This guide is for religious and secular organizations seeking support for activities that address Jewish causes, primarily in the U.S., Israel and Europe. Note that while some donors in other Inside Philanthropy Guides are Jewish, not all prioritize Jewish causes, as do the funders here. Many of the funders in this list are also active in philanthropy not specifically related to Jewish causes; this guide focuses on their Jewish-oriented grantmaking. Also, an important note: while this landing page lists the wealth creators below, who are mainly male, their spouses are often the main leaders in family philanthropy, as the profiles explore. 

We'll continue to update and add to these entries, so contact us to share any news or trends you're seeing, as well as donors who should be added. 

Top Donors

SHELDON & MIRIAM ADELSON

Supports charitable outfits primarily in Israel and the U.S. Major funding has gone to Birthright Israel and B'nai B'rith Youth Organization. Founded the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas.

RON BARON

Various funding interests. Grantees center around Palm Beach, New York City and Israel, including Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, the Jewish Museum, UJA Federation of New York, Friends of the IDF, American Friends of Israel.

LEONARD & LYNNE BARRACK

Funding areas: community, education, religious. Strong focus on Philadelphia area. Grantees have included Temple University, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Temple Beth David.  

HARVEY & JAYNE BEKER

Funding interests: education, medicine, community, Israel. Grantees include Brandeis University, Riverdale Hatzalah, UJA-Federation, American Friends of Dental Volunteers for Israel.

ROBERT M. BEREN

Funding areas: education and youth, community, religious. Grantees have included Hillel International, Sinai Akiba Academy, Jewish Communal Fund, Palm Beach Orthodox Synagogue.

DENNIS BERMAN

Funds education, youth, Israel advocacy, health, religious, community organizations. Grantees include the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, Yeshiva of Greater Washington, American Friends of Kiryat Chinuch Lebonim, National Gaucher Foundation, Beth Sholom Congregation.

LEN & EMILY BLAVATNIK

Funding areas: higher education, science research, arts and culture, Israel. Grantees include Tel Aviv University, Cholel Chabad food bank in Israel, ELEM/Youth in Distress.

MILTON COOPER

Funding areas: community, arts and culture, religious, Israel. Grant recipients include American Jewish Committee, American Israel Education Foundation, National Yiddish Theater Folksgbiene, several chabads. 

LEON & TOBY COOPERMAN

Funding areas include youth, community and Israel. Grantees have included Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ, Birthright Israel, American Jewish Committee, FIRST Israel, American Friends of Hebrew University.

ERIC & BARBARA DOBKIN

Funding areas: community, women, youth, education. Grantees and projects include Ma'yan, American Jewish World Service, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Communal Fund.

DAVID & CHERYL EINHORN

Education and youth are top giving areas. Largest grant recipients include Hillel and Birthright Israel Foundation. Other grantees include Solomon Schecter School of Westchester, American Jewish World Service, Union for Reform Judaism.  

WARREN & MITZI EISENBERG

Main funding areas: youth, community, religious, Israel. Grantees have included Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, Valley Chabad Friendship Circle, Jewish Federation of Central Jersey, UJA Federation of New York, Temple Emanu El, Friends of ELNET.

ISRAEL & CARYL ENGLANDER

Religious grantees include congregations in Brooklyn, Miami Beach, Providence and other cities. Education and other organizations supported include Yeshiva University, Yeshiva Heichal Hatorah, UJA Federation of New York, The Jewish Museum, Ahavas Chesed Fund.

LEONARD & SUSAN FEINSTEIN

Interests include Israel advocacy, health and human services. Grantees include: American Israel Education Foundation, American Friends of SHALVA-The Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (now Northwell Health), Jewish Museum.

ABEL & JUDY FRIEDMAN

Funding areas: community, education, Israel, health and human services. Focus on the Chicago area. Grantees include Moishe House (Chicago), Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Hillel International, American Friends of Magen David Adom.

STEPHEN & BARBARA FRIEDMAN

Funding areas: education, religious, women, other. Grantees include Cornell Hillel, USC Shoah Foundation, various synagogues, UJA Federation of New York, Jewish Women's Archive. 

MENDEL GOLD

Funding interests: religious, education, social. Grantees include Congregation Ahavas Tzedakah V'Chesed (Brooklyn, NY), Yeshiva Gedolah of Bridgeport, Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel.

DAVID & RUTH GOTTESMAN

Funding goes to Jewish education and youth, community organizations, congregations/synagogues, Jewish arts and culture. A portion of giving is New York-focused.

STEPHEN & NANCY GRAND

Funding interests: Israel, health, medical research, education, community. Grantees include American Technion Society, American Committee for Weizmann Institute of Science, American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

JOEL GREENBERG & MARCY GRINGLAS

Funding areas: educational access, advocacy and awareness. Grantees and projects include Seed the Dream Foundation, Migdal Ohr, StandWithUs, Yahad-In Unum, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia. 

HAROLD GRINSPOON & DIANE TRODERMAN

Funding areas: literacy and education, community. Some focus on Western Massachusetts and Vermont, but giving also national and to Israel. Grantees include PJ Library, Hebrew High School of New England, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. 

ROGER & SUSAN HERTOG

Gives for education, Israel advocacy, community and religious organizations. Hertog chairs Tikvah Fund. Grantees include American Friends of Bar-Ilan University, American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, Yivo Insitute of Jewish Research, synagogues, and Hazon.

RALPH & JUDY HERZKA

Funding areas: education, Israel, religious institutions. Grantees include Yeshiva Gedolah of Cliffwood, Yeshiva Karlin Stolin, Kollel Kaminetz; Congregation Toldos Tzvi, Congregation Ahavas Tzedakah Vachesed; Zichron Yosef, Zichron Ya'akav.

ALLAN & SHELLEY HOLT

Funding focus: culture and community, religious. Grantees include United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Defiant Requiem Foundation, Congregation B'nai Tzedek. 

JONATHAN & JOANNA JACOBSON

Funding areas include education and youth, community orgs, Israel advocacy, policy. Grantees in U.S. and Israel include Brandeis Univeristy, Tel Aviv University, American Israel Foundation, Jewish Big Brother & Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, and Birthright Israel Foundation. 

JOSEPH KANFER

Various funding interests. Focus on Ohio and New York. Partners and projects include Jewish Community Board of Akron, Matan B'Sayser, Joshua Venture Group, BimBam.   

HARVEY & GLORIA KAYLIE

Funding areas include youth, health and disabilities, social services, education, religious, Israel advocacy. Grantees include OHEL Children's Home and Family Services, Aleh Negev Foundation, Ezrat Israel, IDF IMPACT Program.

MORDECAI & MONIQUE KATZ

Focused on Jewish eduation institutions. Major grants have gone to Yeshiva University to fund graduate and professional programs in marketing, data science and cybersecurity, and to Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. Funds also go to day schools and high schools.

SETH & BETH KLARMAN

Support has gone to Jewish causes in Boston, elsewhere in the U.S. and internationally. Grantees include American Friends of Keshet Eilon, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston. 

JACK KLEIN

Funding areas: health, Israel, education and youth, community, religious. Supported organizations include NOGA Clinic, Shaare Zedek, Friends of Yemin Orde, Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco.  

ROBERT & ITA KLEIN

Funding areas include education, Torah education, youth, religious, community, human services, concentrating in the Cleveland area and New York City. Grantees include Mosdos Ohr Hatorah and Kollel Mechanchim, both in Ohio. Human service outfits include Matan B'Sayser, American Friends of Temech.

ELLY & BETH KLEINMAN

Funding interests: community, religious, education, Israel. Grantmaking focuses on Jewish community in the New York metro area, particularly Brooklyn. Backed the Kleinman Holocaust Education Center, Beth Medrash Govaha, Diaspora Yeshiva, OHEL Children's Home and Family Services. 

