John and Shonni Shapiro

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Chieftain Capital Management

FUNDING AREAS: Jewish Causes, Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Human Services & Health

OVERVIEW: John Shapiro and his wife, Shonni, move their philanthropy through the Shapiro-Silverberg Foundation. The family's philanthropy focuses on the east coast. They've funded writing programming at their mutual alma mater, Wesleyan University. They've also been major supporters of UJA Federation of New York. Another interest is supporting youth. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. 

BACKGROUND: John M. Shapiro graduated from Wesleyan University in 1974. Shapiro cofounded Brave Warrior Capital and currently serves as managing director of Chieftain Capital Management. 


JEWISH CAUSES: Shapiro and his wife Shonni are major patrons of the UJA Federation of New York, where Shapiro once served as president. The organization is home to the Shapiro Family Fellowship, "a highly selective, year-long experience designed to cultivate future leaders of the New York Jewish community through high-level discussion with peers, leaders, and mentors in the United States and Israel." The family also supports the Jerusalem Foundation, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Museum, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, various synagogues, and more. 

EDUCATION & YOUTH: Shapiro and Shonni graduated from Wesleyan University in the 1970s, and are strong supporters of their alma mater. Much of this work involves writing programming at the school. A gift last decade established the Shapiro Creative Writing Center and a $3 million gift builds on their previous support. The liberal arts school is also the site of the Shapiro Silverberg Endowed Chair in Creative Writing, as well as the Gittel and Mervin Silverberg Visiting Scholar in Jewish Studies, and the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies. Apart from Wesleyan, the couple has funded schools like Dalton, Rockefeller University (Shapiro is on the board), and Weill Cornell Medical College, from where Shonni graduated. An important grantee here is Lawyers for Children, which "offers free legal and social work advocacy to abused and neglected children, children in foster care, and children in high conflict custody cases." Shapiro chairs the board of directors of Lawyers for Children.

ARTS & CULTURE: The couple appears to be interested in the arts. Besides their support of writing at Wesleyan, they've steadily helped fund American Academy in Rome, which "supports innovative artists, writers, and scholars living and working together in a dynamic international community." Other grantees have included Jazz at Lincoln Center, Public Art Fund, and Recess, which "supports the rigorous process of the contemporary artist by creating a space for productive activity that initiates a partnership with the public."

HUMAN SERVICES & HEALTH:  The couple's health grantmaking, via their foundation, hasn't been overwhelming of late, though it's worth mentioning that Shonni is a doctor. Grantees have included New York Stem Cell Foundation and Blythedale Children's Hospital. In human services, the family has funded organizations like Westchester Arc Foundation, and Bottomless Closet, which "provides professional clothing, job readiness, and post-employment training and coaching services to women on assistance and working-poor women."

OTHER: Shapiro is on the board of Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and steadily funds the think tank via the couple's charitable vehicle. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this couple to stick with their established interest areas for now, particularly their work with Wesleyan and in the Jewish community. 


The Shapiro-Silverberg Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple but below is an address:

Shapiro-Silverberg Foundation
1375 Broadway
New York City, NY 10018