Michael Greenebaum’s great-great-grandfather was on a train headed to Washington, D.C., when he got off a stop too early and wound up in Baltimore. He ended up settling there, and the Greenebaum family has since remained in Charm City for generations.
There, the family built a history and a legacy. Michael Greenebaum’s father, Stewart Greenebaum, started a real estate development company called Greenebaum Enterprises; and his parents, Stewart and Marlene Greenebaum, founded the philanthropic Greenebaum Family Foundation.
Greenebaum lives in Pikesville with his wife, Adele Greenebaum. He has three children and three stepchildren, and he belongs to Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation.
Greenebaum is the president of Greenebaum Enterprises, as well as the director of the Greenebaum Family Foundation.
“Continuing that history of giving is one of, Adele and I, our core values,” he said. “I really enjoy being active and seeing the difference that we can make while we’re here. My dad used to say, ‘Isn’t it great when you can see the benefits of your labor, the difference you can make in people’s lives?’”
Greenebaum always knew he would one day go into his father’s business, he said. After he graduated from Pikesville Senior High School, he studied real estate and urban development at American University.
Now, as president of the company, he’s involved with all aspects of the real estate development business. He sees his position as a business owner as being one of responsibility toward his employees and community.
“I literally learned [the business] from the ground up,” he said. “It’s what I do, it’s what I enjoy and it allows me to also do the philanthropy that needs to be done.”
The philanthropy work of the Greenebaum Family Foundation is focused on education and medical causes. One example is the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where Greenebaum’s parents contributed the founding gift for the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Greenebaum himself has been on the UMSOM board since 2013 and was recently named vice chair of the school’s Board of Visitors.
In addition, Greenebaum is on the board of trustees of the McDonogh School and supports The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom and Hadassah in Israel, among others. Greenebaum is passionate about music — he plays guitar and mandolin — and is involved with the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute as well.
“I really believe in the healing and educational effects of music, especially as it relates to medical research,” Greenebaum said.
For Greenebaum, the pandemic has emphasized the importance of supporting others.
“What COVID-19 has done is really given us, as a family, time to look at the world through a different lens, look at what’s really important in life, give us a different focus,” he said. “I feel really good that the things I’m focused on from a giving perspective [are] more important now than ever.”
Last summer, Greenebaum learned that the trials for the coronavirus vaccine were having trouble recruiting participants, and he decided to sign up.
In August and September of 2020, he received the first and second dose of the Moderna vaccine. In January, he found out he had been given the actual vaccine, rather than a placebo.
At the time he first participated in the trial, vaccine hesitancy was high, and many were surprised that Greenebaum would choose to participate, but he had a lot of faith in the integrity of the trial.
“People had to volunteer. At the time, people thought, ‘Oh, gee, that’s crazy, why would you do that?’” Greenebaum said. “I felt like I just needed to do something to further the research.”