ROBERT & ARLENE KOGOD

Funding interests include education, youth, community, Israel, religious. Past grantees include American University-Kogod School of Business, Gesher Jewish Day School, Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, American Friends of IDF, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

EUGENE LERNER

Funding areas: education and youth, community, religious, Israel, health and human services. Grantees include Hillel, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Keshet, Chicago Board of Rabbis, New Israel Fund, Israel Cancer Research Fund.

WILLIAM & SUSAN LEVINE

Largest-ever funder of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ($25 million). The Phoenix-based family focuses on Jewish organizations and causes in Arizona and throughout the world.

RONALD & JO CAROLE LAUDER

Funding focus: Jewish youth in Europe. Grantees and programs include Jewish kindergartens in Europe, Lauder JOINT International Jewish Youth Camp in Hungary, Lauder Business School in Vienna, Council of Jews in Germany.

DAVID & DEBRA MAGERMAN

Funding areas include Jewish day schools, education. Created Kohelet Foundation to promote Jewish day schools, primarily in the Philadelphia area, but also in other states. Programs include Kohelet Fellowships Program and BOLD Day Schools.

MILTON & TAMAR MALTZ

Funds education, arts and culture, Israel advocacy, religious and community organizations. Support recipients include Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, American Israel Education Foundation, Friends of Israel Defense Forces, and congregations in Ohio, Florida and Arizona.

BERNARD & BILLI MARCUS

Funding areas: Israel advocacy and policy, community, education and youth, religious. Cofounder of Israel Democracy Institute. Other grantees include American Friends of Magen David Adom, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Foundation for Jewish Camp, Union for Reform Judaism.

DAVID & LAURA MERAGE

Funding interests: Israel, community, early childhood education, arts. Supported groups include Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, Anti-Defamation League, business and entrepreneurship groups in Israel.

LOWELL & LEAH MILKEN

Funding areas: education, cultural, Israel. Grantees and projects include Jewish Educator Awards, Milken Archive of Jewish Music, Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.

MICHAEL MILKEN & LORI ANNE HACKEL

Interests include health and human services, education and youth, cultural. Support recipients include Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Hadassah, Jewish Healing Center Los Angeles, American Jewish University. 

JACK & GOLDIE MILLER

Funding areas: Israel, Jewish identity, social welfare, other, with focus on the Chicago area. Grantees include Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living, American Israel Education Foundation, Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, IL, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

LARRY & CAROL MIZEL

Funding interests: education, arts and culture, religious. Support has gone to groups in Denver, Oklahoma and Los Angeles, including Flo and Morris Mizel Jewish Community Day School in Tulsa, Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Denver, Mizel Museum in Denver, Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.

HELEN NASH

Funding areas: education, health and human services, Israel, community. Grantees include Abraham Joshua Heschel School, Norwell Health, Shalem Foundation, Jewish Community Council of Canarsie.

JOSHUA & BETH NASH

Funding areas: education and youth, community, health, Israel, religious. Chairs Birthright Israel Foundation, KIVUNIM, American Jewish Committee, Sharsheret, American Friends of Ir David, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. 

YOUNES & SORAYA NAZARIAN

Education, policy, Israel advocacy, arts. Grantees include UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, the Soraya Sarah Nazarian Program in Fine Arts at American Jewish University, Technada Dorset Science & Technology Center, RAND Israel Project, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Hadassah.

DANIEL & JANE OCH

Funding areas: education, community, Israel, religious. Focus on the New York City area. Grantees have included Golda Och Academy, UJA Federation of New York, Birthright Israel, Jewish Theological Seminary. 

JOHN & JENNY PAULSON

Supports Jewish causes mostly in the U.S. Grantees include Chabad House on Wheels, temples/synagogues in California, Florida, Massachusetts and New York, the UJA Federation of New York, American Jewish Committee, Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education. 

ANDREW & SHANNON PENSON

Funding interests include youth, education, religious. Grantees have inlcuded several congregations, Beth Jacob Parochial School, Yashiva Bais Binyomin, Dallas Torah Institute, Heritage Retreats, Holy Woman Foundation.

RONALD O. PERELMAN & ANNA CHAPMAN

Funds health, Israel, religious, education, community. Supported groups include Princeton University (Jewish studies), Machne Israel, Ezer Mizion, American Friends of Hebrew University, World Jewish Congress.

STEVEN & TINA PRICE

Funding areas: education, youth, community, arts, Israel. Grantees include Hillel International, UJA Federation of New York, Museum of Jewish Heritage, National Yiddish Theater, Jewish Theological Seminary.

IRA & INGEBORG RENNERT

Main funding areas: Israel advocacy, education, Orthodox Jewish causes. Wife Ingeborg Hanna Rennert founded Women's Institute for Torah. Grantees include Yeshiva University, Bar Ilan University, Wiesel Center at Boston University, funded restoration of Jerusalem's Western Heritage Wall.

BARRY & MARILYN RUBENSTEIN

Funding areas: community, health, Israel, religious. Grantees include Yad Vashem, Temple Beth Sholom (Roslyn Heights, NY), Sid Jacobson JCC, USC Shoah Foundation.

AVI & BETTY RYZMAN

Funding interests: Israel, religious, education, community. Grantees include Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov-Ohr Eliyahu in Los Angeles, Chabad of Fairfax, Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Beach, Chabad of Northwest Arkansas, Central Fund of Israel.  

HAIM & CHERYL SABAN

Jewish causes include Israel defense and advocacy, policy and education. Grantees include Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, American Israel Education Foundation and Israel Emergency Alliance.

ARTHUR & REBECCA SAMBERG

Funding areas: education, youth, Israel, community. Grantees have included Birthright Israel Foundation, Big Tent Judaism,  Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.

JAY & JEANIE SCHOTTENSTEIN

Funding areas include education, community, cultural, historical conservation. Grantees include Yeshiva University, American Friends of Nishmat, American Friends of Migdal Ohr, Israel Antiquities Authority.

LYNN SCHUSTERMAN

Funding areas: education, youth, Israel. Supported groups and foundation projects include American Israel Education Foundation, Asylum Arts, B'nai B'rith International, ROI Community, REALITY, Connection Points.

DANIEL & DEBORAH SCHWARTZ

Funding interests include education, youth, Israel advocacy, health and human services. Grantees include Yeshiva University, Etzion Foundation, Ir David Foundation, Central Fund for Israel, Mount Sinai and Upper East Side Hatzolah.

DAVID & CINDY SHAPIRA

Funding areas: education and youth, community, Israel. Grantees include Hillel International, SAR Academy, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Onward Israel, American Pardes Foundation.

JOHN & SHONNI SHAPIRO

Funding interests: community and youth, religious, human services. Grantees include the Shapiro Family Fellowship at UJA Federation of New York, American Jewish Committee, Hiddush-Freedom of Religion for Israel, Kemp Hill Synagogue. 

STEVEN & KATE SPIELBERG

Funding areas: arts, culture and media, service and social justice, Holocaust education and survivor aid. Grantees and projects include Righteous Persons Foundation, Jewish New Media Innovation Fund, USC Shoah Foundation, Fund for Coexistence.

MICHAEL & JUDY STEINHARDT

Funding areas: Israel, Jewish youth and community, religious. Grantees include Hebrew Language Charter Schools, Areivim Hebrew at Camp Program; co-founder and major supporter of Birthright Israel.

JEROME & ELLEN STERN

Funding areas: education, arts and culture, health, religious. Groups supported include Bar-Ilan University, Israel Children's Center, American Friends of Bible Lands, American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Palm Beach Synagogue.

SIDNEY & JUDITH SWARTZ

Supports education, Israel advocacy, religious and community organizations, in the Boston area and in Israel. Grantees include American Israel Education Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, PEF Israel Endowment Fund, and $50 million to create an emergency medical center at Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.

