LIEBERMAN--Lester, Chairman of the HealthCare Foundation of New Jersey, philanthropist, engineer, real estate developer died today at age 83. Funeral services will be Wednesday November 6, 10:30am at Congregation Beth El, 222 Irvington Ave, South Orange, NJ. Interment will follow to Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge, NJ. Arrangements made with Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman, Livingston, NJ. Mr. Lieberman was Chairman of the Board of Newark Beth Israel Hospital in 1996 when he became concerned about the decline of inner-city hospitals. To insure the financial health of the hospital, he orchestrated the sale of Newark Beth Israel to St. Barnabas Healthcare Systems. The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey was created with the assets derived from this sale. The Foundation has awarded over $100 million in grants since its inception, focusing its efforts on improving access to quality healthcare for the vulnerable populations in greater Newark, NJ and the Jewish community of MetroWest NJ. As a tribute to Lester Lieberman's commitment to humanism in medicine, the Foundation honors employees, students, and faculty in healthcare who demonstrate extraordinary compassion and kindness in their treatment of patients and families with the Lester Z. Lieberman Humanism in Healthcare Award. Lester Lieberman served on the board of Beth Israel for 27 years, including nine years as Chairman. Mr. Lieberman became devoted to Newark Beth Israel Hospital in 1964 after his youngest daughter, Jane, was treated at Newark Beth Israel and survived a severe case of spinal meningitis. Lester Lieberman was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from Weequahic High School and received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology/NJIT). Money was scarce in his family and he worked several jobs to make his way through college, including janitor and shoe salesman. In 1960, Mr. Lieberman founded Atmos Engineering, designing air conditioning and heating systems for commercial properties. He subsequently sold Atmos Engineering to Clarkson Industries, a multinational engineering firm owned by the British conglomerate BTR, Inc. Mr. Lieberman became a director of BTR and President and CEO of Clarkson Industries, based in New York City and responsible for engineering work in 65 countries. Mr. Lieberman was also a founder of Dowel Realty, a real estate company located in Morristown, NJ, that built, owned and operated commercial properties in New Jersey. He has been a principal in more than 100 real estate ventures over the past 50 years. Mr. Lieberman was a trustee emeritus of Clarkson University, a past member of the Board of Cives Corporation, the Lazard Funds, Inc, and the Northside Power Transmission Co. He was the past chair of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Irvington Hospital, a past member of the New Jersey State Investment Council and the Board of United Jersey Bank. He received honorable doctorates from Clarkson University and UMDNJ. Mr. Lieberman had served on the board of MetroWest New Jersey's Jewish Vocational Service, Community Foundation, and Federation. He served on the Council of Advisors at New Jersey Medical School, NJPAC and Public Health Research Institute at UMDNJ. Lester Lieberman is survived by his wife, Judith and his children, Jane Lieberman Rubin and her husband, Michael D'Amato, Susan Lieberman Smotrich and her husband Gary Smotrich, MD, as well as his four grandchildren, Tye, Zachary, Daniel, and Jonathan.
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Published in The New York Times on Nov. 5, 2013