NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Outdoor Systems
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Varied
OVERVIEW: In 2014, Bill Levine and family committed $25 million to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the largest gift in the museum's history. Levine and family via their William S. and Ina Levine Foundation focus almost exclusively on Jewish causes, in Arizona, as well as nationally and even globally. Grantmaking has been up at the foundation of late, rising to around $1.4 milion in a recent year. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.
BACKGROUND: William S. Levine attended University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Brooklyn Law School. Levine is an investor and real estate developer who cofounded Outdoor Systems, an outdoor advertising firm, in the 1980s. The company sold to Infinity/CBS in 1999 for $8.3 billion. Levine was once on the Forbes billionaire list. He lives with his family in the Phoenix, AZ, area.
FUNDING PROFILE: At the end of 2014, Levine, his wife Susan and family gave a $25 million gift to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, changing the name of the outfit's National Institute for Holocaust to Education the Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. The gift was the largest ever given to the museum. The Levines first became involved with the museum when Levine created the Ina Levine Scholar. Levine was appointed to the museum's governing Council in 2007 by President Bush. Of the family's latest gift, Levine said that, "I have distinct memories of when I first learned about the Holocaust as a young student at the Yeshiva of Flatbush during World War II. It was hard to believe what was happening to the Jews of Europe. Even today it seems unthinkable, and that’s why education is so important. When the survivors and eyewitnesses are gone, it will become even more important."
The Levine family is based in Phoenix and has steadily supported Jewish causes in the region. They've been major supporters of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, where Levine created the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in honor of Levine's late wife Ina. The Levines via their William S. and Ina Levine Foundation support other regional Jewish outfits including Jewish Community Association-Scottsdale, Chabad of Scottsdale, Chabad of Mesa, Beth Joseph Congregation in Phoenix, Phoenix Community Kollel, Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, and Jewish Arizonans on Campus.
Outside Arizona, the Levines via their foundation also fund outfits like Ramah in the Rockies, Chabad of California, Torah High School of San Diego, Birthright Israel Foundation, Beth Jacob High School in Denver, American Jewish Committee, and American Friends of Yahad-in-Unim. Yahad in Unum identifies sites of Jewish mass execution during the Holocaust.
LOOKING FORWARD: Levine is in his 80s and his philanthropy appears to be ramping up. Expect this family to remain laser-focused on Jewish organizations in the coming years.
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The William S. & Ina Levine Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
William S. & Ina Levine Foundation Inc.
2201 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 650
Phoenix, AZ 85016