The University Record, September 5, 2000

Ginsberg dedication is Sept. 14

By Jane R. Elgass

The naming of the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning will be celebrated in 10 a.m. ceremonies Sept. 14 at the Center, 1024 Hill St.

In 1999, the University received a $5 million endowment gift honoring alumnus Edward Ginsberg, a Cleveland corporate and real estate lawyer and internationally known humanitarian who died in 1997. The gift was made by his son William and his wife, Inger, and other members of the Ginsberg family to recognize Edward Ginsberg’s commitment to community service and humanitarian causes.

“The University of Michigan has a long tradition of community service and learning—from the 19th-century educational efforts of John Dewey to the students in the 1960s who helped formulate the Peace Corps idea to the active involvement of thousands today,” notes Center Director Barry N. Checkoway. “This extraordinary gift enables us to take this work to the next level and increase efforts to strengthen student learning, involve the faculty and build University-community partnerships. It also builds on support from institutional leaders and signals a strong commitment by the University to service and learning.”

Speakers at the ceremony include Checkoway, who also is professor of social work and of urban planning; Eli Segal, chair of the Center’s National Board and president and CEO of Welfare to Work Partnership; Provost Nancy Cantor; LS&A undergraduate student Renee Graef; sociology major Adrienne Hunter; Regent Olivia Maynard, co-chair of the Center’s Board; President Lee C. Bollinger; and William Ginsberg.

When the Regents approved the renaming of the Center in November 1999, Maynard noted, “I know from my own personal experience as a Michigan student that when community participation is an integral part of a university education, the effects can last a lifetime.”

Edward Ginsberg’s life exemplified the values of community involvement and active citizenship that the Center seeks to foster. Throughout his life he devoted himself to Israeli and Jewish activities in the United States and around the world. Following World War II, he played an important role raising funds for the establishment and support of Israel, working directly with such world figures as Golda Meir and Itzak Rabin. In the 1960s and ’70s, Ginsberg was general chairman and then president of the national United Jewish Appeal, and chairman of the American Joint Distribution Committee.

Activities celebrating the naming of the Center also include a block party 3–6 p.m. at the Center, featuring entertainment, food, issue/education tables and an opportunity to register to vote.

Programs housed at the Center

The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning brings together several of the nation’s leading curricular and co-curricular programs and undertakes new initiatives in communities in Michigan and nationwide.

  • Project Community is a service-learning course that places more than 500 students in projects in southeast Michigan communities.

  • Project SERVE provides thousands of students with opportunities to address social issues through community service and social action. Alternative Spring Break engages nearly 500 students in projects, the largest program of its kind in the country.

  • The Center develops collaborative initiatives such as the Michigan Neighborhood AmeriCorps Program, which involves several graduate professional schools and 20 community-based organizations in Detroit neighborhoods.

  • Through the Michigan America Reads Tutoring Corps, U-M students help children learn how to read.

  • The Michigan Community Service Corps expanded this year to 12 communities, involving student teams and young people working together to revitalize neighborhoods.

    For more information, call (734) 647-7402 or visit the Web at