NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Cofounder & Managing Principal of Centerbridge Partners LP
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Jewish Causes
OVERVIEW: Jeffrey Aronson has been a major supporter of his alma maters, with a steady stream of money going to Johns Hopkins University over the years, including a recent $10 million gift. Aronson currently chairs the board of trustees at Johns Hopkins. Support has also gone to Aronson's graduate alma mater, NYU, and his wife Shari's alma mater, Lehigh University. In addition, a steady stream of money has gone to Jewish outfits including the Jewish Museum and the Birthright Israel Foundation. Apart from these two grantmaking areas, the Aronsons spread their money around modestly, making gifts in areas such as health and the environment.
BACKGROUND: Jeffrey H. Aronson went to Johns Hopkins University and then earned a law degree from New York University. Aronson was a Securities Attorney with the law firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and has been an active investor in distressed securities for more than 20 years. In 2005, he cofounded Centerbridge Capital Partners, an investment management firm, which posted assets of over $20 billion in a recent year.
EDUCATION: Aronson's education philanthropy involves both higher education and K-12 education. The couple's higher education philanthropy focuses in on the couple's alma maters, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, and New York University. Johns Hopkins has been the big winner here and the couple gave a $10 million gift to the school by the couple to create an international studies center called the Aronson Center for International Studies. Aronson has sat on the board of trustees at Johns Hopkins since 2006. He has also supported the University of Pittsburgh, Bankstreet College of Education, and Williams College.
Aronson also is interested in K-12 education, including organizations like Teach for America, Breakthrough Collaborative, Harlem RBI, the Fund for Public Schools, and Harlem Village Academies. Many of these groups are located in the New York City area, where a lot of the couple's philanthropy takes place. The couple has also supported Bottom Line, whose goal is to help "high school juniors and seniors get into college and support them when they are there."
JEWISH CAUSES: The Aronsons have an interest in supporting Jewish causes and organizations including The Jewish Museum, UJA Federation of New York, Birthright Israel Foundation, and the JCC of Mid-Westchester.
OTHER: Apart from these two focus areas, money coming from the Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation has been spread rather thinly. In health, the couple has supported A Kid's Brain Tumor Cure, Blythedale Children's Hospital, and the Lungevity Foundation, among others. The couple has also supported Environmental Advocates of New York.
LOOKING FORWARD: Aronson's recent $10 million gift to Johns Hopkins appears to be the couple's largest donation so far. In general, they give under $2 million annually, with a keen focus on education and Jewish causes.
The Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for grantseekers to get in touch with the couple but an address is listed below
Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation
77 Water St., 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10005