NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Goldman Sachs
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Community, Women, Youth & Education
OVERVIEW: Eric Dobkin and his wife Barbara move their philanthropy through the Dobkin Family Foundation, which was established in the 1980s. This is a rather progressive funder and Barbara has been prominent in progressive Jewish and women's philanthropy circles for years.
BACKGROUND: Eric S. Dobkin received a B.A. from Marietta College in 1964 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1967. He joined Goldman Sachs in institutional equity sales in Philadelphia, and in the early 1970s relocated to Chicago and became the manager of institutional sales. Dobkin was elected general partner in 1982 and retired as partner in 1998.
FUNDING PROFILE: Goldman Sachs veteran Eric Dobkin and his wife Barbara move their philanthropy through the Dobkin Family Foundation, an under-the-radar charitable vehicle. It's unclear how much the Dobkins are worth but Dobkin was part of Goldman's pre-1999 IPO partnership class, netting millions when Goldman went public. The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals.
Barbara Dobkin is prominent in progressive Jewish circles and drives much of the couple's giving. She founded Ma'yan, which provides "feminist, social justice, and leadership training to Jewish teen girls and teaches vital skills to parents and educators." She's also the former chair of the board of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an outfit the couple has been funding since 2000. AJWS is a "nonprofit organization dedicated to providing nonsectarian humanitarian assistance and emergency relief to disadvantaged people worldwide."
The couple has also supported other Jewish outfits that work for women like Jewish Women's Foundation of New York, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, National Council of Jewish Women, and the Hadassah Foundation, which seeks to empower girls and women in the United States and in Israel.
In a useful profile of Dobkin on Jewish Women's Archive, which, by the way, the couple also has supported, Barbara Dobkin credits her grandmother, who was the neighborhood “key-holder” for the Jewish National Fund zedakah boxes, as an early influence on her sense of giving back to the community.
The family via their foundation also supports education and youth organizations in the Jewish community. Grantees have included Moving Traditions, which "creates experiences that inspire Jewish teens to openly explore fundamental questions of identity and society"; The Heschel School; and North American Friends of Oranim.
The Dobkins also support Jewish community organizations like Jewish Communal Fund, American Jewish Committee, Foundation for Jewish Community, Westchester Jewish Community Services, and New Israel Fund. Religious institutions don't seem to be a high priority of this funder, though they have supported Congregation B'Nai Jeshurun.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Dobkins to stay laser-focused on supporting progressive causes in the Jewish community. For a complete overview of this funder, read our Wall Street Profile of Eric Dobkin.
Dobkin Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address: