The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, is dedicated to meeting the basic needs of people experiencing poverty. The Foundation provides approximately $130 million each year in total grant activity supporting nonprofits that provide direct services in the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services. Grants support organizations that serve a range of populations, including older adults, women at risk and their children, people with disabilities, and veterans, as well as the Jewish community.
The Foundation administers the majority of its funding in its priority communities: Baltimore, Chicago, Hawaiʻi, Israel, New York City, Northeastern Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Rural Communities (primarily rural areas within proximity to other priority communities). Foundation funding extends to the greater metropolitan areas of the specific cities listed. All of these locations represent personal ties to the life and legacy of Harry Weinberg, as well as communities where Weinberg Foundation trustees reside and provide leadership. Since 1990, the Foundation has distributed grants totaling more than $2.4 billion.
Commitment to the Jewish Community
In the late 1930s, Harry Weinberg pledged his then-modest assets to enable many German Jews to reach safe haven in America. As Harry’s means increased over many years, so did his support of Jews in need. This commitment remains at the core of the Weinberg Foundation’s identity.
The Weinberg Foundation supports organizations that serve low-income and vulnerable people within the Jewish community, both in the United States and Israel. Grants to support the Jewish community align with the Foundation’s funding priorities within the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services.
In Israel, the Foundation has a long history of supporting direct service-providers, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) work dedicated to serving vulnerable older adults and providing job training for low-income populations. In 2018, the Foundation expanded its commitment in Israel to organizations serving women at risk and their children. For more on the Foundation’s grantmaking in Israel, please click here.
In North America, over the past two decades the Foundation has provided $24 million to organizations serving Holocaust survivors, and in Baltimore the Foundation is the largest contributor to The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore (The Associated), providing one of the single largest annual campaign gifts to any Jewish Federation.
The Foundation is also engaged in a range of strategic initiatives focused on addressing Jewish poverty on a national scale, as well as strengthening the leadership of nonprofits that will serve the Jewish community into the future.
- Yashar - Support for Inclusion at Jewish Camp
- Leading Edge
- National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty
- The SafetyRespectEquity Coalition
In partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the Weinberg Foundation has committed $12 million to a matching grants initiative. The Yashar Initiative aims to enhance accessibility and inclusion for campers and staff with disabilities by providing capital improvements, professional development, staff training, research, and evaluation to both participating camps and the field at large.
The Foundation has contributed more than $3 million in support of this program involving more than a dozen foundations, nonprofits, and Jewish Federations. Founded in 2014, Leading Edge influences, inspires, attracts, and develops top talent and a leadership pipeline for Jewish organizations serving both the Jewish and the broader community across North America. The flagship program areas focus on the immediate and long-term leadership and talent issues facing the Jewish sector, including onboarding new CEOs, strengthening partnerships between lay leaders and professionals, and helping to create leading places to work.
In partnership with the Jewish Funders Network, the Foundation is supporting a nationwide collaborative effort dedicated to addressing the issue of poverty within the Jewish community throughout the United States. Specific goals identified to date include assembling reliable and uniform data on Jewish poverty in America; changing the narrative around Jewish poverty; and developing, aggregating, and sharing best practices and models of poverty alleviation.
The SafetyRespectEquity (SRE) Coalition works to ensure safe, respectful, and equitable Jewish workplaces and communal spaces by advancing women’s leadership and gender equity and addressing sexual harassment, sexism, and gender discrimination. The ethical standards of Jewish tradition call upon each of us to work toward a more just and equitable world. To that end, SRE brings together organizations, funders, individuals, and experts to help create lasting, systemic change. The role of the Coalition is to serve as a catalyst and resource to support, coordinate, and amplify change in individual Jewish organizations and communal spaces, as well as to accelerate a broader cultural shift.
There are eight levels of charity. The highest is helping a man to help himself.
שמונה דרגות לצדקה יש והרמה העליונה היא לעזור לזולת להגיע לעצמאות.
Like most immigrants coming to the United States in the early 1900s, Harry Weinberg’s family arrived with little more than hope and a willingness to work hard. Beyond their many challenges, they saw opportunity.
Harry was gifted with a keen business mind and entrepreneurial spirit. Despite leaving school at age 12, Harry built a career that turned one successful investment into another, often seeing value where others did not. In the 1950s and 1960s, he owned bus lines in several cities, including Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Again seeing opportunity, and before many others recognized the eventual value of real estate in Hawai‘i, Harry began purchasing properties throughout the Hawaiian Islands. At the time of his death, Harry Weinberg was the largest single real estate investor in Hawai‘i.
However, Harry never forgot his humble roots. In 1959, he created The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to help meet the needs of low-income and vulnerable people. The Foundation as we know it today has existed since 1990, when Harry Weinberg died, a year after his beloved wife, Jeanette, passed away. Today, the fortune that Harry amassed has grown to $2.9 billion—the assets that make possible the Weinberg Foundation’s grantmaking.
For more information on the Weinberg Foundation’s 30th anniversary, as well as key moments throughout the Foundation’s history, click here.
Trustees and Staff