJE SeniorLife’s mission to enrich and enhance the lives of older adults.