This guide is for religious and secular organizations seeking support for activities that address Jewish causes, primarily in the U.S., Israel and Europe. Note that while some donors in other Inside Philanthropy guides are Jewish, not all prioritize Jewish causes, as do the funders here. Many of the funders in this list are also active in philanthropy not specifically related to Jewish causes; this guide focuses on their grantmaking related to Jewish causes. Also, note that while many of the funders listed here are men, their spouses often lead the family philanthropy, as the profiles explore. 

We'll continue to update and add to these entries, so contact us to share any news or trends you're seeing, as well as donors who should be added. 

Top Donors

SHELDON & MIRIAM ADELSON

The couple supports charitable outfits primarily in Israel and the U.S. The Adelsons have given large sums to Birthright Israel and B'nai B'rith Youth Organization. They founded the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas.

RON BARON

Various funding interests. Grantees are located in Palm Beach, New York City and Israel, including the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, the Jewish Museum, UJA Federation of New York, Friends of the IDF, and American Friends of Israel.

LEONARD & LYNNE BARRACK

Funding areas: community, education, religion. Strong focus on the Philadelphia area. Grantees include Temple University, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Temple Beth David.  

HARVEY & JAYNE BEKER

Funding interests: education, medicine, community, Israel. Grantees include Brandeis University, Riverdale Hatzalah, UJA-Federation, and American Friends of Dental Volunteers for Israel.

ROBERT M. BEREN

Funding areas: education and youth, community, religion. Grantees include Hillel International, Sinai Akiba Academy, Jewish Communal Fund, Palm Beach Orthodox Synagogue.

DENNIS BERMAN

Funds education, youth, Israel advocacy, health, religion, community organizations. Grantees include the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, Yeshiva of Greater Washington, American Friends of Kiryat Chinuch Lebonim, National Gaucher Foundation, Beth Sholom Congregation.

LEN & EMILY BLAVATNIK

Funding areas: higher education, science research, arts and culture, Israel. Grantees include Tel Aviv University, Cholel Chabad food bank in Israel, ELEM/Youth in Distress.

JOSEPH CHEHEBAR

Funding is strongly tied to Brooklyn and the New York area. The family foundation supports synagogues and a number of Jewish schools.

MILTON COOPER

Funding areas: community, arts and culture, religious, Israel. Grant recipients include American Jewish Committee, American Israel Education Foundation, National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene, several chabads. 

LEON & TOBY COOPERMAN

Funding areas include youth, community and Israel. Grantees include Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ, Birthright Israel, the American Jewish Committee, FIRST Israel, American Friends of Hebrew University.

ERIC & BARBARA DOBKIN

Funding areas: community, women, youth, education. Grantees and projects include Ma'yan, American Jewish World Service, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Communal Fund.

DAVID & CHERYL EINHORN

Education and youth are top giving areas. Largest grant recipients include Hillel and Birthright Israel Foundation. Other grantees include Solomon Schecter School of Westchester, American Jewish World Service, Union for Reform Judaism.  

WARREN & MITZI EISENBERG

Main funding areas: youth, community, religious, Israel. Grantees include Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, Valley Chabad Friendship Circle, Jewish Federation of Central Jersey, UJA Federation of New York, Temple Emanu El, Friends of ELNET.

ISRAEL & CARYL ENGLANDER

Religious grantees include congregations in Brooklyn, Miami Beach, Providence and other cities. Supported organizations include Yeshiva University, Yeshiva Heichal Hatorah, UJA Federation of New York, The Jewish Museum, Ahavas Chesed Fund.

LEONARD & SUSAN FEINSTEIN

Interests include Israel advocacy, health and human services. Grantees include: American Israel Education Foundation, American Friends of SHALVA-The Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (now Northwell Health), Jewish Museum.

ABEL & JUDY FRIEDMAN

Funding areas: community, education, Israel, health and human services. Focus on the Chicago area. Grantees include Moishe House (Chicago), Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Hillel International, American Friends of Magen David Adom.

STEPHEN & BARBARA FRIEDMAN

Funding areas: education, religious, women, other. Grantees include Cornell Hillel, USC Shoah Foundation, various synagogues, UJA Federation of New York, Jewish Women's Archive. 

MENDEL GOLD

Funding interests: religious, education, social. Grantees include Congregation Ahavas Tzedakah V'Chesed (Brooklyn, NY), Yeshiva Gedolah of Bridgeport, Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel.

DAVID & RUTH GOTTESMAN

Funding goes to Jewish education and youth, community organizations, congregations/synagogues, Jewish arts and culture. A portion of giving is New York-focused.

STEPHEN & NANCY GRAND

Funding interests: Israel, health, medical research, education, community. Grantees include American Technion Society, American Committee for Weizmann Institute of Science, American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

EUGENE AND EMILY GRANT

Gives in the New York metro area, including Westchester County and Long Island. Supports UJA-Federation and other high-profile Jewish outfits, temples, schools, Chabads, and medical centers.

JOEL GREENBERG & MARCY GRINGLAS

Funding areas: educational access, advocacy and awareness. Grantees and projects include Seed the Dream Foundation, Migdal Ohr, StandWithUs, Yahad-In Unum, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia. 

HAROLD GRINSPOON & DIANE TRODERMAN

Funding areas: literacy and education, community. Some focus on Western Massachusetts and Vermont, but they give nationally and to Israel. Grantees include PJ Library, Hebrew High School of New England, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. 

ROGER & SUSAN HERTOG

The couple funds education, Israel advocacy, community and religious organizations. Hertog chairs Tikvah Fund. Grantees include American Friends of Bar-Ilan University, American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, Yivo Institute of Jewish Research, synagogues, and Hazon.

RALPH & JUDY HERZKA

Funding areas: education, Israel, religious institutions. Grantees include Yeshiva Gedolah of Cliffwood, Yeshiva Karlin Stolin, Kollel Kaminetz; Congregation Toldos Tzvi, Congregation Ahavas Tzedakah Vachesed; Zichron Yosef, Zichron Ya'akav.

ALLAN & SHELLEY HOLT

Funding focus: culture and community, religion. Grantees include United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Defiant Requiem Foundation, Congregation B'nai Tzedek. 

MURRAY AND LAURA HUBERFELD

Main funding interests include the Chabad-Lubavich movement, with grants to a number of Chabads around the country. Other grants have gone to educational organizations. 

JONATHAN & JOANNA JACOBSON

Funding areas include education and youth, community orgs, Israel advocacy, policy. Grantees in U.S. and Israel include Brandeis Univeristy, Tel Aviv University, American Israel Foundation, Jewish Big Brother & Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, and Birthright Israel Foundation. 

JOSEPH KANFER

Various funding interests. Focus on Ohio and New York. Partners and projects include Jewish Community Board of Akron, Matan B'Sayser, Joshua Venture Group, BimBam.   

HARVEY & GLORIA KAYLIE

Funding areas include youth, health and disabilities, social services, education, religion, Israel advocacy. Grantees include OHEL Children's Home and Family Services, Aleh Negev Foundation, Ezrat Israel, IDF IMPACT Program.

MORDECAI & MONIQUE KATZ

Focused on Jewish eduation institutions. Major grants have gone to Yeshiva University to fund graduate and professional programs in marketing, data science and cybersecurity, and to Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. Funds also go to day schools and high schools.

SETH & BETH KLARMAN

Support has gone to Jewish causes in Boston, elsewhere in the U.S. and internationally. Grantees include American Friends of Keshet Eilon, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston. 

JACK KLEIN

Funding areas: health, Israel, education and youth, community, religious. Supported organizations include NOGA Clinic, Shaare Zedek, Friends of Yemin Orde, Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco.  