TAD TAUBE

Various interests, including education, religious. Grantees include Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jewish organizations in the Bay Area and in Israel. Funded Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford.

LEON WAGNER

Funding areas: community, Holocaust remembrance, education, youth, religious, Israel. Grantees include American Friends of SHALVA, USC Shoah Foundation, Chabad of Hyde Park, Am Yisrael Foundation.

LESLIE & ABIGAIL WEXNER

Interests involve leadership development, education and community. Funds the Wexner Graduate Fellowships, Wexner Heritage Program, Wexner Heritage Village in Ohio, and other Jewish organizations in Ohio.

MARK & JANE WILF

Funding areas: education, community, Israel, religious, Holocaust remembrance. Grantees include Golda Ochs Academy, Yad Vashem, Princeton University.

ZYGMUNT & AUDREY WILF

Funding areas: education, community, Israel, religious, Holocaust remembrance. Grantees have included Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, USC Shoah Foundation, Congregation Etz Chaim.

GARY & KAREN WINNICK

Funding areas: education, community, Israel. Organizations supported include Hillel, Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, KOREH L.A., American Friends of Hebrew University.

HOWARD & MARCIE ZELIKOW

Interests include education and Jewish service outfits, many in Los Angeles. Grants have gone to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. In Israel, grantees include Friends of Yemin Orde. 

SAM & HELEN ZELL

Funding areas: education and youth, Israel, human services. Grantees include Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, American Friends of IDC (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), Yad Yisroel. 

Leon Wagner

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Real Estate 

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Community, Holocaust Remembrance, Education, Youth, Religious, Israel

OVERVIEW: Leon Wagner and family move their philanthropy through the Wagner Family Foundation, which gives in the neighborhood of $1 million annually. The Wagner family's support of the Jewish community focuses on metro New York, and to a lesser extent on Florida and Los Angeles. The family's grantmaking also involves outfits that work for/in Israel. 

BACKGROUND: Leon Wagner keeps a low profile. He's the son of the late Rubin Wagner, a major property developer in New York.

FUNDING PROFILE: Leon Wagner and his brother Harry are the sons of Rubin Wagner, a major property developer in New York, and Sima Wagner. Rubin's parents both passed in the Holocaust. Rubin himself survived the war in concentration camps, often working as a barber, before being liberated in 1945. Rubin set sail for the U.S. in 1949, and in the 1950s worked as a barber again. He went on to cofound Ripley Associates and Forest Green and developed many properties, at one time becoming a large landowner in Huntington, New York. 

The family's fraught days in WWII Europe help inform the Wagner family's giving through their Wagner Family Foundation, which steadily makes grants to Jewish organizations. Of late, big winners include American Friends of SHALVA, which supports the SHALVA National Children's Center; USC Shoah Foundation Institute; and UJA Federation. Unsurprisingly, Holocaust remembrance is an interest, and apart from USC Shoah, the Wagners have also supported places like US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

The Wangers have also helped fund community organizations like Chabad of Hyde Park, Chabad of Lithuania, Chabad of Stony Brook, Jewish Museum, Sid Jacobson JCC, and JCC In Manhattan. They've also supported synagogues like Sutton Place Synagogue and Park Avenue Synagogue, as well as National Board of Rabbis.

Other grantees include schools like The Abraham Joshua Heschel School and human services outfits like The Hebrew Home at Riverdale Foundation. The family has also supported organizations that work for/in Israel, including Friends of Israel Defense Forces, and Am Yisrael Foundation, which "champions the young leader as pioneer- advancing Observant Zionism as a fundamental force for the development of the Jewish People and Land of Israel."

In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $1.2 million. Annual grantmaking has been in this range of late. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this funder to stick with their select interest areas. 

CONTACT:

The Wagner Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

The Wagner Family Foundation, Inc.

325 Columbia Tpke., Ste. 202
Florham Park, NJ 07932 

Sam Zell

NET WORTH: $4.9 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Equity Group Investments (EGI)

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Israel, Human Services, Community  

OVERVIEW: Sam Zell, his wife Helen, and family move their philanthropy through the Zell Family Foundation. The foundation gave away some $22 million in a recent year. The Zells' support of the Jewish community includes the Zell Entrepreneurship Program at IDC Herzliya, a university in Israel. The family is also interested in Holocaust remembrance and support for Jews in the former Soviet Union. 

BACKGROUND: Sam Zell graduated from University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree and a J.D. In 1976, he founded Equity Group Investments (EGI). The company and its partners amassed the country’s largest collection of U.S. office space, mostly by identifying opportunities that other investors had overlooked. 

FUNDING PROFILE: The Zell Foundation was founded and is currently run by billionaire entrepreneur Sam Zell and his wife, Helen, the foundation’s executive director. The charity is rather active but keeps a low profile and a minimal web presence. The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. In a recent tax year, the foundation gave away some $22 million and held around $142 million in assets. Zell's grantmaking strongly involves alma mater University of Michigan. Other interests include entrepreneurship, education and performing arts. 

Each year, the foundation also supports a select number of Jewish organizations. The forces here are personal, as Zell's parents, Bernard and Rochelle Zell, fled Poland in the late 1930s, eventually settling in the Midwest where they became prominent figures in the local Jewish community. The Chicago area is home to the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and the Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, both of which Zell and Helen steadily support via the family foundation. Other education and youth grantees have included National Ramah Commission, University of Michigan Hillel, Jewish Student Connection, and Birthright Israel. The Zells, as well, have steadily supported the Boulder JCC Preschool Program.

The Zells strongly fund American Friends of IDC, which supports Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, "Israel’s first non-government funded university." The institution is home to the Zell Entrepreneurship Program, which "gives students an opportunity to implement advanced entrepreneurial studies in the creation of real business ventures." Entrepreneurship is of particular interest to this funder, and Zell has funded similar efforts at his alma mater. 

The family also has supported Holocaust remembrance, sending funds to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. Religious organizations like Jewish Theological Seminary and Wood River Jewish Community, have been supported too. 

Another important grantee is Yad Yisroel, which received a $3.5 million gift in a single year last decade. Yad Yisroel is "dedicated to the revival of Jewish life in the former Soviet Union, as well as assisting former Soviet Jewry wherever they may be." 

LOOKING FORWARD: The Zells seem to give to a similar batch of grantees annually, making it tough for newcomers to get this funder's attention. However, with billions on hand, the Zells should stay on grantseekers' radar.  

CONTACT: 

The Zell Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is address and phone: 

Zell Family Foundation

2 N. Riverside Plz., Ste. 600
Chicago, IL  60606
Telephone: (312) 466-3852

LINK:

Equity Group Investments (EGI)

Joel Greenberg

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Susquehanna International Group

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Educational Access, Advocacy & Awareness

OVERVIEW: Joel Greenberg and his wife Marcy Gringlas established the Seed the Dream Foundation, which is focused on educational access, awareness and advocacy. The foundation's three initiatives support Jewish educational causes, with an interest in Israel and Holocaust awareness. Greenberg sits on the board of Hillel International.

BACKGROUND: Joel Greenberg is a founder of Susquehanna International Group, a global quantitative trading firm headquartered in the Philadelphia area. 

ISSUES:

EDUCATIONAL ACCESS: Seed the Dream Foundation lists three initiatives: educational access, educational advocacy, and educational awareness. Via these focuses, the foundation supports Jewish educational causes. The eductional access area centers on underserved populations in the United States, Israel and Africa. While much of this work takes place outside the Jewish community, Seed the Dream has supported places like Leo Baeck Education Center. A grant given by the foundation went towards launch of the first KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) network of schools in Israel. Another grantee is Migdal Ohr, which "provides quality education and social guidance to children from underprivileged and troubled homes across Israel." 

EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY: Seed the Dream's Educational Advocacy initiative "funds programs that educate about, advocate for, and promote life-long connections to Israel." Seed the Dream is involved with Birthright Israel, and the Birthright Israel Enhancement Collaborative Program (BICEP). Other support includes StandWithUs, an "international non-profit organization that supports, educates and advocates, for Israel around the world and across college campuses," Gershman Y’s Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, and Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Israel 360 Program, which sends "young professionals on a 10-day Israel experience with pre-and post-trip programming."

EDUCATIONAL AWARENESS: Seed the Dream also "supports programs and organizations dedicated to preserving the memory of victims, disseminating knowledge of the Holocaust to future generations, and providing assistance to victims of discrimination." The foundation supports outfits like Yahad-In Unum, a Paris-based organization dedicated to identifying and documenting sites of mass executions of Jews in Eastern Europe during World War II, and recording interviews of eyewitnesses to these crimes; and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia’s program to provide increased home care needs for aging Holocaust survivors. The foundation also established Cuba’s first permanent Holocaust exhibit. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Greenberg, Marcy and the young Seed the Dream Foundation should be watched for greater giving in the coming years, particularly in the realm of Jewish education. For a complete overview of this funder read our Wall Street profile of Joel Greenberg

LINK:

Seed the Dream Foundation

Application Page

Contact Page

David Shapira

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Giant Eagle

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Community, Israel 

OVERVIEW: David Shapira, his wife Cindy and family move their philanthropy through the David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation, which "invests in organizations and programs that demonstrate real and meaningful positive impact on the formation of strong Jewish identities and attachment to Israel for large numbers of young Jews." The foundation applies an entrepreneurial approach in its philanthropy. 

BACKGROUND: David Shapira, a Pittsburgh native, attended Oberlin College and received a master's degree in economics from Stanford University. Shapira joined supermarket chain Giant Eagle in 1970, a company co-founded by his grandfather, and was later named president, CEO and chairman. Shapira stepped away from day-to-day operations of the company in 2013.  

ISSUES: 

EDUCATION & YOUTH: David and Cindy Shapira are on the board of governors of Hillel International. Cindy is also a trustee of Brandeis University. The Shapiras via their foundation have strongly supported Hillel International, and currently focus on an effort called Comprehensive Excellence. They are also currently focused on the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative, a program supported by the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. It's worth noting that Shapira's late first wife Karen was active in the Jewish community and was a longtime president of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh.

Other grantees have included Brandeis University, Community Day School of Pittsburgh, Hebrew Charter School Center, SAR Academy and Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. 

COMMUNITY: Apart from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the family via their foundation has also supported outfits like Areivim Philanthropic Group, a "unique entrepreneurial consortium of major North American philanthropists who are committed to developing and supporting broad-reaching transformational projects and ideas that will significantly impact the next generations in Jewish life;" Jewish Funders Network; and Judaism and Democracy Alliance of North America. 

ISRAEL: The Shapira Foundation's grantmaking also involves outfits that work for/in Israel. The foundation supports Onward Israel, a program for Jewish young adults. Other grantees have included American Pardes Foundation, which supports the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Israel Venture Network Tandem Fund, and Tal Torah Foundation, an educational outfit with which Shapira's daughter Deborah has been involved. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Shapiras to stick with their established interest areas. 

LINK:

David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation

Current Projects

Contact Page

Joseph Kanfer

NET WORTH: Unknown 

SOURCE OF WEALTH: GOJO Industries

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Various

OVERVIEW: Joseph Kanfer is a founding director of Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation, which supports Jewish life in areas where Kanfer family members live, particularly Ohio. The family also moves philanthropy through the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. Joseph Kanfer is active in Jewish civic life and is the past chair of JFNA/The Jewish Federations of North America, among other commitments. 

BACKGROUND: Joseph Kanfer received his B.S. in economics from Wharton and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Kanfer is chairman and CEO of GOJO Industries, the global leader in skin health and hygiene solutions for away-from-home markets and the inventor of PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer. He also is a venture investor in the United States and Israel. 

FUNDING PROFILE:

LIPPMAN KANFER FAMILY FOUNDATION: Goldie and the late Jerry Lippman z”l originally established the Jerome Lippman Family Foundation in the 1960s to primarily support Akron-based Jewish organizations. Through the years, nephew Joseph Kanfer became increasingly involved with the family business, as well as on the philanthropic end. The foundation is now steered by Kanfer and other second and third generation family members. 

The Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation has a strong web presence, but does not accept unsolicited proposals. The foundation supports select projects that support the Jewish community where Kanfer and other family members live, more specifically Cleveland, OH, Brooklyn, NY, and Chautauqua, NY. Partners and projects include The Jewish Community Board of Akron (JCBA), The Lippman School, Luria Academy and Anshe Sfard Congregation. 

Recently, the foundation also initiated a new program where family members research a particular societal problem and then engage in grantmaking. The foundation's first focus was on poverty and hunger and its second is climate change. As it relates to the Jewish community, one grantee was Matan B’Sayser, which provides support to Cleveland’s neediest Jewish residents. 

LIPPMAN KANFER FOUNDATION FOR LIVING TORAH: Kanfer and family also move philanthropy through the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. The foundation "promotes and supports 'Living Torah' — Judaism as a powerful, evolving wellspring of accumulating wisdom and sensibilities that enriches people’s lives and helps create a better world." Partners and projects the foundation supports include Hillel, where Kanfer sits on the board; Joshua Venture Group, which "invests in leaders with unique ideas that they believe will significantly impact the Jewish world;" and BimBam, a new media production company that makes animations, apps, and web experiences with a mission of Jewish literacy and meaningful Jewish screen time. The foundation also recently launched the Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom

LOOKING FORWARD: Kanfer and family have shown a willingness to change their philanthropic approaches through the years, but expect the family's commitment to the Jewish community to hold. 

LINK:

Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation

Recent Work

Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah

Recent Work

Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom

Abel Friedman

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Batory Foods

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Community, Education, Israel, Health and Human Services

OVERVIEW: Abel Friedman and his wife Judy move their philanthropy through the Abel and Judy Friedman Charitable Foundation. The couple's support of the Jewish community heavily involves the Chicago area. Other areas of interest include education, where Abel Friedman is on the board of governors of Hillel International. The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals.

BACKGROUND: Abel Friedman fled Poland with his family in 1938, at the start of World War II. In 1979, he founded Chicago Sweeteners (now Batory Foods). 

ISSUES:

COMMUNITY: The Friedmans are based in the Chicago area, and support the Jewish community in the region. They're strongly involved with the Moishe House Chicago, which "builds a diverse, progressive, and inclusive community in an egalitarian Jewish context that is committed to working towards a more just society." The Friedmans have also supported outfits like United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Illinois Holocaust Museum, The Chicago Board of Rabbis, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago.

EDUCATION: Friedman is on the board of governors of Hillel International, which the family has strongly supported via their foundation. They've also given especially strong support to Louis and Saerree Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern. Another grantee: Chicagoland Jewish High School.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: The couple has steadily given funds to American Friends of Magen David Adom, which supports the MDA emergency medical, ambulance, blood and disaster services. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this Chicagoland couple to continue focusing much of their support of the Jewish community on their home region.

CONTACT:

The Abel and Judy Friedman Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact, but below is an address:

Abel and Judy Friedman Charitable Foundation
4231 W. Grove St.
Skokie, IL 60076

LINK:

Len Blavatnik

NET WORTH: $15.7 Billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Access Industries (Industrialist)

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Higher Education, Science Research, Arts & Culture, Israel

OVERVIEW: Len Blavatnik makes gifts through the Blavatnik Family Foundation, though the charity keeps a low profile and doesn't even appear to release tax records. Blavatnik's gifts can be large, and include support of education and Israel. He also established a Jewish cultural nonprofit and moves philanthropy though a more locally-focused charity. 

