NET WORTH: $20 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Banco Safra
FUNDING AREAS: Jewish Causes, Health
OVERVIEW: Joseph Safra and his wife Vicky move their philanthropy through the Joseph Safra Foundation, which gave away around $5.1 million in a recent year. The family primarily supports Jewish causes via their foundation, including religious organizations and institutions in Israel.
BACKGROUND: Joseph Safra is a descendant of a banking family from Syria, and is the world's richest banker. In Brazil, he owns Banco Safra, the country's eighth-largest bank, while in Switzerland, he owns J. Safra Sarasin, a bank created in a merger in 2013. He also owns Safra Bank of New York. His real estate assets include London's Gherkin.
JEWISH CAUSES: The couple’s giving through his foundation primarily focuses on the Jewish community, both in the United States and Israel, as well as in other parts of the world. The Safras steadily support synagogues, particularly Congregation Shema Shlomo, which has recently received seven-figure sums. Other grantees include Congregation Share Zion of Great Neck and Congregation Sfat Temmin. Safra’s late brother Edmond was an active philanthropist with an interest in constructing and renovating synagogues. Deal, New Jersey, is home to Edmond J. Safra Synagogue & Joseph S. Jemal Synagogue.
He has supported PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Sarah Dabah Elementary School, Shaarei Emunah - Institute of Jewish Studies, Yeshivah Zichron Yehoshua, and Sephardic Synagogue of 5th Avenue.
HEALTH: While Safra primarily supports the Jewish community through his foundation, he also appears to have an interest in health and medicine. He’s given particularly large sums to Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Henry Ford Health Systems and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Edmond J. Safra Foundation supports the Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders, a joint program with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the couple’s particularly strong support of Jewish organizations to continue.
The Joseph Safra Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
Joseph Safra Foundation
546 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10036