ROBERT & ITA KLEIN

Funding areas include education, Torah education, youth, religious, community, human services, concentrating in the Cleveland area and New York City. Grantees include Mosdos Ohr Hatorah and Kollel Mechanchim, both in Ohio. Human service outfits include Matan B'Sayser, American Friends of Temech.

ELLY & BETH KLEINMAN

Funding interests: community, religious, education, Israel. Grantmaking focuses on Jewish community in the New York metro area, particularly Brooklyn. Backed the Kleinman Holocaust Education Center, Beth Medrash Govaha, Diaspora Yeshiva, OHEL Children's Home and Family Services. 

ROBERT & ARLENE KOGOD

Funding interests include education, youth, community, Israel, religious. Past grantees include American University-Kogod School of Business, Gesher Jewish Day School, Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, American Friends of IDF, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

EUGENE LERNER

Funding areas: education and youth, community, religious, Israel, health and human services. Grantees include Hillel, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Keshet, Chicago Board of Rabbis, New Israel Fund, Israel Cancer Research Fund.

WILLIAM & SUSAN LEVINE

Largest-ever funder of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ($25 million). The Phoenix-based family focuses on Jewish organizations and causes in Arizona and throughout the world.

RONALD & JO CAROLE LAUDER

Funding focus: Jewish youth in Europe. Grantees and programs include Jewish kindergartens in Europe, Lauder JOINT International Jewish Youth Camp in Hungary, Lauder Business School in Vienna, Council of Jews in Germany.

DAVID & DEBRA MAGERMAN

Funding areas include Jewish day schools, education. Created Kohelet Foundation to promote Jewish day schools, primarily in the Philadelphia area, but also in other states. Programs include Kohelet Fellowships Program and BOLD Day Schools.

MILTON & TAMAR MALTZ

Funds education, arts and culture, Israel advocacy, religious and community organizations. Support recipients include Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, American Israel Education Foundation, Friends of Israel Defense Forces, and congregations in Ohio, Florida and Arizona.

BERNARD & BILLI MARCUS

Funding areas: Israel advocacy and policy, community, education and youth, religious. Cofounder of Israel Democracy Institute. Other grantees include American Friends of Magen David Adom, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Foundation for Jewish Camp, Union for Reform Judaism.

DAVID & LAURA MERAGE

Funding interests: Israel, community, early childhood education, arts. Supported groups include Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, Anti-Defamation League, business and entrepreneurship groups in Israel.

LOWELL & LEAH MILKEN

Funding areas: education, cultural, Israel. Grantees and projects include Jewish Educator Awards, Milken Archive of Jewish Music, Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.

MICHAEL MILKEN & LORI ANNE HACKEL

Interests include health and human services, education and youth, cultural. Support recipients include Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Hadassah, Jewish Healing Center Los Angeles, American Jewish University. 

JACK & GOLDIE MILLER

Funding areas: Israel, Jewish identity, social welfare, other, with focus on the Chicago area. Grantees include Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living, American Israel Education Foundation, Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, IL, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

LARRY & CAROL MIZEL

Funding interests: education, arts and culture, religious. Support has gone to groups in Denver, Oklahoma and Los Angeles, including Flo and Morris Mizel Jewish Community Day School in Tulsa, Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Denver, Mizel Museum in Denver, Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.

HELEN NASH

Funding areas: education, health and human services, Israel, community. Grantees include Abraham Joshua Heschel School, Norwell Health, Shalem Foundation, Jewish Community Council of Canarsie.

JOSHUA & BETH NASH

Funding areas: education and youth, community, health, Israel, religious. Chairs Birthright Israel Foundation, KIVUNIM, American Jewish Committee, Sharsheret, American Friends of Ir David, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. 

YOUNES & SORAYA NAZARIAN

Education, policy, Israel advocacy, arts. Grantees include UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, the Soraya Sarah Nazarian Program in Fine Arts at American Jewish University, Technada Dorset Science & Technology Center, RAND Israel Project, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Hadassah.

DANIEL & JANE OCH

Funding areas: education, community, Israel, religious. Focus on the New York City area. Grantees include Golda Och Academy, UJA Federation of New York, Birthright Israel, Jewish Theological Seminary. 

JOHN & JENNY PAULSON

Supports Jewish causes mostly in the U.S. Grantees include Chabad House on Wheels, temples/synagogues in California, Florida, Massachusetts and New York, the UJA Federation of New York, American Jewish Committee, Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education. 

ANDREW & SHANNON PENSON

Funding interests include youth, education, religious. Grantees have inlcuded several congregations, Beth Jacob Parochial School, Yashiva Bais Binyomin, Dallas Torah Institute, Heritage Retreats, Holy Woman Foundation.

RONALD O. PERELMAN & ANNA CHAPMAN

Funds health, Israel, religious, education, community. Supported groups include Princeton University (Jewish studies), Machne Israel, Ezer Mizion, American Friends of Hebrew University, World Jewish Congress.

STEVEN & TINA PRICE

Funding areas: education, youth, community, arts, Israel. Grantees include Hillel International, UJA Federation of New York, Museum of Jewish Heritage, National Yiddish Theater, Jewish Theological Seminary.

IRA & INGEBORG RENNERT

Main funding areas: Israel advocacy, education, Orthodox Jewish causes. Wife Ingeborg Hanna Rennert founded Women's Institute for Torah. Grantees include Yeshiva University, Bar Ilan University, Wiesel Center at Boston University, funded restoration of Jerusalem's Western Heritage Wall.

BARRY & MARILYN RUBENSTEIN

Funding areas: community, health, Israel, religious. Grantees include Yad Vashem, Temple Beth Sholom (Roslyn Heights, NY), Sid Jacobson JCC, USC Shoah Foundation.

AVI & BETTY RYZMAN

Funding interests: Israel, religious, education, community. Grantees include Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov-Ohr Eliyahu in Los Angeles, Chabad of Fairfax, Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Beach, Chabad of Northwest Arkansas, Central Fund of Israel.  

HAIM & CHERYL SABAN

Jewish causes include Israel defense and advocacy, policy and education. Grantees include Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, American Israel Education Foundation and Israel Emergency Alliance.

ARTHUR & REBECCA SAMBERG

Funding areas: education, youth, Israel, community. Grantees include Birthright Israel Foundation, Big Tent Judaism,  Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.

HENRY SAMUELI

Funding areas include education, heritage, community, combating antisemitism. Southern California is one region of interest.

RICKY SANDLER

Funds education and youth, community, health and human services. Grantees include UJA-Federation, Facing History & Ourselves, Israel Cancer Research Fund. 

JAY & JEANIE SCHOTTENSTEIN

Funding areas include education, community, cultural, historical conservation. Grantees include Yeshiva University, American Friends of Nishmat, American Friends of Migdal Ohr, Israel Antiquities Authority.

LYNN SCHUSTERMAN

Funding areas: education, youth, Israel. Supported groups and foundation projects include American Israel Education Foundation, Asylum Arts, B'nai B'rith International, ROI Community, REALITY, Connection Points.

DANIEL & DEBORAH SCHWARTZ

Funding interests include education, youth, Israel advocacy, health and human services. Grantees include Yeshiva University, Etzion Foundation, Ir David Foundation, Central Fund for Israel, Mount Sinai and Upper East Side Hatzolah.

DAVID & CINDY SHAPIRA

Funding areas: education and youth, community, Israel. Grantees include Hillel International, SAR Academy, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Onward Israel, American Pardes Foundation.