BACKGROUND: Born in Ukraine in 1957 and raised in Moscow, Len Blavatnik received a bachelor's degree from Moscow State University, an M.S. from Columbia University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Blavatnik made sharp investments in post-Soviet aluminum and energy companies and earned a fortune.  He's the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held industrial group through which he controls his holdings. 

FUNDING PROFILE: Billionaire couple Len Blavatnik and his wife Emily have given big gifts to the Jewish community via their Blavatnik Family Foundation. The couple takes up residence in several different countries, which perhaps explains why the Blavatnik Family Foundation does not appear on the Foundation Center. This makes the full scope of this family's giving difficult to get a handle on. As well, there don't appear to be any clear ways for grantseekers to contact the charity. 

The foundation has made high-profile gifts to Harvard, Oxford and New York Academy of Sciences. In the Jewish community, in 2014 the couple via their foundation made a $20 million gift to Tel Aviv University in Israel to create the Blavatnik Initiative, a "multiyear program focused on interdisciplinary scientific research, student film production, and faculty recruitment."  

The gift had several components. It helped create the Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery, which aims to "equip, man and operate a state-of-the-art core laboratory that will serve dozens of drug research groups across the TAU campus, as well as from other Israeli research institutions, at a critical stage in their research." The Blavatnik Computer Science Research Fund aims to "support and promote advanced computer science research at the Blavatnik School of Computer Science. Other components of the gift include the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center and the Blavatnik Student Film Production Fund. 

Blavatnik also sponsors a Colel Chabad food bank and warehouse in Kiryat Malakhi, Israel, which sends food shipments to thousands of poor families.

Len Blavatnik also founded the Blavatnik Archive, a nonprofit "dedicated to the discovery and preservation of historically distinctive and visually compelling artifacts, images and stories that contribute to the study of 20th century Jewish, WWI and WWII history." The organization's holdings total some 90,000 physical and digital assets, including archival photographs, letters, documents and ephemera, and contemporary oral testimonies. 

Blavatnik and Emily also move some of their philanthropy through the Provident Foundation, an under the radar charity which supports a number of arts and culture outfits in New York City. Tax records (they are on hand this time), though, do reveal support of Jewish outfits like American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic and ELEM/Youth in Distress, which deals with youth welfare in Israel.  

LOOKING FORWARD: Blavatnik is still young and very much engaged in business, but with billions on hand, he's someone who grantseekers should watch in coming years. Hopefully his charities will be more accessible and transparent down the line. 

CONTACT:

Provident Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for contact but below is an address:

Provident Foundation
67 Mason St.
Greenwich, CT 06830  

 

LINK:

Blavatnik Archive

Access Industries

Harold Grinspoon

NET WORTH: $500 million estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Aspen Square Management (Real estate)

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Literacy & Education, Community 

OVERVIEW: Harold Grinspoon and his wife Diane Troderman are Giving Pledge signatories whose philanthropy focuses on the Jewish community in Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, as well as nationally and in Israel. A key program provides families with free, high-quality children's books, music and other resources that foster Jewish learning. The foundation has a strong web presence with clear grant guidelines. 

BACKGROUND: Harold Grinspoon grew up in the 1930s in a poor family outside of Boston. He eventually founded the Massachusetts-headquartered Aspen Square Management, a private real estate company which operates over ninety communities in fourteen states around the country. 

HAROLD GRINSPOON FOUNDATION: In the couple's Giving Pledge letter, Grinspoon describes his relationship with his Jewish heritage. His family was secular, but Grinspoon was often reminded of his Jewish heritage as he faced antisemitism in school. He credits others in the community for galvanizing his own philanthropy years ago: "Twenty-five years ago, I had cancer of the tongue and came to the realization at that time that life is about more than making money. I started to think about what my legacy would be. Inspired by my wife, Diane Troderman, and my friends, Michael Steinhardt, Rabbi Irving Greenberg, and Jeremy Pava, I began to explore my Jewish roots."

Critical to the family's philanthropy is the idea that, as Grinspoon puts it, "among younger Jews... our newfound social acceptance has led to a decreased connection with their Jewish heritage...This trend is of great concern to me because it poses a threat to the Jewish future." 

Grinspoon and Diane give generously to Jewish causes through the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). HGF makes grants in Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, as well as nationally and in Israel. The foundation also runs flagship programs. One of these, PJ Library, provides free, high-quality children's books, music, and other resources that foster Jewish learning and "create a gateway for deeper engagement in Jewish life." The program is active in more than 165 North American communities, and is also expanding into Israel. The forces behind PJ Library are in part personal as Grinspoon had dyslexia-based reading difficulties as a youth. 

In Western Massachusetts, Grinspoon and Diane via their foundation provide funding for operating costs to Jewish day schools, including Hebrew High School of New England and Lander Grinspoon Academy. The foundation is also strongly involved with The Resource Center for Jewish Education (RCJE), and funds arts and culture, the local JCC, and the Jewish Federations of Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires.

Nationally, grantees have included Birthright Israel, Hillel, Foundation for Jewish Camp, and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Grinspoon is a pioneer in expanding and upgrading Jewish summer camping and another foundation program, JCamp 180 seeks to "sustain and strengthen Jewish camps in North America."

In Israel, meanwhile, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation established an Israel-based foundation, Keren Grinspoon Israel, which operates Sifriyat Pijama, a spinoff of the PJ Library program.

LOOKING FORWARD: Grinspoon daughter-in-law Winnie Sandler Grinspoon assumed the role of president of the foundation a few years ago and is a key person to watch.

LINK:

Harold Grinspoon Foundation

What We Do

Contact Page

Mark Wilf

NET WORTH: $1.3 billion estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Garden Homes Development; Minnesota Vikings

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Community, Israel, Religious, Holocaust Remembrance 

OVERVIEW: Mark Wilf and his wife Jane support the Jewish community via their Mark and Jane Wilf Family Foundation, founded last decade. The Wlifs also give in conjunction with other Wilf family members through several charities that strongly support the Jewish community in the United States and Israel. Mark and Jane sit on the board of governors of Hillel International and key on Jewish education. 

BACKGROUND: Mark earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and later graduated from New York University School of Law before becoming a principal in the family business, Garden Homes Development. Wilf is also president and owner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. 

FUNDING PROFILE: When Mark Wilf was in his early 20s, he accompanied his father Joseph to Poland and Russia. Wilf describes the powerful experience, "The two weeks were an eye-opener. I knew my parents were survivors, but I didn't know many of the specifics. I was struck by the fact that there were no Jews left in their towns, despite the fact that they had previously been thriving centers of Jewish life. At that moment, I became determined to spare no effort to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish people."

Wilf and his wife Jane support the Jewish community via their Mark and Jane Wilf Foundation. The foundation's grantmaking doesn't only go to the Jewish community, but they've supported Jewish-oriented outfits like Golda Och Academy, Simon Wiesenthal Center, American Friends of Jordan River, Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education in Ohio, Kushner Hebrew Academy, and Vanderbilt Hillel. The Wilfs are strongly supportive of Holocaust remembrance outfits and the family are among the largest financial supporters of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and research center in Israel.

Wilf is a trustee of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and was appointed by JFNA to lead an initiative that addresses needs of impoverished Holocaust survivors living in the United States. Wilf and Jane sit also on the board of governors of Hillel International. Though not an alum, Wilf also recently joined the board of Vanderbilt University.

Meanwhile, Wilf's alma mater Princeton is another important site of philanthropy. The couple gave a $5 million gift last decade to fund the construction of Wilf Hall, a new dormitory in Butler College, and to establish the Jane and Mark Wilf ’84 and Wilf Family Fund for Jewish Life to support programming in the Center for Jewish Life (CJL). The couple continues to support Princeton via their foundation.

Mark Wilf also gives in conjunction with other family members, including his father Joseph and older brother Zygi. (Read our profiles of Zygi Wilf and Joseph Wilf for a full overview of this family's extensive philanthropy.)

