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 $2.5 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 the Jewish community. This commitment remains at the core of the Weinberg Foundation’s identity.
The Weinberg Foundation supports organizations that serve people experiencing poverty 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 (Eshel) and providing job training for low-income populations (TEVET). 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 nearly three decades, the Foundation has provided approximately $30 million to organizations serving Holocaust survivors, and in Baltimore the Foundation is the largest contributor to The Associated: Jewish 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 proactive strategic initiatives focused on addressing Jewish poverty on a national scale, especially through its leading role in founding the National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty. In addition, the Foundation supports various initiatives which strengthen the Jewish nonprofit sector at-large, including those working to develop the next generation of leaders and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Jewish community.
- National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty
- Jews of Color Initiative
- Leading Edge
- Yashar - Support for Inclusion at Jewish Camp
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 Jews of Color Initiative (JOCI) is a national effort focused on building and advancing the professional, organizational, and communal field for Jews of Color through grantmaking, research, and community education. The Foundation has committed more than $1 million to JOCI and related efforts.
Leading Edge helps Jewish organizations attract, develop, and retain top talent. This organization offers a cohort-based program for onboarding new CEOs, strengthens partnerships between lay leaders and professionals, and conducts original research, including its annual employee engagement survey. The Foundation has contributed more than $3 million in support of this organization.
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 SafetyRespectEquity (SRE) Network works to ensure safe, respectful, and equitable Jewish workplaces and communal spaces. Through convenings, research, and development of national standards, this organization seeks to advance women’s leadership and gender equity, as well as address sexual harassment, sexism, and gender discrimination. The Foundation has committed more than $1 million to support the SRE Network.
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 $3 billion—the assets that make possible the Weinberg Foundation’s grantmaking.
For more information on key moments throughout the Foundation’s history, click here.
Trustees and Staff