The Generosity of the Rabinowitz Fund

donateThanks to the generosity of Louis Mayer Rabinowitz – an American Jewish philanthropist who lived from 1887 to 1957 – the Rabinowitz Fund for Judaica Research (at Yale University) was established two years before his passing.  The focus was for Semitic languages and literature but this was just one part of the generosity with which he was involved. In addition, the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation – for which he was responsible in 1953 – sponsored a five-year archaeological exploration in Israel in conjunction with the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati.

Rabinowitz was known throughout his life as being at the forefront of giving to community affairs, both in money and time.  He was the Vice President in 1921 at the Hebrew National Orphan Home, as well as the American Jewish Historical Society, Brooklyn’s Jewish Hospital and the NY chapter of the America-Israel Society.  He also held a key role at the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City in 1935, as Director.

Since Rabinowitz loved books and paintings, his will committed the large collection he assembled during his lifetime to the New York Public Library, Library of Congress, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Yale University.

Other philanthropic acts Rabinowitz engaged in included his directorship at Yale University’s Association of Fine Arts, honorary trustee of the educational institute’s Library Associates and director of the Jewish Theological Seminary. In this latter role he created the Louis M. Rabinowitz Institute for Research in Rabbinics.


Dr. Raymond Sackler: A Man with a Mission

Sackler Medical School in Tel Aviv University. Photo courtesy of .אבישי טייכר

Raymond Sackler is not only a psychiatrist and expert in the psycho-biology of schizophrenia and manic depressive psychosis, but he is also the founder of several pharmaceutical companies, his most well-known being Purdue Pharma, LLP.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920, Sackler was not admitted to medical school in the United States when he first applied. Not one to give up easily, he traveled to Glasgow and attended the Anderson College of Medicine in Scotland. During WWII, he volunteered for the British Home Guard and also worked as a plane spotter. During the war he was able to return to the USA to finish his medical studies. He received his degree from the Middlesex University School of Medicine in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1944, the same year he married Beverly Feldman.

Sackler became a board-certified psychiatrist and then became a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Sackler founded the Creedmoor Institute for Psychobiological Studies in New York City with his brothers Arthur and Mortimor. The brothers received two awards from the Medical Society of the State of New York for the research they conducted in the psycho-biology of schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis.

Mortimor and Raymond went on to launch Purdue Pharma, a company that is worth about $13 billion. Their most famous drug developed from the company is an opiate called Oxycontin.

Perhaps even greater than the work Sackler did in the realms of medicine and pharmaceuticals is his contribution to research and education through his numerous philanthropic organizations. Through the work of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundations, major work has been advanced in biomedical, biological, physical and engineering sciences. The foundation supports numerous schools, institutes, centers, departments, endowed chairs, professorships, fellowships, and research awards in the biomedical and physical sciences; lectureships at academic institutions around the world, and more.

In addition to all the above, Sackler is one of the founders of the American Program of the Sackler School of Medicine New York State four-year program at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.

Raymond Sackler was truly a unique man, whose passing only a few weeks ago on July 17, 2017, is a sad occasion for all who have benefited from his achievements.

Donations of Davidson

baseballBill Davidson (1922-2009) – as well as being a successful US businessman (chair, CEO and president of Guardian Industries) was an extremely very generous philanthropist.  A co-founder of the Pistons/Palace Foundation (which, itself gave over $20 million), his gifts to the William Davidson Institute at Michigan University has exceeded $55 million.

The Pistons/Palace Foundation also joined with the City of Detroit’s Parks and Recreation Department to create the Partnership to Adopt and Renovate Parks for Kids (PARK) Program.  With this program parks, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, playground equipment and running trucks were renovated.

With all of these donations (and more), Davidson was honored by the Council of Michigan Foundations in 1997 for his “lifelong philanthropic efforts locally, nationally and internationally.” The New York Times (in the same year) named  him one of the most generous donors in America.

Irving Moskowitz: Strengthening Israel, Revitalizing Jerusalem

Dr. Irving Moskowitz speaking at Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives.

Born in New York City in 1928, Irving Moskowitz was the ninth of thirteen children to parents who came to the US from Poland. His extended family suffered the loss of 120 members during the Holocaust. The family left New York when Irving was still a child, heading west to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he went to medical school and after earning his MD, moved to Los Angeles.

Moskowitz built a successful medical practice in Southern California, but soon found a talent for real estate, becoming wealthy in the business.