JOHN & SHONNI SHAPIRO

Funding interests: community and youth, religious, human services. Grantees include the Shapiro Family Fellowship at UJA Federation of New York, American Jewish Committee, Hiddush-Freedom of Religion for Israel, Kemp Hill Synagogue. 

STEVEN & KATE SPIELBERG

Funding areas: arts, culture and media, service and social justice, Holocaust education and survivor aid. Grantees and projects include Righteous Persons Foundation, Jewish New Media Innovation Fund, USC Shoah Foundation, Fund for Coexistence.

MICHAEL & JUDY STEINHARDT

Funding areas: Israel, Jewish youth and community, religious. Grantees include Hebrew Language Charter Schools, Areivim Hebrew at Camp Program; co-founder and major supporter of Birthright Israel.

JEROME & ELLEN STERN

Funding areas: education, arts and culture, health, religious. Groups supported include Bar-Ilan University, Israel Children's Center, American Friends of Bible Lands, American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Palm Beach Synagogue.

SIDNEY & JUDITH SWARTZ

Supports education, Israel advocacy, religious and community organizations, in the Boston area and in Israel. Grantees include American Israel Education Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, PEF Israel Endowment Fund, and $50 million to create an emergency medical center at Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.

HENRY AND ESTHER SWIECA

Supports Jewish educational institutions, organizations in Israel, and various congregations. New York City is a focus. 

TAD TAUBE

Various interests, including education, religious. Grantees include Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jewish organizations in the Bay Area and in Israel. Funded Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford.

LEON WAGNER

Funding areas: community, Holocaust remembrance, education, youth, religious, Israel. Grantees include American Friends of SHALVA, USC Shoah Foundation, Chabad of Hyde Park, Am Yisrael Foundation.

LESLIE & ABIGAIL WEXNER

Interests involve leadership development, education and community. Funds the Wexner Graduate Fellowships, Wexner Heritage Program, Wexner Heritage Village in Ohio, and other Jewish organizations in Ohio.

MARK & JANE WILF

Funding areas: education, community, Israel, religious, Holocaust remembrance. Grantees include Golda Ochs Academy, Yad Vashem, Princeton University.

ZYGMUNT & AUDREY WILF

Funding areas: education, community, Israel, religious, Holocaust remembrance. Grantees include Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, USC Shoah Foundation, Congregation Etz Chaim.

GARY & KAREN WINNICK

Funding areas: education, community, Israel. Organizations supported include Hillel, Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, KOREH L.A., American Friends of Hebrew University.

HOWARD & MARCIE ZELIKOW

Interests include education and Jewish service outfits, many in Los Angeles. Grants have gone to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. In Israel, grantees include Friends of Yemin Orde. 

SAM & HELEN ZELL

Funding areas: education and youth, Israel, human services. Grantees include Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, American Friends of IDC (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), Yad Yisroel. 

Ricky Sandler

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Eminence Capital

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Community, Health & Human Services, Israel  

OVERVIEW: Ricky Sandler and his wife Mara move their philanthropy through the Mara & Ricky Sandler Foundation. A component of this couple's grantmaking involves Jewish causes. The Sandlers back Hillel, particularly its University of Wisconsin chapter. UJA-Federation is another important grantee. Mara serves on the board of several nonprofits, which tracks with giving.

BACKGROUND: Ricky Sandler received a BBA in accounting and finance from the University of Wisconsin. He started his career as a research analyst at Mark Asset Management, and also co-managed Fusion Capital Management. He founded Eminence Capital in 1998.

FUNDING PROFILE: New York area couple Ricky and Mara Sandler both graduated from University of Wisconsin, a school they steadily support through their foundation. Some of this giving goes to the school's Jewish community. They've directed money to the University of Wisconsin Hillel, as well as the Center for Jewish Studies Excellence Fund.

Away from Wisconsin, an important grantee is UJA-Federation, which the Sandlers have steadily supported via their Mara and Ricky Sandler Foundation, a low-profile charity set up early last decade. The Sandlers also help fund Facing History & Ourselves, whose mission is to "engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry." 

The Sandlers have supported Jewish schools and youth organizations like Israel Tennis Centers, Birthright Israel Foundation, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where Mara is the women's division president. The family has also supported Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee.

Health and human services also seem to be an interest. The Sandlers have supported Israel Cancer Research Fund, and Hands on Tzedakah, which "provides funding for various social service programs in the United States, Israel, and other countries." It's worth mentioning that Mara Sandler is on the board of Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. 

The couple has also supported Central Synagogue. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Sandler is only in his 40s and very much still engaged in business, but his foundation has been around since last decade. Mara Sandler's various board memberships are something to watch carefully in the coming years. For a complete overview of this funder, read our Wall Street Profile of Ricky Sandler

CONTACT:

The Mara & Ricky Sandler Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple, but below is an address:

The Mara & Ricky Sandler Foundation
65 E. 55th St., 25th Fl.
New York City, NY 10022

Henry Samueli

NET WORTH: $3.1 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Broadcom

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Heritage, Community, Combating Antisemitism

OVERVIEW: One of the Samueli Foundation's four funding priority areas is Jewish Culture and Values. The foundation is particularly interested in supporting Jewish education, spirituality, heritage, and community identity, as well as combating antisemitism

BACKGROUND: Henry Samueli graduated from UCLA, receiving a BS, MS and PhD in electrical engineering from the school. He's one of the cofounders of the Broadcom semiconductor company, and the outspoken owner of the Anaheim Ducks NHL hockey team. In February 2016, Avago Technologies acquired Broadcom Corp. for $37 billion in cash and stock.

FUNDING PROFILE: The Samueli Foundation's funding priorities are Education, Youth Services, Integrative Health, and Jewish Culture and Values. The foundation unfortunately no longer accepts unsolicited LOIs, and is run by Samueli, his wife, Susan, and a small staff. In a recent tax year, the foundation gave a little under $600,000.

Recent grantmaking in the Jewish community has involved organizations in Southern California and New York, including Bet Tzedek, a nonprofit human and poverty rights organization; Hillel Foundation of Orange County; Jewish Federation & Family of OC: Jewish Theological Seminary; American Jewish World Service; Temple Beth Shalom; and UCI Hillel.

The foundation sometimes funds Jewish organizations abroad. The Samueli Foundation, for instance, has supported American Friends of the Reut Institute. The Reut Institute is a nonprofit organization based in Tel Aviv, focused on "creating and scaling effective models to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing Israel and the Jewish People, while making a significant and distinct contribution to humanity." The foundation also gave a recent grant to Friends of Ir David.

LOOKING FORWARD: Overall, the Samueli Foundation's grantmaking in the Jewish community is but one component of a large puzzle, but expect steady sums to continue to support select Jewish organizations, particularly in the Southern California region.

LINK:

Eugene and Emily Grant

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Eugene M. Grant & Co.

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Various

OVERVIEW: Eugene and Emily Grant move their philanthropy through the Eugene and Emily Grant Family Foundation, whose grantmaking his been up recently. The Grants support a range of Jewish organizations, with an eye towards New York City and its suburbs, as well as Israel. The Grants are also interested in Holocaust remembrance.

BACKGROUND: Born in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan, Eugene M. Grant graduated from University of Michigan in 1938 and received a law degree from Columbia University. He joined the Army Air Forces and then entered the real-estate development business, steering Eugene M. Grant & Company in New York.

PROFILE: Eugene Grant's grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants and Grant is chairman emeritus of Westchester Holocaust Commission. Grant met weekly with an Auschwitz survivor and as he puts it, “as the memory recedes, the consciousness recedes and the emotionality recedes but it is important to keep the memory alive, so it never happens again."A few years ago the Grants made a $250,000 gift to the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center.

