NET WORTH: $500 million (estimated)
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Kushner Companies (Real Estate)
JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Israel, Religious, Community & Health
OVERVIEW: Charles Kushner, his wife Seryl, and family move their philanthropy through the Charles and Seryl Kushner Charitable Foundation. The Kushners are strong supporters of Jewish institutions in the United States, as well as Israel. Two modern Orthodox Jewish day schools bear the name of Kushner's parents. Besides Jewish education, the family also supports religious institutions, Jewish health organizations, and more. The family's philanthropy centers around the East Coast, particularly New Jersey and New New York.
BACKGROUND: Charles Kushner grew up in New Jersey. His parents were Holocaust survivors who came to America in the 1940s. Kushner attended NYU and Hofstra. He turned a construction business begun by his father into a private real estate empire, Kushner Companies. Kushner was sentenced to two years in federal prison in Alabama, after pleading guilty to 18 felony counts, but ultimately was released within a year.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School are Modern Orthodox Jewish schools in New Jersey that the Kushner family help bankroll. The schools bear the name of Kushner's father and mother. The family has also strongly supported the Ramaz School and directed funds to Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore, and Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim in Brooklyn, among others. On the higher education front, grantees have included Yeshiva University, and Chabad at Harvard. The Kushners also have an interest in special education. The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Hebrew Academy houses a program of the SINAI Special Needs Institute, an organization "dedicated to serving the educational, psychological and emotional needs of Jewish children and young adults."
The Kushner family have also been steady backers of Friendship Circle, one of whose missions is to "provide Jewish children who have special needs with a full range of social, recreational, educational and Judaic experiences."
ISRAEL: Charles Kushner and family via their foundation also support organizations that work for/in Israel. These include American Friends of Nishmat (AFN), the US-based entity that supports the work of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women; American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva; and American Friends of Shalva.
RELIGIOUS: Grantees have included Chevrat Pinto, Congregation Ahawas Achim, Park Avenue Synagogue, and Young Israel of Bal Harbour Orthodox Synagogue in Florida.
COMMUNITY & HEALTH: The Kushner family also support Jewish community organizations like Chai Mitzvah, whose mission is to "increase engagement throughout the Jewish community"; Ym-YWHA of Union County; and American Jewish Committee. The family supports health organizations like Israel Cancer Research Fund and Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Kushner family's varied and high-level support of Jewish causes to continue. Son Jared Kushner, who has taken the reins at his father's company, is also the husband of Ivanka Trump, and should be watched carefully in the coming years.
The Charles and Seryl Kushner Charitable Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the family, but below is contact information
Charles and Seryl Kushner Charitable Foundation
18 Columbia Tpke.
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Telephone: (973) 822-0050
LINK: Kushner Companies