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.
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.