Much of the family's philanthropy takes place in the New York metropolitan area, not only in the city but also in Westchester County and Long Island. The Grants, via their foundation, have supported places like American Jewish Committee, Larchmont Temple, Chabad of Larchmont & Mamaroneck,  Solomon Schechter School of Queens, UJA-Federation, ADL, JCC Boulder, and The Jewish Museum, where Grant sits on the board.

The couple also support outfits that work in/for Israel, like Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools, Friends of Yemin Orde, American Friends of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, American Friends of Rabin Medical Center, and American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

LOOKING FORWARD: The couple has moved quite a bit of money out of their family foundation in recent years, with some $17.6 million in grantmaking one year. The Grants are in their 90s and should be watched carefully for continued strong giving. Down the line, we'll have to also keep apprised of the next generation of philanthropy. It's worth noting that the family also has ties to Colorado.

CONTACT:

The Eugene and Emily Grant Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is contact information:

Eugene and Emily Grant Family Foundation
277 Park Ave., 47th Fl.
New York City, NY 10172
Telephone: (212) 688-4700

 

Murray and Laura Huberfeld

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Platinum Partners, Centurion Credit Management

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Religious, Education

OVERVIEW: Murray Huberfeld, his wife Laura and family move their philanthropy through the Huberfeld Family Foundation. The family supports Jewish religious organizations and a stream of chabads across the country annually. In the wake of legal trouble, it's unclear what direction this family's giving will take.

BACKGROUND: Murray Huberfeld attended Brooklyn College. He founded Centurion Credit Management LP in 2005 and has been involved with such companies as Platinum Partners.

ISSUES:

RELIGIOUS: Huberfeld and family via their foundation are steady supporters of the Chabad-Lubavich movement. They've supported a range of Chabads around the country, including Chabad at Purdue, Chabad in the Hills, Chabad of Boca Raton, Chabad of Minneapolis, Chabad of Georgia, and Chabad Eastside Las Vegas. The family has also given significant support to Congregation Ahavas Tzdokah V’Chesed in Brooklyn, as well as places like Rabbinical Academy of Venice.

EDUCATION: Grantees have included American Friends of Beer Yaakov, American Friends of Jaffa Institute, American Friends of Mercaz, and Yeshiva Ketana of Manhattan.

OTHER: Huberfeld was part of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) delegation that met with Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. The Huberfelds via their foundation have supported SWC (Huberfeld is no longer on the board), as well as places like American Committee for Shaare Zedek.

LOOKING FORWARD: Huberfeld has been mired in legal trouble, with Platinum's main hedge fund being forced to close, among other developments. It's unclear what impact this will have on the family's giving.

CONTACT:

The Huberfeld Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

Huberfeld Family Foundation
152 W. 57th St.
New York City, NY 10019
Telephone: (212) 581-0500

LINK:

 

Joseph Chehebar

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Rainbow Stores

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Various

OVERVIEW: Joseph Chehebar and family move their philanthropy through the Chehebar Family Foundation, which gave away a little under $4 million in a recent year. The family, via their foundation, give to a long trail of Jewish organization annually, with a focus on Brooklyn, New York. Many grants are $1,000 or below.

BACKGROUND: Joseph Chehebar and family run Brooklyn-based Rainbow Shops, a retail chain with more than 1,000 U.S. stores.

PROFILE: The Chehebar Foundation keeps a low profile, as do its trustees—Jack, Albert, Joseph, and Isaac Chehebar. The family is based in New York City, with strong ties to Brooklyn especially, where a good portion of their giving takes place.

The Chehebars, via their foundation, support various synagogues like Congregation Anshei Fallsburg, Congregation Agudath Israel, Congregation Nachlas Yisroel, Congregation Bais Halevy in New Jersey, among many others.

The family also supports Jewish schools like Fallsburg Cheder School, Chabad Vocational Schools, Ilan High School, and Yerucham Center For Torah Education.

Many of the foundation's grant are $1,000 or below, and others still are under $500. Some of the foundation's largest grants of late include $30,000 to The Recorded Talmud; $40,000 to Sephardic Food Fund; and $100,000 to Mirrer Yeshiva Central Institute, a Haredi yeshiva in Brooklyn.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Chehebars to remain laser-focused on Jewish organizations, with an eye towards New York City.

CONTACT:

The Chehebar Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is contact information:

Chehebar Family Foundation
1000 Pennsylvania Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11207
Telephone: (718) 485-3000

LINK:

 

Henry and Esther Swieca

NET WORTH: $1.56 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Talpion Fund Management

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Israel, Religious

OVERVIEW: Henry Swieca and his wife Esther move their philanthropy through the Swieca Family Foundation, which has given away in the neighborhood of $1 million annually in recent years. They support a range of Jewish causes, with an eye towards New York City.

BACKGROUND: Raised in Washington Heights, Henry Swieca graduated from SUNY Stony Brook and received his MBA from Columbia Business School. Swieca cofounded Highbridge Capital in 1992 with Glenn Dubin. Swieca manages his personal fortune through Talpion Fund Management, the firm he opened in 2010 shortly after selling his stake in Highbridge to JPMorgan Chase.

ISSUES:

EDUCATION: Swieca and Esther, via their foundation, support Jewish educational institutions like Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, American Israel Education Foundation, the Frisch School, Chabad of NYU, and the Mercaz Chareidi Foundation, which supports the Mercaz Chareidi Institute of Technology in Israel.

ISRAEL: Apart from Israeli educational institutions, the Swiecas have also supported places like Central Fund of Israel and Ezrat Israel.

RELIGIOUS: The Swieca Family Foundation’s grantmaking has supported places like Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, Avenue R Sephardic Foundation, and Congregation Beth Tefilla.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect New York City to remain an important site of giving for this family in the coming years. For a complete look at this funder, read our Wall Street Profile of Henry Swieca.

CONTACT:  

The Swieca Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

Swieca Family Foundation
950 3rd Ave., 23rd Fl.
New York City, NY 10022

Charles and Seryl Kushner

NET WORTH: $500 million (estimated)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Kushner Companies (Real Estate) 

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Israel, Religious, Community & Health

OVERVIEW: Charles Kushner, his wife Seryl, and family move their philanthropy through the Charles and Seryl Kushner Charitable Foundation. The Kushners are strong supporters of Jewish institutions in the United States, as well as Israel. Two modern Orthodox Jewish day schools bear the name of Kushner's parents. Besides Jewish education, the family also supports religious institutions, Jewish health organizations, and more. The family's philanthropy centers around the East Coast, particularly New Jersey and New New York. 

BACKGROUND: Charles Kushner grew up in New Jersey.  His parents were Holocaust survivors who came to America in the 1940s. Kushner attended NYU and Hofstra. He turned a construction business begun by his father into a private real estate empire, Kushner Companies. Kushner was sentenced to two years in federal prison in Alabama, after pleading guilty to 18 felony counts, but ultimately was released within a year.

ISSUES:

EDUCATION & YOUTH: The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School are Modern Orthodox Jewish schools in New Jersey that the Kushner family help bankroll. The schools bear the name of Kushner's father and mother. The family has also strongly supported the Ramaz School and directed funds to Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore, and Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim in Brooklyn, among others. On the higher education front, grantees have included Yeshiva University, and Chabad at Harvard. The Kushners also have an interest in special education. The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Hebrew Academy houses a program of the SINAI Special Needs Institute, an organization "dedicated to serving the educational, psychological and emotional needs of Jewish children and young adults." 

