Eric and Barbara Dobkin

NET WORTH: Unknown


FUNDING AREAS: Women's Equity, Social Justice & Policy, Arts & Media, Education, Jewish Outfits, Health

OVERVIEW: Eric Dobkin and his wife Barbara move their philanthropy through the Dobkin Family Foundation, which was established in the 1980s. The Dobkins have been laser-focused on women's issues through their foundation and Barbara has been prominent in progressive Jewish and women's philanthropy circles. The couple is also interested in arts and media, particularly documentary film that ignites social change. 

BACKGROUND: Eric S. Dobkin received a B.A. from Marietta College in 1964 and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1967. Dobkin joined Goldman Sachs in institutional equity sales in Philadelphia, and in the early 1970s, relocated to Chicago, and became the manager of institutional sales. Dobkin was elected a general partner in 1982 and retired as partner in 1998.


WOMEN'S EQUITY: The Dobkins have been laser-focused on women's issues and social change through their Dobkin Family Foundation. The forces here strongly involve Barbara Dobkin. She's been involved with a number of women's organizations including Ma’yan, an outfit she founded which "provides feminist, social justice, and leadership training to teen girls and teaches vital skills to parents and educators," and Jewish Women’s Archive, which she also founded. Recent grantees include New York Women's Foundation, MS Foundation for Women, Global Fund for Women, Women's Sports Foundation, Advancing Women Professionals, Hollaback!, Jewish Woman's Archive, and Re:Gender.

SOCIAL JUSTICE & POLICY:  The Dobkins are also interested in social justice issues. They've suported places like the San Francisco Organizing Project, Immigration Equality, Correctional Association of New York, Bend the Arc, which "engages people and communities throughout the United States in creating economic opportunity and promoting social justice," and Grassroots Leadership, which "works with communities across this nation to abolish for-profit private prisons, jails, and detention centers." The couple has also funded left of center policy outfits such as the Roosevelt Institute and Political Research Associates, which studies the right wing. 

ARTS & MEDIA: Dobkin and Barbara have also funded arts and media outfits. They have an interest in film, particularly documentary films that might inspire social change. Grantees have included Utah Film Center, American Film Foundation, Hartley Film Festival, Brooklyn Museum, Shine Global, a nonprofit "production company dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children through films and media, "Working Films, a "national, nonprofit organization available to all independent filmmakers and community organizers," and Chicken & Egg Pictures, which is dedicated to supporting women nonfiction filmmakers whose diverse voices and dynamic storytelling have the power to catalyze change, at home and around the globe." Barbara has also been involved with Impact Partners, which provides funding and guidance to films that highlight pressing social issues.

EDUCATION: The Dobkins have steadily supported their mutual undergraduate alma mater Marietta College. Last decade, gifts of more than $1 million went to the school. Another significant grantee here is School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. Other recent grantees have included Hebrew Union College, Goucher College, Harlem Village Academies, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, and Girls Athletic Leadership Schools.

JEWISH OUTFITS: Barbara Dobkin is the former chair of the board of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an organization the couple has funded since 2000. AJWS is a "nonprofit organization dedicated to providing nonsectarian humanitarian assistance and emergency relief to disadvantaged people worldwide." Some of this work has also involved girls and women. Other grantees have included Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, Ma'Yan/JCC of Manhattan, National Council of Jewish Women, and New Israel Fund.

HEALTH: The couple's health philanthropy hasn't involved a lot of granteees of late, but the Dobkins have recently supported SLE Lupus Foundation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and St. Johns Hospital Foundation.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Dobkins to stay laser-focused on women's issues and progressive causes. The couple's daughter Rachel, a lawyer and writer, should also be watched.


Dobkin Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple but below is an address

Dobkin Family Foundation
77 Water St., 9th Fl.
New York City, NY 10005