LOOKING FORWARD: The younger Wilf brother should be watched carefully in the coming decades for continued steady support of the Jewish community. 

CONTACT:

Mark Wilf does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below are addresses:

The Mark and Jane Wilf Family Foundation
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092
 
Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102

Mountainside, NJ 07092

Wilf Family Foundation

820 Morris Tpke.
Short Hills, NJ 07078

The Wilf Family Education Foundation Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092 

Wilf Family Foundation

Zygmunt Wilf

NET WORTH: $1.3 billion estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Garden Homes Development; Minnesota Vikings

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Community, Israel, Religious, Holocaust Remembrance 

OVERVIEW: Zygmunt Wilf supports the Jewish community through several charitable vehicles. Some of these he steers with his brother Mark, father Joseph and other family members. He also modestly supports the Jewish community via a family foundation he runs with his wife Audrey, a film producer. Wilf is on the board of American Society for Yad Vashem and actively supports the work of Shoah Foundation and Holocaust education programs.

BACKGROUND: Zygmunt "Zygi" Wilf immigrated with his family to the United States in the early 1950s and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. Wilf later graduated from New York Law School. Wilf joined the family business Garden Homes Development, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development. Wilf is also the chairman and an owner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.  

FUNDING PROFILE: Wilf and his wife Audrey modestly support the Jewish community via their Zygmunt & Audrey Wilf Foundation, which gave a little over $800,000 in a recent year. The foundation's grantmaking focuses on New York and New Jersey, and does not specifically key on on Jewish outfits. However, the couple, via this charity, have modestly supported outfits like Yeshiva University, UJA-Federation of New York, USC Shoah Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, Congregation Israel of Springfield, and Meor Heritage Retreats, whose aim is to inpsire, educate and empower  "a new generation of Jewish leaders on America's leading campuses."

Wilf is on the board of American Society for Yad Vashem and actively supports the work of Shoah Foundation and the Holocaust education programs. These forces are personal, as his parents Joseph and Elizabeth, are Holocaust survivors. 

Wilf is also a trustee of Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, a charity named for him, his brother Mark and late brother Sidney Wilf. This well endowed foundation held more than $141 million in assets in a recent year, and gave away some $5.2 million. The Wilfs, via this foundation, have given particularly large sums to Yeshiva University, Golda Och Academy (home to the Wilf Lower School Campus), and Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. Other grantees have included Hillel, Congregation Etz Chaim and American Israel Education Foundation.

Another vehicle, the Wilf Family Foundation supports a range of Jewish causes. Zygi Wilf is the vice president and a trustee, which supports education and youth, community organizations, and more. (For a thorough overview of the Wilf Family Foundation's grantmaking, read our profile of patriarch Joseph Wilf.)

LOOKING FORWARD: Wilf and family are running a robust philanthropic operation. Expect them to continue to support the Jewish community at all levels. 

CONTACT:

Zygi Wilf does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with his foundations but below are addresses:

Zygmunt & Audrey Wilf Foundation
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092
Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102

Mountainside, NJ 07092

Wilf Family Foundation

820 Morris Tpke.
Short Hills, NJ 07078

The Wilf Family Education Foundation Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092 

 

LINK:

Skyline Developers

Zygi Wilf Minnesota Vikings Page

Joseph Wilf

NET WORTH: Unknown 

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Garden Homes Development

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Israel, Community, Religious, Holocaust Remembrance

OVERVIEW: Patriarch of the Wilf family, Joseph Wilf moves his philanthropy though several foundations that are steered by Wilf, his sons and other Wilf family members. Wilf is chairman of one of the largest entities, the Wilf Family Foundation, which supports a range of Jewish causes and has distributed more than $200 million to the Jewish community and Israel over the past five decades. Wilf and his late brother Harry were among the original founders of the American Society for Yad Vashem.

BACKGROUND: When World War II broke out, Joseph Wilf, his siblings Harry and Bella, together with their parents, were deported to a Siberian labor camp. Wilf immigrated to the United States in 1950. In 1954, Joseph Wilf and his late brother Harry established Garden Homes Inc., a real estate development company in New Jersey. 

ISSUES:

EDUCATION & YOUTH: Joseph Wilf and family via the Wilf Family Foundation have given Yeshiva University in New York millions of dollars. The university is home to the Wilf Campus. Last decade alone, the Wilf Family Foundation gave the institution at least $8 million. Wilf was once vice chairman of the board of trustees of Yeshiva University and together with Harry endowed a major need-based scholarship fund for students at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women. 

The Wilfs also have a strong connection to Golda Och Academy, home to the Wilf Lower School Campus. Other grantees have included Rabbinical College of America, Torah Academy of Minneapolis and Rutgers Hillel. Note that Wilf is a trustee of another Wilf charitable vehicle called the The Wilf Family Education Foundation. "Education" here doesn't just mean schools, though grantees have included Jewish Educational Center, a yeshiva school located in New Jersey. The Wilfs have also given particularly large sums to youth outfits like Birthright Israel. 

COMMUNITY: Joseph Wilf is on the executive committee of American Society for Yad Vashem, which supports Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Wilf's nephew Leonard chairs the organization and Wilf and his brother Harry helped found it. Overall, the Wilfs are strongly supportive of Holocaust remembrance. Wilf is a founder of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Kean University Holocaust Resource Center. The Wilfs have also given support to LA Museum of the Holocaust. 

Wilf once described his early exposure to antisemitism: "There were only two Jews in my class in high school. We were totally isolated from the rest of the students. We were not allowed to participate in sports, no one ever talked to us and the teachers were distant. It was as if there was an organized boycott against the Jews." 

Community organizations the Wilfs have supported include Jewish Agency for Israel, which "connects the global Jewish family, brings Jews to Israel, and Israel to Jews, by providing meaningful Israel engagement and facilitating Aliyah"; Jewish Community Center; Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ; Jewish Museum; Sabes Jewish Community Center in Minneapolis; and United Jewish Appeal, the recipient of millions.

RELIGIOUS:  The Wilfs have supported Congregation Bais Yisroel, an Orthodox synagogue in Minneapolis; Sutton Place Synagogue; and Park East Synagogue, among others. 

LOOKING FORWARD: In his 90s, Joseph Wilf is still engaged in business and civic life, as he's been for decades. The Wilf Family Foundation alone held nearly $115 million in assets in a recent year. This is a wealthy family to continue to watch carefully as it moves into the next generation.

CONTACT:

Joseph Wilf does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with his foundations but below are addresses:

Wilf Family Foundation

820 Morris Tpke.
Short Hills, NJ 07078

Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, Inc.

200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092

The Wilf Family Education Foundation Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092

LINK:

Robert M. Beren

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH:  Beren Corporation (oil)

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Community, Religious

OVERVIEW: Robert Beren sits on the board of governors of Hillel, and is a staunch supporter of Jewish Orthodox education. Beren helped create Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston. Beren directs his philanthropy through several under-the-radar charities, mainly to Jewish causes. Kansas, Texas and Florida serve as important regions of giving. 

BACKGROUND: Robert M. Beren graduated from Harvard in 1947, and from its business school in 1950. The Beren family’s history in the U.S. began in the early 1900s in Kansas, where the family owned an oil company. By the 1960s, Beren and his late brother Sheldon founded an outgrowth of the company, known as the Beren Corporation. 

ISSUES: 

EDUCATION & YOUTH: Beren's late uncle Israel Henry Beren was an advocate of Yeshiva University, home to the Israel Henry Beren Campus. As well, Beren's late brother Sheldon championed Orthodox Jewish education, and served as president of the National Society of Hebrew Day Schools. Beren, meanwhile, though the Robert M. Beren Foundation and Israel Henry Beren Charitable Trust, also supports Jewish education. He has supported Hillel International, as well as Harvard Hillel and other chapters. Beren is on the board of governors of Hillel International.

