NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Timberland
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Israel Advocacy, Religious & Community Organizations
OVERVIEW: Sidney Swartz and his wife, Judith, started their philanthropic foundation in 1994 to channel their wealth toward charity. The Swartz Foundation held some $200 million assets in a recent tax year, and gave away a little under $31 million. The foundation's grantmaking focuses on Jewish causes, domestically in Boston, as well as to 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.
FUNDING PROFILE: Swartz and his wife Judith via their Swartz Foundation fund select Jewish organizations. On the education end, they've strongly supported American Israel Education Foundation, which provides grants to support select educational programs. Other grantees have included Brandeis University, and Kehillah Schechter Academy, a Jewish day school in Norwood, Massachusetts, though the day school closed a few years ago.
The couple 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've also given funds to PEF Israel Endowment Fund, an outfit founded in 1922 to enable the direct distribution of funds to selected and approved charitable organizations in Israel. They've also supported American Friends of Meir Panim, which fights poverty in Israel, and Birthright Israel Foundation, among others.
One of the couple's most newsworthy grants was a $50 million award to create an emergency medicine center at Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, which was appropriately named after them. They've also heavily supported Friends of Israel, a "worldwide Christian ministry communicating biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while fostering solidarity with the Jewish people."
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