NET WORTH: $1.21 billion, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Steinhardt Partners L.P
FUNDING AREAS: Jewish Causes, Education, Health, Arts & Culture, NYC Community
OVERVIEW: Michael Steinhardt, his wife, Judy, and family are active philanthropists. The Steinhardts move their philanthropy through several charitable vehicles, but a common thread is supporting Jewish causes. Steinhardt is a cofounder of Birthright Israel and also established the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.
BACKGROUND: A native of Brooklyn, Michael Steinhardt graduated from Wharton in 1960. He began his career on Wall Street in research and analyst positions with Calvin Bullock and Loab Rhoades & Co. In 1967, Steinhardt, along with Howard Berkowitz and Jerrold Fine, formed hedge fund company Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co. In 1979, Berkowitz and Fine left the partnership, which was then renamed as Steinhardt Partners.
JEWISH CAUSES: Michael Steinhardt co-founded Taglit Birthright Israel with Charles Bronfman so that young Jews to could visit their ancestral homeland. Since its inception in December 1999, Birthright Israel has sent over 500,000 Jewish young adults to Israel. The Steinhardts have given millions to Birthright over the years. Steinhardt also established the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life (SFJL) whose aim is to foster the "emergence of a thriving, dynamic and creative Jewish community whose contributions to American culture are informed and inspired by distinctive Jewish values that are fully compatible with life in the open society." SFJL has a strong web presence, though does not currently accept unsolicited proposals. SFJL's work includes support of Hebrew Language Charter Schools, The Areivim Hebrew at Camp Program, and Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative.
Apart from SFJL, Steinhardt also supports the Jewish community via The Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation and the Steinhardt Family Foundation, two under the radar vehicles. The Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation's grantees have included various congregations, as well as places like the Israel Institute, the Jerusalem Foundation, The Jewish High School of Connecticut, and This World: The Jewish Values Network. The Steinhardt Family Foundation, meanwhile, funds educational programs for children in Israel.
EDUCATION: The Steinhardts are major benefactors of New York University, home to the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The Steinhardts gave at least $20 million to NYU last decade and continue to support the school via their Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation, as well as through individual donations. The family has also supported schools like Dalton and Brooklyn Academy of Music:
ARTS & CULTURE: The Steinhardts are major art collectors, and have kept a comprehensive collection of Judaica. They've given modestly to outfits like American Folk Art Museum, and New York Historical Society, and have given more moderate amounts to places like the Met.
HEALTH: Grantees have included Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and ALS Association of Greater New York.
OTHER: Steinhardt also seems to have an interest in the environment, especially supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society.
LOOKING FORWARD: In his 70s, Steinhardt is running a robust philanthropic operation. Expect plenty more money to stream to this family's interest areas, particularly Jewish causes.
The Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation and The Steinhardt Family Foundation do not provide a clear avenues for getting in touch but below are addresses:
The Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation
712 5th Ave., 34th Fl.
New York City, NY 10019
Steinhardt Family Foundation
650 Madison Ave., 17th Fl.
New York City, NY 10022