Other grantees have included Yeshiva University, Robert M. Beren Academy (which Beren helped create), Sinai Akiba Academy, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, Emory University (Institute for the Study of Modern Israel), and Padres Institute of Jewish Studies North America. Beren also supports Jewish camps and youth outfits via his foundations like Foundation for Jewish Camp, Boys Town Jerusalem, and Camp Ramah in California.

COMMUNITY: Beren has strongly supported Jewish Communal Fund, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, and JDC (American Joint Distribution Committee). Other grantees have included Ohr Torah Stone, Anti-Defamation League, Jewish National Fund and United States Holocaust Museum.

RELIGIOUS: Grantees have included Palm Beach Orthodox Synagogue and Hebrew Congregation.

ISRAEL: Funds for outfits that work in/for Israel have gone to American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, American Friends of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF).

LOOKING FORWARD: Beren's son, Adam, who followed in the family footsteps in oil, recently started a low-profile foundation that supports the Jewish community. Adam via his foundation has directed six-figure grants to PEF Israel Endowment Funds, for instance. Expect plenty more Beren money to flow to these causes in the next generation. 

CONTACT:

Robert Beren's foundations do not provide a clear avenue of contact but below are addresses:

Robert M. Beren Foundation, Inc.
2020 N. Bramblewood St.
Wichita, KS United States 67206 

Israel Henry Beren Charitable Trust
2020 N. Bramblewood St.
Wichita, KS United States 67206  

Harvey Beker

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Millburn Ridgefield Corporation 

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Medicine, Community Organizations

OVERVIEW: Harvey Beker, his wife Jayne and family move their philanthropy through the Beker Foundation, established in 1984. The foundation funds educational, medical, and community organizations in the Jewish community. The Bekers support Jewish education at all levels, and Beker is on Hillel International's board of governors. The couple's philanthropy focuses on the Northeast, especially New York and Massachusetts. 

BACKGROUND: Harvey Beker received a bachelor's in economics from New York University in 1974, and an MBA in finance from NYU in 1975. Beker was employed at Loeb Rhoades, Inc. where he developed and traded silver arbitrage strategies. He went on to Millburn Ridgefield Corporation, where he served as co-chairman. 

ISSUES:

EDUCATIONAL: Beker sits on the board of governors of Hillel International, an outfit the family supports steadily. Other grantees in higher education include Brandeis University and Yeshiva University. The couple has also supported Jewish day schools like Gann Academy in Massachusetts, Ramaz School in Manhattan, and SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY. Another area of interest is Jewish camps. Grantees have included Foundation for Jewish Camp and JCC Camp Kingswood. The couple is committed to Jewish education at all levels.

MEDICINE: Grantees have included Riverdale Hatzalah and American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

COMMUNITY: Support goes to a range of Jewish community and human service organizations. Especially strong support has gone to UJA-Federation. Human services outfits include Hebrew Home at Riverdale Foundation, Jewish Family & Children's Services, Riverdale Jewish Center, and Bris Avrohom, which was established to help Russian Jewish immigrants. Other grantees include Center for Jewish History, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Chabad Jewish Center. 

ISRAEL: The family earmarks funds for outfits that work for/in Israel. Grantees include American Friends of the Israel Museum, American Friends of Dental Volunteers for Israel, Central Fund for Israel, and Shalem Foundation. At the start of the decade, the Bekers via their foundation gave a $1 million gift to the Shalem Center to help start Shalem College, Israel’s first liberal arts college.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Bekers to continue supporting the Jewish community, with particular focus on the Northeast and Jewish educational institutions. The couple's children play a role in the foundation, and have ties to the Boston area. 

CONTACT:

The Beker Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is contact information:

The Beker Foundation

1270 Ave. of the Americas, 11th Fl.
New York City, NY 10020
Telephone: 2123327350 

LINK:

Millburn Ridgefield Corporation

Mendel Gold

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Real Estate

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Religious, Education, Social 

OVERVIEW: Mendel Gold moves his philanthropy through the Mendel Family Foundation, an under-the-radar vehicle which does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. The outfit was formed to support social, religious and educational organizations, with particular focus on the Jewish community. Gold's philanthropy concentrates on the Northeast.

BACKGROUND: Mendel Gold is a low-profile real estate businessman associated with such companies as Ridge Realty Holding Corp. 

ISSUES:

RELIGIOUS:  Gold, via his foundation, has given especially strong support to Congregation Ahavas Tzedakah V'Chesed in Brooklyn, New York. Other grantees have included Aish International, a Jewish outreach organization started in 1974 in Jerusalem by Rabbi Noah Weinberg; Chasdei Moshe; and Ohr Vadaath.

EDUCATION: Gold has supported outfits like Maryland Hillel, Yeshiva Gedolah of Bridgeport, Menucha Chesed Services (which works in special education), and Connections Israel, an outfit that supports the IDF.

SOCIAL: Gold also supports outfits that work in health and human services. Grantees have included Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel, Central Fund of Israel,  as well as Tomche Shabbos (Tomchei Shabbos) Of Rockland County, which helps feed poor and low income families in the greater Monsey, NY, area. Another important grantee here is Maharitz Dushinsky Charitable. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Because Gold keeps such a low profile, it's tough to say what direction his philanthropy is headed. On the plus side, annual grantmaking has hovered at nearly $1 million of late, with the Gold Foundation funding a similar batch of grantees in the local Jewish community.

CONTACT: 

The Gold Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

Gold Family Foundation
1 Carter Ln.
Monsey, NY 10952  

Allan Holt

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: The Carlyle Group 

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Culture & Community, Religious

OVERVIEW: Allan Holt and his wife Shelley move their philanthropy through the Hillside Foundation. The Holts recently gave a $20 million gift to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Holts support various culture and community outfits in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as a synagogue. Grantmaking has involved a handful of outfits so far, though the couple's philanthropy appears to be expanding. 

BACKGROUND: Allan M. Holt graduated from Rutgers University and received an MBA from UC Berkeley. He worked at Avenir Group, Inc., an investment and advisory group, before joining The Carlyle Group in 1992. Based in Washington, D.C., Holt is a senior partner and managing director of The Carlyle Group and Co‑Head of Carlyle’s U.S. buyout group.

ISSUES:

CULTURE & COMMUNITY: The son of Holocaust survivors, Holt was appointed vice chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by President Obama in December 2015. The Holts, via their Hillside Foundation, recently gave a $20 million gift to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in support of a comprehensive revitalization of its permanent exhibition. Among other things, the funds will will support "efforts to expand the reach and impact of the exhibition and ensure its relevance to new audiences, especially youth." The Holts have steadily supported the museum via their foundation. 

The couple has also steadily funded The Defiant Requiem Foundation. The film Defiant Requiem tells the story of the Nazi concentration camp, Terezín. The Holts have also strongly funded Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

RELIGIOUS: The Holts are major supporters of Congregation B'Nai Tzedek. The foundation gave a $1 million grant to create the “B’nai Tzedek Fund for the Future.” The first focus of the fund is on a nursery school. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Holt is only in his 60s and very much engaged in business. Grantmaking of late seems to be on the rise, up from around $1 million annually at the start of the decade to nearly $8 million in the most recent fiscal year released to the public.

CONTACT:

The Hillside Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

The Hillside Foundation, Inc.
1001 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Ste. 220S
Washington, DC 20004

LINK:

The Carlyle Group

Jerome L. Stern

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Venture Capitalist

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Arts & Culture, Health, Religious

OVERVIEW: Jerome L. Stern, his wife Ellen and family move their philanthropy through the Jerome L. Stern Family Foundation. The Sterns steadily support Jewish causes through their foundation, with an eye towards education and the arts, among other areas. Much of the family's philanthropy concentrates on New York and Israel. The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals.

