NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: American Eagle Outfitters; DSW
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Community, Cultural & Historical Conservation
OVERVIEW: Jay Schottenstein, his wife Jeanie and family focus almost exclusively on Jewish causes through The Jay and Jean Schottenstein Foundation. The foundation has done around $10 million in grantmaking annually in recent years. The couple are collectors of Judaica and strongly support the Israel Antiquities Authority. They've also gifted some of their collection to museums. Other areas of interest include education and Jewish organizations that support the Jewish community domestically and in Israel. Despite active grantmaking, the foundation keeps a low-profile. It does not accept unsolicited proposals, either.
BACKGROUND: Jay L. Schottenstein is a graduate of Indiana University and serves as CEO and chairman of American Eagle Outfitters. The Schottenstein family has been prominent in Ohio for decades and have long led some of America's largest fashion retailers. It's unclear how much Schottenstein is worth but the family's net worth is $2.7 billion.
EDUCATION: The Schottensteins have given millions to Yeshiva University, where Schottenstein sits on the board of trustees. Yeshiva is the site of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program. The family also strongly supports American Friends of Nishmat. Nishmat-The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women in Jerusalem, was founded in 1990 by Rabbanit Chana Henkin to "open the gates of higher Torah learning to women." Other grantees have included Chabad of Key Biscayne, Columbus Torah Academy, and First Clearing LLC- Center for Jewish Community Studies. The Schottensteins strongly support Mesorah Heritage Foundation, which"recruits accomplished translators, scholars, writers, and editors who free our great texts from the captivity of ancient languages and bring them to English-speaking Jews." Much of this work takes place in Israel and domestically in Ohio and New York. However, at UPenn, the couple, along with another family, gave several million dollars to create the Schottenstein Jesselson Library in the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and endow the Schottenstein Jesselson Curator of Judaica Collections. The Schottensteins are UPenn parents.
COMMUNITY: The Schottensteins via their foundation have supported organizations like American Friends of Migdal Ohr, which supports at risk children in Israel; American Friends of Old City, which gives contributions to Jewish institutions and indigent families; and Central Fund of Israel, which funds projects in Israel, and settlement projects in the West Bank. The couple also supports Columbus Jewish Federation, and Jewish Community Center in Columbus, among others.
CULTURAL & HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The couple strongly supports the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which "regulates excavation and conservation, and promotes research." The family via their foundation have given IAA millions, and helped create the emerging Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel in Jerusalem. The couple are deep into collecting and have donated some of their works to the Columbus Museum of Art. The couple also helps fund the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Schottensteins to stay laser-focused on the Jewish community. A lot of money is already moving out the door and Schottenstein is only in his early 60s and still very much engaged in business. It's worth mentioning that other Schottenstein family members have philanthropic vehicles that fund Jewish causes, too.
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The Jay and Jean Schottenstein Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
The Jay and Jean Schottenstein Foundation
4300 E. Fifth Ave.
Columbus, OH 43219
Telephone: (614) 449-4253