NET WORTH: $1.46 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Greenlight Capital
OVERVIEW: David Einhorn and his wife Cheryl's Einhorn Family Charitable Trust is committed to helping people get along better. Helping people and communities foster empathy is key in the family's giving through their charitable trust. Grantmaking involves a variety of institutions, but some are within the Jewish community. The couple via their trust have been major bankrollers of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Life. Other big winners include Birthright Israel Foundation. The trust has a strong web presence and staff, though it does not accept unsolicited proposals.
BACKGROUND: David Einhorn was born to a Jewish family in New Jersey, moved to Wisconsin when he was seven, and received a bachelor’s in Government from Cornell University in 1991. Five years after graduating, he started Greenlight Capital with just under a million dollars, half of which he borrowed from his parents.
FUNDING PROFILE: The couple established the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust (EFCT) in 2002. A central component of the outfit's philosophy is empathy, and EFCT'S mission is "helping people get along better." Since its founding, EFCT has given away over $100 million in grants. The trust takes a "a relationship-based approach to grantmaking, working in close collaboration with each partner grantee to identify and maximize opportunities for success and ways to mitigate and address challenges."
While EFCT's grantmaking doesn't focus on the Jewish community, grants go to various Jewish institutions annually. The Einhorns via their trust have given millions to Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. A large part of the trust's recent work with Hillel involves Ask Big Questions, an initiative that provides opportunities for students on US college campuses to engage with "life’s big questions." Again, the EFCT is strongly interested in fostering empathy. The trust has also supported the Cornell Hillel Project.
Other big winners in this space include Birthright Israel Foundation; Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation; Interfaith Youth Core, which brings "together young people of different religious and moral traditions for cooperative service and dialogue around shared values"; and Repair the World, which aims to "mobilize thousands of young Jewish adults who want to help improve lives and neighborhoods."
The Einhorns via their trust have given more moderate sums to places like Solomon Schechter School of Westchester and American Jewish World Service. A recent grant to American Jewish World Service supported the Young Rabbis Service Initiative.
ECFT has given more modest sums to outfits like Jewish Museum, Union for Reform Judaism, and Congregation Chai Lifeline. Recent support of Union for Reform Judaism helped bankroll an Israel Emergency Fund and a camp scholarship fund.
LOOKING FORWARD: For a complete look at this funder's philanthropy, read our Wall Street Profile of David Einhorn.