NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Goldman Sachs
FUNDING AREAS: Women's Equity, Social Justice & Policy, Arts & Media, Education, Jewish Causes, Health
OVERVIEW: Eric Dobkin and his wife, Barbara, established the Dobkin Family Foundation in the 1980s. The Dobkins aim to promote social change and have supported women’s causes extensively. Other philanthropic interests include social justice and policy, arts and media, education, Jewish causes and health.
BACKGROUND: Eric S. Dobkin received a B.A. from Marietta College in 1964 and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1967. He worked in Goldman Sachs’s institutional equity sales divisions in Philadelphia and Chicago and was elected partner in 1982. He retired in 1998. Barbara Dobkin earned a B.A. from Marietta College and an M.S.W. from Boston University. She is the driving force behind much of the couple’s philanthropy.
WOMEN'S EQUITY: Barbara Dobkin has supported and led women’s organizations in the U.S. and Israel since the 1990s. She is the founder of Ma’yan, a New York City-based organization that “provides feminist, social justice, and leadership training to self-identified teen girls and teaches vital skills to parents and educators." She is also a former chair of the Jewish Women’s Archive, which documents the lives of Jewish Women throughout history. Other past grantees in the area of women’s equity include the New York Women's Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Global Fund for Women, the Women's Sports Foundation, Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, Hollaback! and the International Center for Research on Women.
SOCIAL JUSTICE & POLICY: The Dobkins’ grantmaking in the area of social justice and policy development has prioritized the issues of economic opportunity and incarceration on the national level. One past grantee, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, “engages people and communities throughout the United States in creating economic opportunity and promoting social justice.” The Dobkins have also supported Grassroots Leadership, which “works with communities across the nation to abolish for-profit private prisons, jails, and detention centers.” Other past grantees include the San Francisco Organizing Project, Immigration Equality, the Correctional Association of New York, the Roosevelt Institute and Political Research Associates, which provides “investigative research and analysis on the U.S. Right to support social justice advocates and defend human rights.”
ARTS & MEDIA: Dobkins maintain a strong interest in documentary film, and have supported organizations that aim to inspire social awareness and change. A past grantee, Shine Global, produces films about at-risk children with the aim of preventing abuse and exploitation. Another past grantee, Chicken & Egg Pictures, supports women making nonfiction films with the potential of promoting change in the U.S. and abroad. Other past grantees in arts and media include the Utah Film Center, the American Film Foundation, the Brooklyn Museum, Working Films and Impact Partners.
EDUCATION: The Dobkins have steadily supported their mutual undergraduate alma mater, Marietta College, with donations of more than $1 million over the past several years. Other past education grantees include Santa Fe’s School for Advanced Research, Hebrew Union College, Goucher College, Harlem Village Academies, the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and the Girls Athletic Leadership Schools.
JEWISH CAUSES: The Dobkins have supported Jewish organizations in the U.S. and Israel, many of which overlap with Barbara’s strong interests women’s issues and social justice. In New York, the Dobkins are longtime supporters of the Jewish Community Center, where Barbara also founded support groups for gay and lesbian teens and their parents. Other U.S. grantees include the National Council of Jewish Women and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. In Israel, the Dobkins have supported the New Israel Fund and US/Israel Women to Women. Barbara is also a former chair of the board of trustees of the American Jewish World Service, which is “dedicated to providing nonsectarian humanitarian assistance and emergency relief to disadvantaged people worldwide."
HEALTH: The Dobkins have not articulated any specific initiatives for their health funding, but past grantees include the Lupus Foundation of America, Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the St. Johns Hospital Foundation.
LOOKING FORWARD: The Dobkins will likely to continue to their support of the causes in which Barbara is actively involved, investing in both well-established and smaller, grassroots organizations.
The Dobkin Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch, but below is an address:
Dobkin Family Foundation
77 Water St., 9th Fl.
New York City, NY 10005