OVERVIEW: The Ressler/Gertz Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Antony Ressler and his wife, actress, Jami Gertz. The foundation does most of its grantmaking in Los Angeles, with around $3 million going out the door annually in recent years.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Arts, Health, Jewish Causes
IP TAKE: The foundation doesn't have a website or list a way for grantseekers to get in touch. Ressler and Jami are the only listed trustees.
PROFILE: Antony Ressler recently became a billionaire after his company Ares Management's initial public offering in 2014. Ressler was born into a Jewish family and went to Georgetown and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. After school, he worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert, eventually reaching Senior Vice President in the High Yield Bond Department. Prior to Ares, he cofounded the private equity firm Apollo Global Management with Leon Black. Ressler is married to actress Jami Gertz and the couple lives in Los Angeles, where most of their philanthropy takes place.
According to the most recent tax records available, the Ressler/Gertz Foundation gave away a little more than $3 million and held assets of over $58 million in 2013. The foundation has been around since 1997, but has no website, and unfortunately no clear way for grantseekers to get in touch. As well, only Ressler and Jami are listed as trustees.
One major area of grantmaking for the couple in Los Angeles is education. Ressler is a founding board member and co-chair of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, a group of charter high schools and middle schools based in Los Angeles. One of Alliance's charter schools is the Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School. The couple has also supported Homeboy Industries, which provides education, employment training and other programming for former gang-involved and incarcerated men and women. City Year Los Angeles, Educators for Excellence, Junior Achievement of Southern California, and City Match have recently received funds. The couple has also given quite a bit of money to Campbell Hall, the Center for Early Education, and outside of Los Angeles, to Ressler's alma mater, Georgetown University.
Given Jami's long career as an actress in Hollywood, perhaps it's no surprise that arts and culture is another focus of the foundation. Ressler is a Vice Chair at LACMA, which received $600,000 alone in 2013, and $540,000 in 2012. In 2010, $1.72 million went to LACMA.
Cedars Sinai received nearly $400,000 in 2013, with more modest sums going to Peer Health Exchange in a recent year. The couple has also given to the Center for Discovery which treats children and adults with significant disabilities, medical complexities and autism spectrum disorders. The couple also helped found the Painted Turtle Camp, a multi-disease camp and family care center in California. Kids with serious medical conditions attend the camp to celebrate being kids.
Ressler and Jami are also strong supporters of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and have also supported the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
It's worth noting that Ressler is an avid sports fan. He recently purchased the Atlanta Hawks and is also minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. In recent years, the couple has given to the John Sepler Sports at Mar Vista, and Sports Spectacular, which links "world-class athletes and innovative medical research to advance healthier futures for all." For now, Ressler is only in his 50s and still very much engaged in business, but a more robust operation might be coming.
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The Ressler/Gertz Foundation
16130 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 320
Encino, CA 91436