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Shirley & Jack Liebowitz: Israel and Jewish National Fund's Super Heroes

Shirley & Jack Liebowitz: Israel and Jewish National Fund's Super Heroes

Long after you are gone, will you be remembered?

Many will certainly be remembered in the hearts and minds of their immediate family and loved ones, but also for the legacy they leave and their lasting impact.

Two such individuals were Jack and Shirley Liebowitz of New York, NY, who left not just one, but two lasting legacies upon their passing-Jack in 2000 and Shirley in 2013. One was left through Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the other through Jack's involvement in the company that has become known the world over as DC Comics.

Born in Proskurov, (present-day) Ukraine in 1900, Liebowitz and his family immigrated to New York City in 1910. By age 24, he had earned a degree in accounting from New York University and subsequently set up shop as an accountant with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU).

In 1929, Liebowitz became the personal accountant to Harry Donenfeld for his publishing company and, along with Paul Sampliner, co-founder of the Independent News Company. But it was in 1935 when Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson came to Independent News looking for a new distributor for his comic book projects-among them Detective Comics, Inc.-that Leibowitz's career took off.

By 1938, Liebowitz became the sole owner of the company. He came up with the series, Action Comics, and hired writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, the creators of "Superman." Liebowitz remained in the forefront, bringing "Superman" to radio, theatrical animated shorts, and television. DC Comics went public in 1961 and was sold to Kinney National Services in 1967.

Jack and his second wife, Shirley, who was an accomplished painter, traveled extensively throughout Europe and to Israel.

In addition to being an accomplished artist, Shirley was also an avid collector of valuable paintings and sculptures and friends with Pierre Matisse, a French-born American art dealer and the son of Henri Matisse.

Throughout their lives, the Liebowitzes remained passionate about caring for Jews in need and supporting Israel.

"Ms. Liebowitz was a very caring woman, deeply concerned with the less fortunate both here and in Israel," said Dennis Drebsky, executor of the Liebowitz Estate. "She was especially sensitive to the challenges facing Israel and wanted to use her wealth to help as much as possible," he added.

Subsequently, it was made clear that part of Shirley's residual estate be dedicated to these causes. As a result, because of all the work Jewish National Fund did and continues to do, JNF received $1.4 million to support a senior residence in Be'er Sheva dedicated in memory of Shirley W. and Jack S. Liebowitz.

Shirley will be remembered as a creative painter, a talented pianist, and as woman of culture and compassion for seniors in need. Jack will be remembered as the man that brought the world "Superman" and as a superman in his own right, with his and Shirley's legacy of helping the land and people of Israel through Jewish National Fund.

To leave your legacy and read other stories of people who have left their estates to Jewish National Fund, visit jnflegacy.org or call 800.562.7526.


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