Remembering Carl Levine

Jeweler and philanthropist

Born into a philanthropic family active within the Jewish community, Carl Levine carried on his family's strong legacy of giving back. Throughout his life, he forged strong connections with JUF and other community organizations for the betterment of Jewish Chicago. Levine died on June 28 at the age of 84. 

Growing up in the South Side, Levine attended O'Keefe Grammar School and was a frequent sight on the playground playing seasonal sports. He was a member of a fraternity at Hyde Park High School as well as at the University of Illinois. His friends from his youth "formed the nucleus of his life going forward, many of which became acquainted with JUF through his leadership," said longtime friend and JUF Associate Vice President Barb Gold. Following college, he joined his father-a preeminent jeweler-in business. His father, William Levine, was the namesake of the Levine Hillel Center at UIC and a JUF Campaign Chair, and Levine followed in his footsteps professionally and philanthropically. 

Levine brought his expertise in the jewelry business to JUF in his role as chairman of JUF's Jewelry Division and was further involved with JUF by serving on fundraising committees and leading JUF Missions to Israel, Turkey, and Cuba. He served on the JUF Board from 1990-1995 and served as the 1994 JUF General Campaign Chair. He was also a Golden Giver to the JUF Annual Campaign.  

As his professional career grew, Levine became the president of William Levine, Inc., his father's wholesale diamond business. "There was hardly a person on the South Side who got an engagement ring who didn't get it from him," Gold recalled.  In addition to being a prolific ring salesman on the South Side, Carl was also a member of the Chicago Jewelers Association.  

Although he and his wife Roberta moved to Highland Park to raise their family, Levine stayed in touch with his childhood friends and helped connect them to JUF and the Jewish community. 

He is remembered by his friends and colleagues as a kind, humorous, and enthusiastic person who never hesitated to offer a helping hand or give back to his family, friends, and community. 

Levine was the beloved husband of the late Roberta ("Bobbie"). He was the devoted father of David (Julie Argow), Beth (Steven Drizin) and Julie (Michael Wolf). The cherished grandfather of Annie (Garrett Rothe), Laura (Jesse Slobodin), and Michael Levine, Benjamin (fiancée Rachel Wolfson), Jeremy (Valentina Perez Botero), Gabriel, and Hannah Levine-Drizin, and Madeline, Emma, and Charlie Levine-Wolf, he also was the adoring great-grandfather of Summer and William Rothe. He was the treasured brother of Jess Levine. He was the beloved fiancé of Adrienne Garland. Memorial donations to JCFS Chicago at

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