NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Timberland
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Israel Advocacy, Community and Service Organizations
OVERVIEW: Sidney Swartz and his wife, Judith, started their philanthropic foundation in 1994 to channel their wealth toward charity. The Swartz Foundation held approximately $190 million in assets in a recent tax year, and gave away approximately $39 million. The foundation's grantmaking focuses on Jewish causes, domestically focusing in Boston, and internationally focusing in Israel. The foundation keeps a low-profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals.
BACKGROUND: Sidney W. Swartz served as CEO and president of Timberland until the late 1990s. Timberland was a family-owned business until Swartz's father Nathan took the company public. In 2011, Swtartz's son, Jeffrey, who took over as CEO, sold Timberland to the VF Corporation (which also owns the Wrangler brand), earning Sidney Swartz $101 million, his wife Judith $46 million, and Jeffrey $3.5 million.
FUNDING PROFILE: Swartz and his wife Judith provide funding to nonprofits through their Swartz Foundation. They dedicate significant major gifts to organizations working for Israel Advocacy, including the American Israel Education Foundation and Friends of Israel. Also in Israel, one of the couple's most newsworthy grants was a $50 million award to create an emergency medicine center at Ein Kerem, Jerusalem; the center was named after them. They also have focused the medical/hospitals sector in Israel by supporting the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. In addition to all of these grants, the couple also conduct additional granting in Israel to community organizations through a P.E.F. Israel Endowment Fund.
Domestically, the couple focuses on the Boston, Massachusetts area, and has given tens of millions to Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston (the "central fundraising and planning arm of Boston's Jewish community, supporting over eighty social service agencies"). They also lend some support to Jewish community organizations in the Palm Beach, Florida area, including Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service of South Palm Beach County and the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.
LOOKING FORWARD: We'll have to keep appraised of the family's next generation of philanthropy. Son Jeffrey Swartz, in his 50s, is very civically engaged.
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The Swartz Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is address/phone:
800 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02199
Telephone: (617) 951-7000
Contact: Janet C. Taylor, Philanthropic Advisor