In 1967 Ben Gurion, the famed retired Prime Minister of Israel, wrote to Moskowitz, and others, to help Israel settle the newly liberated areas, saying in the letter that: “”We need more Jews in the liberated territories.”

Moskowitz became the local president of the California branch of a nationwide group called the Zionist Organization of America. In his capacity as president of the local ZOA he committed to helping Israel strengthen its sovereignty over Jerusalem, which had been united during the Six Day War of 1967. He encouraged and supported Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

He launched the Moskowitz Foundation in 1968, dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of people based on the idea that, “’He who has saved one life, it is as if he has saved the world.”
In 1980 Moskowitz moved to Miami Beach, where he continued to support his many causes on behalf of Israel. He was a key supporter of the Ir David Foundation and Ateret Cohanim, two organizations that help Jews move to neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

In 2008 he and his wife Cherna created the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism, “as an expression of support for people who put Zionism into action in today’s Israeli society, acting for the benefit of the common good in order to ensure the strength and resilience of the national Jewish homeland.”

At the age of 88, Irving Moskowitz passed away, and was buried in his beloved Jerusalem, in June, 2016.

Casden: Community Aide in Education, Real Estate and More

Alan Casden (born 1945) dedicates a lot of his resources to philanthropic endeavor.  Born in 1945, throughout his life he worked hard to become a successful US businessman in the real estate industry.  Today his companies have in total built more than 90,000 multi-family apartments.

Casden has also developed a staunch reputation of his giving nature.  For example, he gave a staggering $10.6 million to the University of Sothern California for the Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life.  He also endowed a dean’s chair at the Leventhal School and established the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast within the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.

In recognition of some of his generosity, when President of the United States, George W. Bush appointed him to serve on the Honorary Delegation accompanying him to the city of Jerusalem to mark the state of Israel’s 60th anniversary in 2008.  Thereafter he also selected him to serve for five years on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Throughout his life Casden has been supporting various Jewish-related causes such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance and LA’s Yesiva University. At the Jerusalem 3000 celebration he was named a “friend of Jerusalem.”


Bartos’ Benefits

universityThanks to the hard work, success, kindness and generosity of Armand Bartos and his wife Celeste, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has managed to make significant expansions to their buildings.

One example was their $100,000 donation in 1990 which went toward the expansion of MIT’s Rotch Library in the school’s architectural building.  Nine years later they donated a staggering $1 million, which resulted in the creation of The Celeste and Armand Bartos Visualization Center

Further significant donations include: at the New York Library, both the Celeste Bartos Forum auditorium and $8.5 million for the Celeste and Armand Bartos Education Center.  As well there have been contributions to art industries including: MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Bartos Institute for the Constructive Engagement of Conflict, in the Montezuma Castle.

Jona Goldrich: Philanthropist, Builder, Fighter

Jona Goldrich, a well-known supporter of Jewish institutions in the Los Angeles area, was a Holocaust survivor who fought in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

Goldrich was born Jona Goldreich in 1927 in Lvov, Poland, which is today part of Ukraine. When he was just 15 years-old, he and his brother Avram traveled across Europe to Israel to escape the Nazis in 1942.

He spent the next 11 years in Israel, as a soldier fighting for Israel’s independence and earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology.

In 1952, he traveled to the United States, making his way to the Los Angeles area with only $50 to his name. He changed his name to Goldrich, and started working as installing screens in Los Angeles. Just two years late he started his own company, Active Cleaning & Maintenance. Only three years later Goldrich developed his first property, and apartment building in North Hollywood.
Through the years Goldrich made his more in Southern California real estate.

His influence in Los Angeles was not confined merely to real estate. He was a large supporter of Jewish institutions, and still is through the Goldrich Family Foundation. The foundation is endowed with over $100 million, and supports a huge range of causes, from research hospitals and local schools to organizations in Israel.

One of Goldrich’s largest contributions was as the force behind the creation of LAMOTH, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Pan Pacific Park.

“He wanted people to experience history in the present,” said Samara Hutman, executive director of LAMOTH. “[He wanted] people to remember the people who are no longer with us, and if we don’t tell their stories, no one will.”

Jona Goldrich passed away in 2016, leaving behind his wife of 56 years, two daughters, a brother in Israel, and grandchildren.

2017 Los Angeles County Bar Association: Jona Goldrich from Verdict Videos on Vimeo.