Early in 1986, the late real estate entrepreneur Ben Eisenberg transferred all his properties to the Ben and Joyce Eisenberg Foundation with the provision that all profits be donated to several pre-selected charities, primarily in the fields of medical research and the care of children and the elderly. Eisenberg passed away from cancer that same year and his wife Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer took the reins of the family business, as well as the foundation.
Through the years, a large component of the Joyce E. Eisenberg Foundation's grantmaking has focused on Los Angeles. This is a foundation that flies well under the radar, with a minimal web presence, and no clear avenues of contact. In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $2.9 million.
The Eisenberg Foundation is a strong funder of Jewish causes both locally in Los Angeles but also in Israel. Joyce and her foundation have been major bankrollers of Jewish nursing homes in the Los Angeles area. In 2014, Joyce gave a $15 million gift to Los Angeles Jewish Home. Other work at the outfit includes the Eisenberg Village campus in Reseda, CA, and Neighborhood Homes on Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Lane at the Jewish Home. The foundation has also supported Jewish organizations like Anti Defamation League, Builders of Jewish Education, Sinai Temple, Valley Beth Shalom, Westside JCC, and SoCal Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
The foundation also earmarks sums for education in Los Angeles. Grantees include American Jewish University, Hebrew Union College, Shalhevet School, USC, and UCLA. In the arts, the foundation supports Geffen Playhouse and Music Center-LA County (which contains Disney Concert Hall), among others. The family have also been important patrons of The New Mart in downtown Los Angeles, an historic building.
The foundation's health grantmaking has a strongly personal element. Cancer, unsurprisingly, is a key focus. Grantees include American Cancer Society, American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (where Joyce has endowed a cancer chair), Cedars Sinai Heart Institute, and Cedars Sinai Medical Center. St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica is home to the Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Breast Cancer Center, as well.