NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Real Estate
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Community, Holocaust Remembrance, Education, Youth, Religious, Israel
OVERVIEW: Leon Wagner and family move their philanthropy through the Wagner Family Foundation, which gives in the neighborhood of $1 million annually. The Wagner family's support of the Jewish community focuses on metro New York, and to a lesser extent on Florida and Los Angeles. The family's grantmaking also involves outfits that work for/in Israel.
BACKGROUND: Leon Wagner keeps a low profile. He's the son of the late Rubin Wagner, a major property developer in New York.
FUNDING PROFILE: Leon Wagner and his brother Harry are the sons of Rubin Wagner, a major property developer in New York, and Sima Wagner. Rubin's parents both passed in the Holocaust. Rubin himself survived the war in concentration camps, often working as a barber, before being liberated in 1945. Rubin set sail for the U.S. in 1949, and in the 1950s worked as a barber again. He went on to cofound Ripley Associates and Forest Green and developed many properties, at one time becoming a large landowner in Huntington, New York.
The family's fraught days in WWII Europe help inform the Wagner family's giving through their Wagner Family Foundation, which steadily makes grants to Jewish organizations. Of late, big winners include American Friends of SHALVA, which supports the SHALVA National Children's Center; USC Shoah Foundation Institute; and UJA Federation. Unsurprisingly, Holocaust remembrance is an interest, and apart from USC Shoah, the Wagners have also supported places like US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
The Wangers have also helped fund community organizations like Chabad of Hyde Park, Chabad of Lithuania, Chabad of Stony Brook, Jewish Museum, Sid Jacobson JCC, and JCC In Manhattan. They've also supported synagogues like Sutton Place Synagogue and Park Avenue Synagogue, as well as National Board of Rabbis.
Other grantees include schools like The Abraham Joshua Heschel School and human services outfits like The Hebrew Home at Riverdale Foundation. The family has also supported organizations that work for/in Israel, including Friends of Israel Defense Forces, and Am Yisrael Foundation, which "champions the young leader as pioneer- advancing Observant Zionism as a fundamental force for the development of the Jewish People and Land of Israel."
In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $1.2 million. Annual grantmaking has been in this range of late.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this funder to stick with their select interest areas.
The Wagner Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
325 Columbia Tpke., Ste. 202
Florham Park, NJ 07932