The Kushner family have also been steady backers of Friendship Circle, one of whose missions is to "provide Jewish children who have special needs with a full range of social, recreational, educational and Judaic experiences." 

ISRAEL: Charles Kushner and family via their foundation also support organizations that work for/in Israel. These include American Friends of Nishmat (AFN), the US-based entity that supports the work of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women; American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva; and American Friends of Shalva. 

RELIGIOUS: Grantees have included Chevrat Pinto, Congregation Ahawas Achim, Park Avenue Synagogue, and Young Israel of Bal Harbour Orthodox Synagogue in Florida.

COMMUNITY & HEALTH: The Kushner family also support Jewish community organizations like Chai Mitzvah, whose mission is to "increase engagement throughout the Jewish community"; Ym-YWHA of Union County; and American Jewish Committee. The family supports health organizations like Israel Cancer Research Fund and Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Kushner family's varied and high-level support of Jewish causes to continue. Son Jared Kushner, who has taken the reins at his father's company, is also the husband of Ivanka Trump, and should be watched carefully in the coming years. 

CONTACT: 

The Charles and Seryl Kushner Charitable Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the family, but below is contact information

Charles and Seryl Kushner Charitable Foundation
18 Columbia Tpke.
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Telephone: (973) 822-0050

LINK: Kushner Companies

Leon Wagner

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Real Estate 

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Community, Holocaust Remembrance, Education, Youth, Religious, Israel

OVERVIEW: Leon Wagner and family move their philanthropy through the Wagner Family Foundation, which gives in the neighborhood of $1 million annually. The Wagner family's support of the Jewish community focuses on metro New York, and to a lesser extent on Florida and Los Angeles. The family's grantmaking also involves outfits that work for/in Israel. 

BACKGROUND: Leon Wagner keeps a low profile. He's the son of the late Rubin Wagner, a major property developer in New York.

FUNDING PROFILE: Leon Wagner and his brother Harry are the sons of Rubin Wagner, a major property developer in New York, and Sima Wagner. Rubin's parents both passed in the Holocaust. Rubin himself survived the war in concentration camps, often working as a barber, before being liberated in 1945. Rubin set sail for the U.S. in 1949, and in the 1950s worked as a barber again. He went on to cofound Ripley Associates and Forest Green and developed many properties, at one time becoming a large landowner in Huntington, New York. 

The family's fraught days in WWII Europe help inform the Wagner family's giving through their Wagner Family Foundation, which steadily makes grants to Jewish organizations. Of late, big winners include American Friends of SHALVA, which supports the SHALVA National Children's Center; USC Shoah Foundation Institute; and UJA Federation. Unsurprisingly, Holocaust remembrance is an interest, and apart from USC Shoah, the Wagners have also supported places like US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

The Wangers have also helped fund community organizations like Chabad of Hyde Park, Chabad of Lithuania, Chabad of Stony Brook, Jewish Museum, Sid Jacobson JCC, and JCC In Manhattan. They've also supported synagogues like Sutton Place Synagogue and Park Avenue Synagogue, as well as National Board of Rabbis.

Other grantees include schools like The Abraham Joshua Heschel School and human services outfits like The Hebrew Home at Riverdale Foundation. The family has also supported organizations that work for/in Israel, including Friends of Israel Defense Forces, and Am Yisrael Foundation, which "champions the young leader as pioneer- advancing Observant Zionism as a fundamental force for the development of the Jewish People and Land of Israel."

In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $1.2 million. Annual grantmaking has been in this range of late. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this funder to stick with their select interest areas. 

CONTACT:

The Wagner Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

The Wagner Family Foundation, Inc.

325 Columbia Tpke., Ste. 202
Florham Park, NJ 07932 

Sam Zell

NET WORTH: $4.9 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Equity Group Investments (EGI)

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Israel, Human Services, Community  

OVERVIEW: Sam Zell, his wife Helen, and family move their philanthropy through the Zell Family Foundation. The foundation gave away some $22 million in a recent year. The Zells' support of the Jewish community includes the Zell Entrepreneurship Program at IDC Herzliya, a university in Israel. The family is also interested in Holocaust remembrance and support for Jews in the former Soviet Union. 

BACKGROUND: Sam Zell graduated from University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree and a J.D. In 1976, he founded Equity Group Investments (EGI). The company and its partners amassed the country’s largest collection of U.S. office space, mostly by identifying opportunities that other investors had overlooked. 

FUNDING PROFILE: The Zell Foundation was founded and is currently run by billionaire entrepreneur Sam Zell and his wife, Helen, the foundation’s executive director. The charity is rather active but keeps a low profile and a minimal web presence. The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. In a recent tax year, the foundation gave away some $22 million and held around $142 million in assets. Zell's grantmaking strongly involves alma mater University of Michigan. Other interests include entrepreneurship, education and performing arts. 

Each year, the foundation also supports a select number of Jewish organizations. The forces here are personal, as Zell's parents, Bernard and Rochelle Zell, fled Poland in the late 1930s, eventually settling in the Midwest where they became prominent figures in the local Jewish community. The Chicago area is home to the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and the Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, both of which Zell and Helen steadily support via the family foundation. Other education and youth grantees have included National Ramah Commission, University of Michigan Hillel, Jewish Student Connection, and Birthright Israel. The Zells, as well, have steadily supported the Boulder JCC Preschool Program.

The Zells strongly fund American Friends of IDC, which supports Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, "Israel’s first non-government funded university." The institution is home to the Zell Entrepreneurship Program, which "gives students an opportunity to implement advanced entrepreneurial studies in the creation of real business ventures." Entrepreneurship is of particular interest to this funder, and Zell has funded similar efforts at his alma mater. 

The family also has supported Holocaust remembrance, sending funds to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. Religious organizations like Jewish Theological Seminary and Wood River Jewish Community, have been supported too. 

Another important grantee is Yad Yisroel, which received a $3.5 million gift in a single year last decade. Yad Yisroel is "dedicated to the revival of Jewish life in the former Soviet Union, as well as assisting former Soviet Jewry wherever they may be." 

LOOKING FORWARD: The Zells seem to give to a similar batch of grantees annually, making it tough for newcomers to get this funder's attention. However, with billions on hand, the Zells should stay on grantseekers' radar.  

CONTACT: 

The Zell Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is address and phone: 

Zell Family Foundation

2 N. Riverside Plz., Ste. 600
Chicago, IL  60606
Telephone: (312) 466-3852

LINK:

Equity Group Investments (EGI)

Joel Greenberg

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Susquehanna International Group

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Educational Access, Advocacy & Awareness

OVERVIEW: Joel Greenberg and his wife Marcy Gringlas established the Seed the Dream Foundation, which is focused on educational access, awareness and advocacy. The foundation's three initiatives support Jewish educational causes, with an interest in Israel and Holocaust awareness. Greenberg sits on the board of Hillel International.

BACKGROUND: Joel Greenberg is a founder of Susquehanna International Group, a global quantitative trading firm headquartered in the Philadelphia area. 

ISSUES:

EDUCATIONAL ACCESS: Seed the Dream Foundation lists three initiatives: educational access, educational advocacy, and educational awareness. Via these focuses, the foundation supports Jewish educational causes. The eductional access area centers on underserved populations in the United States, Israel and Africa. While much of this work takes place outside the Jewish community, Seed the Dream has supported places like Leo Baeck Education Center. A grant given by the foundation went towards launch of the first KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) network of schools in Israel. Another grantee is Migdal Ohr, which "provides quality education and social guidance to children from underprivileged and troubled homes across Israel." 

EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY: Seed the Dream's Educational Advocacy initiative "funds programs that educate about, advocate for, and promote life-long connections to Israel." Seed the Dream is involved with Birthright Israel, and the Birthright Israel Enhancement Collaborative Program (BICEP). Other support includes StandWithUs, an "international non-profit organization that supports, educates and advocates, for Israel around the world and across college campuses," Gershman Y’s Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, and Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Israel 360 Program, which sends "young professionals on a 10-day Israel experience with pre-and post-trip programming."

EDUCATIONAL AWARENESS: Seed the Dream also "supports programs and organizations dedicated to preserving the memory of victims, disseminating knowledge of the Holocaust to future generations, and providing assistance to victims of discrimination." The foundation supports outfits like Yahad-In Unum, a Paris-based organization dedicated to identifying and documenting sites of mass executions of Jews in Eastern Europe during World War II, and recording interviews of eyewitnesses to these crimes; and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia’s program to provide increased home care needs for aging Holocaust survivors. The foundation also established Cuba’s first permanent Holocaust exhibit. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Greenberg, Marcy and the young Seed the Dream Foundation should be watched for greater giving in the coming years, particularly in the realm of Jewish education. For a complete overview of this funder read our Wall Street profile of Joel Greenberg

LINK:

Seed the Dream Foundation

Application Page

Contact Page

David Shapira

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Giant Eagle

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Community, Israel 

OVERVIEW: David Shapira, his wife Cindy and family move their philanthropy through the David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation, which "invests in organizations and programs that demonstrate real and meaningful positive impact on the formation of strong Jewish identities and attachment to Israel for large numbers of young Jews." The foundation applies an entrepreneurial approach in its philanthropy. 

BACKGROUND: David Shapira, a Pittsburgh native, attended Oberlin College and received a master's degree in economics from Stanford University. Shapira joined supermarket chain Giant Eagle in 1970, a company co-founded by his grandfather, and was later named president, CEO and chairman. Shapira stepped away from day-to-day operations of the company in 2013.  

ISSUES: 

EDUCATION & YOUTH: David and Cindy Shapira are on the board of governors of Hillel International. Cindy is also a trustee of Brandeis University. The Shapiras via their foundation have strongly supported Hillel International, and currently focus on an effort called Comprehensive Excellence. They are also currently focused on the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative, a program supported by the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. It's worth noting that Shapira's late first wife Karen was active in the Jewish community and was a longtime president of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh.

Other grantees have included Brandeis University, Community Day School of Pittsburgh, Hebrew Charter School Center, SAR Academy and Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. 

COMMUNITY: Apart from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the family via their foundation has also supported outfits like Areivim Philanthropic Group, a "unique entrepreneurial consortium of major North American philanthropists who are committed to developing and supporting broad-reaching transformational projects and ideas that will significantly impact the next generations in Jewish life;" Jewish Funders Network; and Judaism and Democracy Alliance of North America. 

ISRAEL: The Shapira Foundation's grantmaking also involves outfits that work for/in Israel. The foundation supports Onward Israel, a program for Jewish young adults. Other grantees have included American Pardes Foundation, which supports the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Israel Venture Network Tandem Fund, and Tal Torah Foundation, an educational outfit with which Shapira's daughter Deborah has been involved. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Shapiras to stick with their established interest areas. 

LINK:

David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation

Current Projects

Contact Page

Joseph Kanfer

NET WORTH: Unknown 

SOURCE OF WEALTH: GOJO Industries

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Various

OVERVIEW: Joseph Kanfer is a founding director of Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation, which supports Jewish life in areas where Kanfer family members live, particularly Ohio. The family also moves philanthropy through the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. Joseph Kanfer is active in Jewish civic life and is the past chair of JFNA/The Jewish Federations of North America, among other commitments. 

BACKGROUND: Joseph Kanfer received his B.S. in economics from Wharton and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Kanfer is chairman and CEO of GOJO Industries, the global leader in skin health and hygiene solutions for away-from-home markets and the inventor of PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer. He also is a venture investor in the United States and Israel. 

FUNDING PROFILE:

LIPPMAN KANFER FAMILY FOUNDATION: Goldie and the late Jerry Lippman z”l originally established the Jerome Lippman Family Foundation in the 1960s to primarily support Akron-based Jewish organizations. Through the years, nephew Joseph Kanfer became increasingly involved with the family business, as well as on the philanthropic end. The foundation is now steered by Kanfer and other second and third generation family members. 

The Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation has a strong web presence, but does not accept unsolicited proposals. The foundation supports select projects that support the Jewish community where Kanfer and other family members live, more specifically Cleveland, OH, Brooklyn, NY, and Chautauqua, NY. Partners and projects include The Jewish Community Board of Akron (JCBA), The Lippman School, Luria Academy and Anshe Sfard Congregation. 

Recently, the foundation also initiated a new program where family members research a particular societal problem and then engage in grantmaking. The foundation's first focus was on poverty and hunger and its second is climate change. As it relates to the Jewish community, one grantee was Matan B’Sayser, which provides support to Cleveland’s neediest Jewish residents. 

LIPPMAN KANFER FOUNDATION FOR LIVING TORAH: Kanfer and family also move philanthropy through the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. The foundation "promotes and supports 'Living Torah' — Judaism as a powerful, evolving wellspring of accumulating wisdom and sensibilities that enriches people’s lives and helps create a better world." Partners and projects the foundation supports include Hillel, where Kanfer sits on the board; Joshua Venture Group, which "invests in leaders with unique ideas that they believe will significantly impact the Jewish world;" and BimBam, a new media production company that makes animations, apps, and web experiences with a mission of Jewish literacy and meaningful Jewish screen time. The foundation also recently launched the Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom

LOOKING FORWARD: Kanfer and family have shown a willingness to change their philanthropic approaches through the years, but expect the family's commitment to the Jewish community to hold. 

LINK:

Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation

Recent Work

Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah

Recent Work

Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom

Abel Friedman

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Batory Foods

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Community, Education, Israel, Health and Human Services

OVERVIEW: Abel Friedman and his wife Judy move their philanthropy through the Abel and Judy Friedman Charitable Foundation. The couple's support of the Jewish community heavily involves the Chicago area. Other areas of interest include education, where Abel Friedman is on the board of governors of Hillel International. The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals.

BACKGROUND: Abel Friedman fled Poland with his family in 1938, at the start of World War II. In 1979, he founded Chicago Sweeteners (now Batory Foods). 

ISSUES:

COMMUNITY: The Friedmans are based in the Chicago area, and support the Jewish community in the region. They're strongly involved with the Moishe House Chicago, which "builds a diverse, progressive, and inclusive community in an egalitarian Jewish context that is committed to working towards a more just society." The Friedmans have also supported outfits like United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Illinois Holocaust Museum, The Chicago Board of Rabbis, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago.

EDUCATION: Friedman is on the board of governors of Hillel International, which the family has strongly supported via their foundation. They've also given especially strong support to Louis and Saerree Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern. Another grantee: Chicagoland Jewish High School.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: The couple has steadily given funds to American Friends of Magen David Adom, which supports the MDA emergency medical, ambulance, blood and disaster services. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this Chicagoland couple to continue focusing much of their support of the Jewish community on their home region.

CONTACT:

The Abel and Judy Friedman Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact, but below is an address:

Abel and Judy Friedman Charitable Foundation
4231 W. Grove St.
Skokie, IL 60076

LINK:

Len Blavatnik

NET WORTH: $15.7 Billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Access Industries (Industrialist)

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Higher Education, Science Research, Arts & Culture, Israel

OVERVIEW: Len Blavatnik makes gifts through the Blavatnik Family Foundation, though the charity keeps a low profile and doesn't even appear to release tax records. Blavatnik's gifts can be large, and include support of education and Israel. He also established a Jewish cultural nonprofit and moves philanthropy though a more locally-focused charity. 

