NET WORTH: $7 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: L Brands
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Leadership Development, Education, Community
OVERVIEW: Leslie Wexner and his family's support of the Jewish community focuses on leadership development. The Wexner Foundation runs several programs to foster leadership in both the United States and Israel. The foundation has a strong web presence. Wexner also supports the local Ohio Jewish community.
BACKGROUND: Leslie Wexner graduated from Ohio State University with a B.S. in business administration. In 1963, he started L Brands in Columbus, Ohio, now a a global leader in lingerie, fragrance and beauty, which includes Victoria’s Secret, PINK, and Bath & Body Works. Total sales for L Brands businesses exceed $12 billion.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Leslie Wexner and his wife Abigail founded the Wexner Foundation, which focuses on the development of Jewish professional and volunteer leaders in North America, and public leaders in Israel. The foundation runs several programs. The Wexner Graduate Fellowships are awarded to around two dozen "outstanding individuals who seek to prepare themselves through graduate training or professional development for careers in the Cantorate, Jewish Education, Jewish Professional Leadership, Jewish Studies, and the Rabbinate." The Wexner Heritage Program, meanwhile, aims to educate emerging Jewish lay leaders in the "history, thought, texts, and contemporary leadership challenges of the Jewish People." The foundation also runs the Wexner Israel Programs, whose goal is to support Israel's senior and mid-career public leaders.
OTHER: Wexner also created the Wexner Heritage Village in Ohio, a "Jewish, nonprofit provider of health, housing, social and spiritual services primarily serving older adults and persons with disabilities." Apart from the Wexner Foundation, Wexner also moves money through the well-endowed Wexner Family Charitable Fund, which held some $180 million in assets in a recent tax year. The fund directs money to the Wexner Foundation. The family has also channeled multimillion-dollar sums to local Ohio Jewish outfits like the Columbus Jewish Federation, and Congregation Agudas Achim. The Wexner Foundation's grantmaking has included support of outfits like Columbus Torah Academy, other Jewish Federations across the country, Yeshiva University, Brandeis University, and more. The Wexners also support Jewish educational institutions in Israel.
LOOKING FORWARD: In his early 80s, this billionaire has plenty left to give.