The Herman Liebman Memorial Fund is a 501(c)3 formed in 1985 to conduct educational and cultural programs for the residents of Amalgamated Housing and Park Reservoir, and the surrounding community. The programs of HLMF are similar to those of the Education Department of the housing cooperatives with two noteworthy differences. As a not-for-profit, HLMF is eligible for grants and tax-deductible contributions that the housing co-ops are not eligible for, and the target population for the Fund goes beyond the residents of the co-ops.
The Fund is named for Herman Liebman, who was Education Director for most of fifty years, beginning in 1930. Herman was a passionate teacher and preacher of “The Spirit of Cooperation” (The title of Herman’s first article for Community News in December 1929 when he was a new cooperator, just before he was appointed as Education Director.) Liebman hoped that economic cooperation, the basis of our cooperatives, would some day provide a “universal formula of economic salvation”. To read his words, (available on this website,) is to re-awaken the idealism of cooperation.
Before coming to Amalgamated, Herman Liebman was a Julliard trained violinist and a violin teacher. He believed the working families of the co-op, especially the children, deserved the same artistic and cultural opportunities as the wealthier people downtown. He coordinated art classes, music classes, dance classes, book clubs, drama clubs, and so much more.
When the Herman Liebman Memorial Fund was first formed we could serve the housing cooperatives and the geographic neighborhood surrounding them. Through the internet, we can now serve a broader community.
Today we continue the goal of promoting economic cooperation along with the educational, social and cultural programs that are included in “The Spirit of Cooperation.”