Leona Chanin, a graduate of Hunter High School and Hunter College, has long played a leadership role in the life or her alma mater. For more than two decades, she has served as a member of the board of directors of Hunter's Scholarship and Welfare Funds, which grants financial awards to deserving students. When then-President Jacqueline Wexler established an alumni support group, the President's Circle, in 1971, Mrs. Chanin became its first chair. Eight years later, she was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame, which recognizes graduates of outstanding accomplishment and service to Hunter and to the community. Both Mr. and Mrs. Chanin are founding board members and trustees of The Hunter College Foundation, Inc. They received honorary degrees from the College in 1994.
Marcy Chanin, a member of the board Town Hall, recently retired as president of Chanin Management, Inc., which managed real estate properties in Manhattan and at other locations. As builders, the Chanin family popularized a streamlined, art deco style of architecture epitomized by their high rise apartment buildings on Central Park West and the Chanin Building at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, the first skyscraper in the Grand Central area. Other Chanin innovations include many legitimate theaters that was also one of the nation's first malls and the first major post-World War II shopping center on Long Island, Green Acres in Valley Stream.
The Chanins are well known for their active role in Jewish philanthropy. Together, they occupy leadership positions with the American Jewish Congress, which honored the couple with its prestigious Stephen Wise Award, its highest accolade. A comprehensive high school and sports center outside Tel Aviv was built through the couple's efforts, as well as The Paul R. and Marcy Chanin Genetic Engineering Building at the Technion University. Mr. Chanin serves as Chair of the Palm Beach County Chapter of Technion, and was a founding board member of the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. The Chanins are original supporters of, and continue their interest in, the development of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and have long been active in U.J.A.-Federation.