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