Jonathan "J.J." Greenberg, the executive director of the Jewish Life Network, died Saturday in Israel after his bicycle was struck by a car a day earlier. The son of prominent Orthodox leaders Rabbi Irving (Yitz) and Blu Greenberg, Greenberg, 36, was also a founder of Makor, a Jewish center on New York's Upper West Side.
Greenberg lived in Manhattan, but was visiting two of siblings and their children in Israel, where he was buried. Hundreds of mourners gathered at Greenberg's funeral on Tuesday in Jerusalem, including Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior and Rabbi David Hartman of the Hartman Institute. The family is following Greenberg's express wishes and donating five of his organs for transplant.
Greenberg was "incredibly passionate" about his work, said a colleague, Mark Charendorff, president of the Jewish Funders Network, on whose board Greenberg participated. Greenberg "was one of the most beloved and respected people working in the Jewish family foundation field," Charendorff said.
Greenberg's mother is the co-founder and first president of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. His father, an Orthodox rabbi, is the former chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which runs the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and the founding president emeritus of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He is currently president of the Jewish Life Network, whose mission is to create new initiatives to enrich American Jewish life, including Birthright Israel and Makor.
Greenberg worked closely with his father in the Jewish Life Network and was in charge of running Makor. Greenberg had also been involved in bringing Judaism to Jewish public school students and volunteering on behalf of Jews with terminal illnesses.
He is survived by his parents; brothers, David and Moshe; sisters, Deborah and Goody; and grandmother, Sylvia Genauer.
Letters of condolence can be sent in care of: Jewish Life Network, 6 East 39th St., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016. -- Staff Report