BACKGROUND: Jerome L. Stern is a longtime venture capitalist and owner of Jerome International Corporation. Stern keeps a low profile, but is known as a serious art collector. 

ISSUES: 

EDUCATION: Stern and his family via their foundation are steady supporters of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. They've also supported outfits like American Friends of Hebrew University, Israel Children's Center, American Israel Education Foundation, as well as Yeshiva Karlin Stolin, Abraham Joshua Heschel School, and Yeshivat Maharat in New York City.

ARTS & CULTURE: The Sterns are strong art collectors and support various museums in New York City and beyond. In the Jewish community, grantees have included American Friends of Bible Lands Museum, The Jewish Museum, and American Jewish Historical Society. Another important grantee here is the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  

HEALTH: The family has supported American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and American Friends of Magen David Adom, among others.

RELIGIOUS: Grantees have included Palm Beach Synagogue, Lincoln Square Synagogue, The Hampton Synagogue and Ohr Stone Torah.

LOOKING FORWARD: Stern keeps a low profile, and has not spoken about his philanthropy publicly, as far as we can see. Expect the family to stick with their established interest areas. 

CONTACT:

Jerome L. Stern Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is address/phone:

Jerome L. Stern Family Foundation, Inc.
270 Madison Ave., 16 Fl.
New York City, NY 10016
Telephone: 212-972-8165

Eugene Lerner

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Morgan Stanley, HighTower Advisors 

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Community, Religious, Israel, Health & Human Services

OVERVIEW: Eugene Lerner moves his philanthropy through the Eugene & Janet Lerner Family Foundation, a charitable vehicle Lerner set up with his late wife Janet. The foundation steadily supports the Jewish community in the Chicago area, as well as beyond. Top interests include education and community organizations. 

BACKGROUND: Eugene Lerner received B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in economics from University of Chicago. He was a professor at Kellogg School of Management and founded Disciplined Investment Advisors in the early 1970s. Lerner was also a director of wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. In 2012, Lerner joined HighTower Advisors, where he serves as managing director and partner. 

ISSUES:

EDUCATION & YOUTH: Lerner via his foundation has supported Hillel; Hillel at the University of Wisconsin; Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago, the governing body for religious Jewish schools throughout the Chicagoland area; Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School; Birthright Israel; and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

COMMUNITY: Grantees have included Keshet, an advocacy outfit for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews; Jewish United Fund; Jewish National Fund; and Association of Reform Zionists of America.

RELIGIOUS: Lerner has steadily supported Temple Beth Israel. Other grantees have included Chicago Board of Rabbis.

ISRAEL: Lerner has given especially strong support to American Israel Education Foundation. Other grantees have included Ben-Gurion University, Friends Of The IDF, New Israel Fund and Israel Cancer Research Fund.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Lerner's late wife Janet (who passed in 2015) was an active educator for six decades, and a pioneer in the field of learning disabilities. Israel Sports Center For Disabled is a steady grantee. Lerner has also supported Israel Cancer Research Fund, among others. 

LOOKING FORWARD: It remains to be seen how Janet's recent passing will affect the family's philanthropy. As for Lerner, he's in his late 80s and yet still going strong in the business world. Expect him to continue to juggle these commitments with steady support of the Jewish community. 

CONTACT:

The Eugene & Janet Lerner Family Foundation doesn't provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

Eugene & Janet Lerner Family Foundation
1831 Mission Hills Rd., Ste. 510
Northbrook, IL 60062

LINK:
 

Barry Rubenstein

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Wheatley Partners; technology investment

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Community, Health, Israel, Religious

OVERVIEW: Barry Rubenstein, his wife Marilyn and family move their philanthropy through the Marilyn and Barry Rubenstein Family Foundation. The vehicle's annual grantmaking has been modest of late, though the foundation prioritizes the Jewish community. Big winners include American Society for Yad Vashem and Temple Beth Shalom. 

BACKGROUND: Barry Rubenstein graduated with a BSEE from City College of New York in 1965, and an  M.S. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from New York University in 1969. Rubenstein has been investing in technology companies since 1976. He's general partner at Wheatley Partners. 

FUNDING PROFILE: Barry Rubenstein and his wife Marilyn founded The Marilyn and Barry Rubenstein Family Foundation in the early 1990s. The outfit is managed by the couple and other Rubenstein family members, and keeps a low profile. According to recent tax records, the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, either.

Grantmaking has been under $400,000 annually in recent years, with a handful of grantees. Several grants are given to certain organizations each fiscal year and the foundation also gives a handful of grants under $500.

The Rubensteins are heavily involved with Yad Vashem, Israel's official memorial to victims of the Holocaust, established in the early 1950s. The family steadily supports American Society of Yad Vashem. Some of this work has included helping fund a synagogue at Vad Yashem to honor the individuals who were lost. The couple speaks about their commitment to rememberance, even though they had no immediate family that perished in the Holocaust.

Another prominent grantee here is Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn Heights, NY, which has received several grants in recent years. The couple's daughter, Rebecca, is a second-generation member of the institution and serves on the executive board. 

The Rubensteins have supported Jewish community organizations like Sid Jacobson JCC, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, The Jewish Museum, Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, Holocaust Museum of Nassau County, and the United States Holocaust Museum. In health, grantees have included Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Foundation, and North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (now Norwell Health).

Education is also a component of this family's giving, with USC Shoah Foundation and Jewish Partisans Educational Foundation, among others, receiving grants. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the couple to continue their modest support of certain Jewish outfits. The couple's kids, Brian (who follows in his investor father's footsteps) and Rebecca, should also be watched as their interests develop. 

CONTACT:

The Marilyn and Barry Rubenstein Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

The Marilyn and Barry Rubenstein Family Foundation
68 Wheatley Rd.
Brookville, NY 11545  

LINK:

Gary Winnick

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Global Crossing; Winnick & Company

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Community, Israel

OVERVIEW: The Winnick Family Foundation was founded by Gary and Karen Winnick in 1983. The foundation makes grants in a couple of different areas. An element of this funder's grantmaking focuses on the Jewish community around the world. Winnick is a trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a major recipient of philanthropy for the family. The foundation has a strong web presence, though it does not produce an annual report or grants list. 

BACKGROUND: Gary Winnick grew up in a Jewish family in Long Island, NY, where his father owned a restaurant supply business. He graduated from Long Island University in 1969. Winnick was a senior executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert in its high yield and convertible bond group and also founded Global Crossing and Asia Global Crossing. Winnick is currently chairman and CEO of Winnick & Company, an investment firm in Los Angeles.

ISSUES: 

EDUCATION: Winnick, his wife Susan and family via their Winnick Family Foundation support Jewish education outfits. Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is a strong focus. Some of this work has taken place at Susan's alma mater Syracuse, home to the Winnick Hillel House. Other grantees have included Hillel at UCLA and Brown Hillel Foundation. 

COMMUNITY: Winnick is a trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles, a museum focusing on racism in America and on the history of the Holocaust. In 2000, Winnick contributed $40 million for a peace and tolerance institute being built by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem. The Winnick Family Foundation has continued to support SWC. Other grantees have included The Jewish Federation, World Jewish Congress, National Jewish Congress, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, The Center for Jewish History and the Jerusalem Foundation. Some of the work at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles includes a literacy program called KOREH L.A. Koreh is the Hebrew word for "read".

ISRAEL: Grantees have included PEF Israel Endowment Funds, American Friends of Israel Museum and American Friends of Hebrew University. 

LOOKING FORWARD: While Winnick is no longer on the billionaire's list, as he was during his Global Crossing days, he has managed to retain some of his wealth. Grantmaking also appears to be on the rise at the foundation of late so expect the Jewish community to continue receiving steady support. 

LINK:

Winnick Family Foundation

Grants Overview

Contact Page