David and Janet Polak

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: NWQ Investment Management

JEWISH FUNDING AREAS: Israel, Education & Youth, Health & Human Services

OVERVIEW: The Polak family has actively supported Israel for decades. Much more recently, David and Janet Polak established the David & Janet Polak Foundation, through which they support the Jewish community, including in Israel. The Polaks are major bankrollers of American Technion Society.

BACKGROUND:  David Polak graduated from MIT, and holds an M.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from UCLA’s Graduate School of Management. He went on to found NWQ Investment Management Company, where he retired as chairman and chief investment officer.

ISSUES: 

ISRAEL: As the Polaks’ son and foundation president and executive director Jeff Polak puts it, “We want to help Israel become more economically independent and secure.” American Technion has received millions from the family, leading to the establishment of the David and Janet Polak Center for Cancer Research and Vascular Biology at Technion; David Polak has held several leadership positions at the organization.

Additionally, the family gave a $1.5 million gift to Ben Gurion University (BGU) to underwrite BGU’s Cyber Security Malware Analysis Laboratory. Other grantees have included Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Central Fund of Israel, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Israel Emergency Alliance, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting. 

EDUCATION & YOUTH: The couple has supported Polak’s alma mater MIT, including its Hillel Birthright Extension program. Elsewhere, the foundation has supported the Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters Association of Los Angeles and Moishe House, .

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: In addition to this type of support in Israel, the couple, via their foundation, have supported Jewish Free Loan Association, where the family established the David & Janet Polak Foundation Emergency Loan Program; Beit T’Shuvah, The Polaks also substantially fund the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging, where Janet is a past chair of the board of governors; a new building there will be in their name.

ADDITIONAL: Many of the U.S. organizations supported by the Polaks, via their foundation, are based in Los Angeles. In addition to those listed above, the couple has substantially supported the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Janet previously served as their women’s campaign chair. They also give substantially to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Polak family’s steady support of the Jewish community to continue, with an emphasis on Los Angeles and Israel.

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CONTACT:

David & Janet Polak Foundation
501 Silverside Rd., Ste. 123
Wilmington, DE 19809