NET WORTH: $3.2 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Omega Advisors; Goldman Sachs
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Youth, Community, Israel
OVERVIEW: Leon Cooperman and his wife Toby are giving pledge signatories and active philanthropists. They steadily support Jewish causes through their family foundation. The Coopermans are major bankrollers of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Metrowest NJ, where they established the Cooperman Family Fund for a Jewish Future. New Jersey and New York are important regions for this family. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.
BACKGROUND: Leon Cooperman grew up in a Jewish family as the son of a plumber in the South Bronx. He attended public school, including Hunter College, before enrolling in Columbia Business School. After graduating business school, he worked for Goldman Sachs for many years, but left to found Omega Advisors, where he is now Chairman and CEO.
FUNDING PROFILE: The Coopermans are clear about their support of the Jewish community. As Cooperman once put it, "we are very proud of our religion, our heritage, the many accomplishments of the Jewish people, and the enormous contribution they make to society... but we are very concerned about the pace of assimilation and really the disappearance of the Jewish religion." A major site of philanthropy is the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ and its subsidairy, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Metroweset NJ. The family created The Cooperman Family Fund for a Jewish Future, endowing Birthright Israel for young adults, supporting Jewish summer camps for youth, and promoting mitzva projects for teens. In 2012, the outfit was named beneficiary of a $20 million life insurance policy established by Cooperman and Toby.
The couple also has given substantial funding to organizations like the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Museum of New York, and the Jewish Federations of North America. The Coopermans support outfits that work for/in Israel, too, such as Birthright Israel, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, American Friends of Hebrew University, Israel Emergency Fund, and FIRST Israel, whose vision is to "to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders."
The Coopermans have also funded religious organizations like Congregation B'Nai Jeshurun.
LOOKING FORWARD: A majority of this couple's wealth will go towards philanthropy at some point, and supporting Jewish causes is a priority. For a full look at this funder's philanthropy, read our Wall Street Profile of Leon Cooperman.
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The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation
P.O. Box 2369
Clifton, NJ 07015
Telephone: (973) 778-8885
Contact: Leon Cooperman, Tr.