NET WORTH: $1.3 billion estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Garden Homes Development; Minnesota Vikings
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education, Community, Israel, Religious, Holocaust Remembrance
OVERVIEW: Zygmunt Wilf supports the Jewish community through several charitable vehicles. Some of these he steers with his brother Mark, father Joseph and other family members. He also modestly supports the Jewish community via a family foundation he runs with his wife Audrey, a film producer. Wilf is on the board of American Society for Yad Vashem and actively supports the work of Shoah Foundation and Holocaust education programs.
BACKGROUND: Zygmunt "Zygi" Wilf immigrated with his family to the United States in the early 1950s and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. Wilf later graduated from New York Law School. Wilf joined the family business Garden Homes Development, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development. Wilf is also the chairman and an owner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.
FUNDING PROFILE: Wilf and his wife Audrey modestly support the Jewish community via their Zygmunt & Audrey Wilf Foundation, which gave a little over $800,000 in a recent year. The foundation's grantmaking focuses on New York and New Jersey, and does not specifically key on on Jewish outfits. However, the couple, via this charity, have modestly supported outfits like Yeshiva University, UJA-Federation of New York, USC Shoah Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, Congregation Israel of Springfield, and Meor Heritage Retreats, whose aim is to inpsire, educate and empower "a new generation of Jewish leaders on America's leading campuses."
Wilf is on the board of American Society for Yad Vashem and actively supports the work of Shoah Foundation and the Holocaust education programs. These forces are personal, as his parents Joseph and Elizabeth, are Holocaust survivors.
Wilf is also a trustee of Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation, a charity named for him, his brother Mark and late brother Sidney Wilf. This well endowed foundation held more than $141 million in assets in a recent year, and gave away some $5.2 million. The Wilfs, via this foundation, have given particularly large sums to Yeshiva University, Golda Och Academy (home to the Wilf Lower School Campus), and Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. Other grantees have included Hillel, Congregation Etz Chaim and American Israel Education Foundation.
Another vehicle, the Wilf Family Foundation supports a range of Jewish causes. Zygi Wilf is the vice president and a trustee, which supports education and youth, community organizations, and more. (For a thorough overview of the Wilf Family Foundation's grantmaking, read our profile of patriarch Joseph Wilf.)
LOOKING FORWARD: Wilf and family are running a robust philanthropic operation. Expect them to continue to support the Jewish community at all levels.
Zygi Wilf does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with his foundations but below are addresses:
Mountainside, NJ 07092
820 Morris Tpke.
Short Hills, NJ 07078