2014 Campus News: Building a Community

2014 Campus News: Building a Community

A new ermanent exhibit profiles Charles E. Smith

Charles E. Smith Photo for Bio PageA permanent new exhibit honoring Charles E. Smith, Building a Community, has opened in the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington at Charles E. Smith Life Communities. 

The exhibit puts on display for the first time artifacts from the office of Charles E. Smith. Smith arrived in New York as a ten-year-old who spoke only Yiddish. By the close of his 94 years, Smith had become one of the region’s largest builders, developers, and property managers. His philanthropy and community leadership shaped the Washington community, and his office in Crystal City overlooked a sweeping view of Reagan National Airport, its walls filled with honors, photographs, and letters from the most respected statesmen in America and Israel. CES.Desk

Visitors to the exhibit can see Mr. Smith’s desk and walk through a passageway framed with photo-murals of those whose lives have been influenced by Smith’s philanthropy and leadership. The main area of the exhibit illustrates Smith’s role in different spheres, including his family, business, community leadership, and philanthropy. A six-minute video, Papa Charlie, allows visitors to experience Smith’s story in his own voice.

 “To now have a permanent profile about Papa Charlie, 72 years after his Washington arrival, closes what he called ‘the three circles of life: family, friends, community,’” said grandson David Bruce Smith at the dedication ceremonies October 5. “Sometimes, after time has passed, a person's history can become diluted and distorted, and he or she is demoted to a brand name only. Thanks to you, Charles E. Smith is here to stay as he was.”

CES Painted PortraitGeorge Washington University’s indoor athletic center, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the Jewish Community Services Campus in Rockville, the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and its affiliated senior services bear his name in recognition of his vision and support.

“It is our privilege and honor to be the home of this exhibit,” said Warren R. Slavin, President/CEO of Charles E. Smith Life Communities. Learn more about Mr. Smith at www.smithlifecommunities.org.

CES Museum


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