BACKGROUND: Born in Ukraine in 1957 and raised in Moscow, Len Blavatnik received a bachelor's degree from Moscow State University, an M.S. from Columbia University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Blavatnik made sharp investments in post-Soviet aluminum and energy companies and earned a fortune.  He's the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held industrial group through which he controls his holdings. 

FUNDING PROFILE: Billionaire couple Len Blavatnik and his wife Emily have given big gifts to the Jewish community via their Blavatnik Family Foundation. The couple takes up residence in several different countries, which perhaps explains why the Blavatnik Family Foundation does not appear on the Foundation Center. This makes the full scope of this family's giving difficult to get a handle on. As well, there don't appear to be any clear ways for grantseekers to contact the charity. 

The foundation has made high-profile gifts to Harvard, Oxford and New York Academy of Sciences. In the Jewish community, in 2014 the couple via their foundation made a $20 million gift to Tel Aviv University in Israel to create the Blavatnik Initiative, a "multiyear program focused on interdisciplinary scientific research, student film production, and faculty recruitment."  

The gift had several components. It helped create the Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery, which aims to "equip, man and operate a state-of-the-art core laboratory that will serve dozens of drug research groups across the TAU campus, as well as from other Israeli research institutions, at a critical stage in their research." The Blavatnik Computer Science Research Fund aims to "support and promote advanced computer science research at the Blavatnik School of Computer Science. Other components of the gift include the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center and the Blavatnik Student Film Production Fund. 

Blavatnik also sponsors a Colel Chabad food bank and warehouse in Kiryat Malakhi, Israel, which sends food shipments to thousands of poor families.

Len Blavatnik also founded the Blavatnik Archive, a nonprofit "dedicated to the discovery and preservation of historically distinctive and visually compelling artifacts, images and stories that contribute to the study of 20th century Jewish, WWI and WWII history." The organization's holdings total some 90,000 physical and digital assets, including archival photographs, letters, documents and ephemera, and contemporary oral testimonies. 

Blavatnik and Emily also move some of their philanthropy through the Provident Foundation, an under the radar charity which supports a number of arts and culture outfits in New York City. Tax records (they are on hand this time), though, do reveal support of Jewish outfits like American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic and ELEM/Youth in Distress, which deals with youth welfare in Israel.  

LOOKING FORWARD: Blavatnik is still young and very much engaged in business, but with billions on hand, he's someone who grantseekers should watch in coming years. Hopefully his charities will be more accessible and transparent down the line. 

CONTACT:

Provident Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for contact but below is an address:

Provident Foundation
67 Mason St.
Greenwich, CT 06830  

 

LINK:

Blavatnik Archive

Access Industries

Harold Grinspoon

NET WORTH: $500 million estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Aspen Square Management (Real estate)

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Literacy & Education, Community 

OVERVIEW: Harold Grinspoon and his wife Diane Troderman are Giving Pledge signatories whose philanthropy focuses on the Jewish community in Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, as well as nationally and in Israel. A key program provides families with free, high-quality children's books, music and other resources that foster Jewish learning. The foundation has a strong web presence with clear grant guidelines. 

BACKGROUND: Harold Grinspoon grew up in the 1930s in a poor family outside of Boston. He eventually founded the Massachusetts-headquartered Aspen Square Management, a private real estate company which operates over ninety communities in fourteen states around the country. 

HAROLD GRINSPOON FOUNDATION: In the couple's Giving Pledge letter, Grinspoon describes his relationship with his Jewish heritage. His family was secular, but Grinspoon was often reminded of his Jewish heritage as he faced antisemitism in school. He credits others in the community for galvanizing his own philanthropy years ago: "Twenty-five years ago, I had cancer of the tongue and came to the realization at that time that life is about more than making money. I started to think about what my legacy would be. Inspired by my wife, Diane Troderman, and my friends, Michael Steinhardt, Rabbi Irving Greenberg, and Jeremy Pava, I began to explore my Jewish roots."

Critical to the family's philanthropy is the idea that, as Grinspoon puts it, "among younger Jews... our newfound social acceptance has led to a decreased connection with their Jewish heritage...This trend is of great concern to me because it poses a threat to the Jewish future." 

Grinspoon and Diane give generously to Jewish causes through the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). HGF makes grants in Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, as well as nationally and in Israel. The foundation also runs flagship programs. One of these, PJ Library, provides free, high-quality children's books, music, and other resources that foster Jewish learning and "create a gateway for deeper engagement in Jewish life." The program is active in more than 165 North American communities, and is also expanding into Israel. The forces behind PJ Library are in part personal as Grinspoon had dyslexia-based reading difficulties as a youth. 

In Western Massachusetts, Grinspoon and Diane via their foundation provide funding for operating costs to Jewish day schools, including Hebrew High School of New England and Lander Grinspoon Academy. The foundation is also strongly involved with The Resource Center for Jewish Education (RCJE), and funds arts and culture, the local JCC, and the Jewish Federations of Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires.

Nationally, grantees have included Birthright Israel, Hillel, Foundation for Jewish Camp, and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Grinspoon is a pioneer in expanding and upgrading Jewish summer camping and another foundation program, JCamp 180 seeks to "sustain and strengthen Jewish camps in North America."

In Israel, meanwhile, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation established an Israel-based foundation, Keren Grinspoon Israel, which operates Sifriyat Pijama, a spinoff of the PJ Library program.

LOOKING FORWARD: Grinspoon daughter-in-law Winnie Sandler Grinspoon assumed the role of president of the foundation a few years ago and is a key person to watch.

LINK:

Harold Grinspoon Foundation

What We Do

Contact Page

Mark Wilf

NET WORTH: $1.3 billion estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Garden Homes Development; Minnesota Vikings

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Community, Israel, Religious, Holocaust Remembrance 

OVERVIEW: Mark Wilf and his wife Jane support the Jewish community via their Mark and Jane Wilf Family Foundation, founded last decade. The Wlifs also give in conjunction with other Wilf family members through several charities that strongly support the Jewish community in the United States and Israel. Mark and Jane sit on the board of governors of Hillel International and key on Jewish education. 

BACKGROUND: Mark earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and later graduated from New York University School of Law before becoming a principal in the family business, Garden Homes Development. Wilf is also president and owner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. 

FUNDING PROFILE: When Mark Wilf was in his early 20s, he accompanied his father Joseph to Poland and Russia. Wilf describes the powerful experience, "The two weeks were an eye-opener. I knew my parents were survivors, but I didn't know many of the specifics. I was struck by the fact that there were no Jews left in their towns, despite the fact that they had previously been thriving centers of Jewish life. At that moment, I became determined to spare no effort to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish people."

Wilf and his wife Jane support the Jewish community via their Mark and Jane Wilf Foundation. The foundation's grantmaking doesn't only go to the Jewish community, but they've supported Jewish-oriented outfits like Golda Och Academy, Simon Wiesenthal Center, American Friends of Jordan River, Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education in Ohio, Kushner Hebrew Academy, and Vanderbilt Hillel. The Wilfs are strongly supportive of Holocaust remembrance outfits and the family are among the largest financial supporters of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and research center in Israel.

Wilf is a trustee of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and was appointed by JFNA to lead an initiative that addresses needs of impoverished Holocaust survivors living in the United States. Wilf and Jane sit also on the board of governors of Hillel International. Though not an alum, Wilf also recently joined the board of Vanderbilt University.

