Charles Schwartz: Go-to guy
A few years ago I had the dubious honor of chairing a Jewish Federation committee that collected unpaid pledges made to the Jewish community. We were mostly successful but sometimes we ran into tough eggs who wouldn’t pay up or return phone calls or letters.
One day it dawned on me. The trick was finding the right person to make the call, someone who was so respected and admired that his calls could not be shrugged off. Right off — I knew the right guy for this, Charles Schwartz. One person who had made a sizable pledge had dodged me for weeks. I got on the phone to Charles. “Sure, I know him,” responded Charles. “I’ll handle it.” The next morning a check was delivered to the Federation office, payment in full.
The point is Charles helped so many people and organizations that no one could say no to him for anything. He quietly supported Jewish causes locally and abroad with his time and money, mostly anonymously. He also mentored many young people on careers.
Even while undergoing treatment for the illness that took his life on Sept. 8, Charles was on the phone drumming up support for a plan he had come up with to help the Federation pay down its campus debt.
A few days before he died, Charles was signing checks to organizations he believed in and supported. Typical Charles.
His death has left a void in this Jewish community that can never be filled.