Meanwhile, Wilf's alma mater Princeton is another important site of philanthropy. The couple gave a $5 million gift last decade to fund the construction of Wilf Hall, a new dormitory in Butler College, and to establish the Jane and Mark Wilf ’84 and Wilf Family Fund for Jewish Life to support programming in the Center for Jewish Life (CJL). The couple continues to support Princeton via their foundation.

Mark Wilf also gives in conjunction with other family members, including his father Joseph and older brother Zygi. (Read our profiles of Zygi Wilf and Joseph Wilf for a full overview of this family's extensive philanthropy.)

LOOKING FORWARD: The younger Wilf brother should be watched carefully in the coming decades for continued steady support of the Jewish community. 

CONTACT:

Mark Wilf does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below are addresses:

The Mark and Jane Wilf Family Foundation
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092
 
Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102

Mountainside, NJ 07092

Wilf Family Foundation

820 Morris Tpke.
Short Hills, NJ 07078

The Wilf Family Education Foundation Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092 

Wilf Family Foundation

Zygmunt Wilf

NET WORTH: $1.3 billion estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Garden Homes Development; Minnesota Vikings

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Community, Israel, Religious, Holocaust Remembrance 

OVERVIEW: Zygmunt Wilf supports the Jewish community through several charitable vehicles. Some of these he steers with his brother Mark, father Joseph and other family members. He also modestly supports the Jewish community via a family foundation he runs with his wife Audrey, a film producer. Wilf is on the board of American Society for Yad Vashem and actively supports the work of Shoah Foundation and Holocaust education programs.

BACKGROUND: Zygmunt "Zygi" Wilf immigrated with his family to the United States in the early 1950s and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. Wilf later graduated from New York Law School. Wilf joined the family business Garden Homes Development, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development. Wilf is also the chairman and an owner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.  

FUNDING PROFILE: Wilf and his wife Audrey modestly support the Jewish community via their Zygmunt & Audrey Wilf Foundation, which gave a little over $800,000 in a recent year. The foundation's grantmaking focuses on New York and New Jersey, and does not specifically key on on Jewish outfits. However, the couple, via this charity, have modestly supported outfits like Yeshiva University, UJA-Federation of New York, USC Shoah Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, Congregation Israel of Springfield, and Meor Heritage Retreats, whose aim is to inpsire, educate and empower  "a new generation of Jewish leaders on America's leading campuses."

Wilf is on the board of American Society for Yad Vashem and actively supports the work of Shoah Foundation and the Holocaust education programs. These forces are personal, as his parents Joseph and Elizabeth, are Holocaust survivors. 

Wilf is also a trustee of Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, a charity named for him, his brother Mark and late brother Sidney Wilf. This well endowed foundation held more than $141 million in assets in a recent year, and gave away some $5.2 million. The Wilfs, via this foundation, have given particularly large sums to Yeshiva University, Golda Och Academy (home to the Wilf Lower School Campus), and Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. Other grantees have included Hillel, Congregation Etz Chaim and American Israel Education Foundation.

Another vehicle, the Wilf Family Foundation supports a range of Jewish causes. Zygi Wilf is the vice president and a trustee, which supports education and youth, community organizations, and more. (For a thorough overview of the Wilf Family Foundation's grantmaking, read our profile of patriarch Joseph Wilf.)

LOOKING FORWARD: Wilf and family are running a robust philanthropic operation. Expect them to continue to support the Jewish community at all levels. 

CONTACT:

Zygi Wilf does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with his foundations but below are addresses:

Zygmunt & Audrey Wilf Foundation
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092
Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102

Mountainside, NJ 07092

Wilf Family Foundation

820 Morris Tpke.
Short Hills, NJ 07078

The Wilf Family Education Foundation Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092 

 

LINK:

Skyline Developers

Zygi Wilf Minnesota Vikings Page

Joseph Wilf

NET WORTH: Unknown 

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Garden Homes Development

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Israel, Community, Religious, Holocaust Remembrance

OVERVIEW: Patriarch of the Wilf family, Joseph Wilf moves his philanthropy though several foundations that are steered by Wilf, his sons and other Wilf family members. Wilf is chairman of one of the largest entities, the Wilf Family Foundation, which supports a range of Jewish causes and has distributed more than $200 million to the Jewish community and Israel over the past five decades. Wilf and his late brother Harry were among the original founders of the American Society for Yad Vashem.

BACKGROUND: When World War II broke out, Joseph Wilf, his siblings Harry and Bella, together with their parents, were deported to a Siberian labor camp. Wilf immigrated to the United States in 1950. In 1954, Joseph Wilf and his late brother Harry established Garden Homes Inc., a real estate development company in New Jersey. 

ISSUES:

EDUCATION & YOUTH: Joseph Wilf and family via the Wilf Family Foundation have given Yeshiva University in New York millions of dollars. The university is home to the Wilf Campus. Last decade alone, the Wilf Family Foundation gave the institution at least $8 million. Wilf was once vice chairman of the board of trustees of Yeshiva University and together with Harry endowed a major need-based scholarship fund for students at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women. 

The Wilfs also have a strong connection to Golda Och Academy, home to the Wilf Lower School Campus. Other grantees have included Rabbinical College of America, Torah Academy of Minneapolis and Rutgers Hillel. Note that Wilf is a trustee of another Wilf charitable vehicle called the The Wilf Family Education Foundation. "Education" here doesn't just mean schools, though grantees have included Jewish Educational Center, a yeshiva school located in New Jersey. The Wilfs have also given particularly large sums to youth outfits like Birthright Israel. 

COMMUNITY: Joseph Wilf is on the executive committee of American Society for Yad Vashem, which supports Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Wilf's nephew Leonard chairs the organization and Wilf and his brother Harry helped found it. Overall, the Wilfs are strongly supportive of Holocaust remembrance. Wilf is a founder of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Kean University Holocaust Resource Center. The Wilfs have also given support to LA Museum of the Holocaust. 

Wilf once described his early exposure to antisemitism: "There were only two Jews in my class in high school. We were totally isolated from the rest of the students. We were not allowed to participate in sports, no one ever talked to us and the teachers were distant. It was as if there was an organized boycott against the Jews." 

Community organizations the Wilfs have supported include Jewish Agency for Israel, which "connects the global Jewish family, brings Jews to Israel, and Israel to Jews, by providing meaningful Israel engagement and facilitating Aliyah"; Jewish Community Center; Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ; Jewish Museum; Sabes Jewish Community Center in Minneapolis; and United Jewish Appeal, the recipient of millions.

RELIGIOUS:  The Wilfs have supported Congregation Bais Yisroel, an Orthodox synagogue in Minneapolis; Sutton Place Synagogue; and Park East Synagogue, among others. 

LOOKING FORWARD: In his 90s, Joseph Wilf is still engaged in business and civic life, as he's been for decades. The Wilf Family Foundation alone held nearly $115 million in assets in a recent year. This is a wealthy family to continue to watch carefully as it moves into the next generation.

CONTACT:

Joseph Wilf does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with his foundations but below are addresses:

Wilf Family Foundation

820 Morris Tpke.
Short Hills, NJ 07078

Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, Inc.

200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092

The Wilf Family Education Foundation Inc.
200 Central Ave., Ste. 102
Mountainside, NJ 07092

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Robert M. Beren

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. 

ISSUES: 

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. 

CONTACT:

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

Robert M. Beren Foundation, Inc.
2020 N. Bramblewood St.
Wichita, KS United States 67206 

Israel Henry Beren Charitable Trust
2020 N. Bramblewood St.
Wichita, KS United States 67206