Our Philanthropic Legacy: Programs, People and Institutions
Since the early 1980s, The Wexner Foundation and its affiliates have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in charitable and philanthropic activities around the world. The Foundation’s organizing framework has been built on developing leadership though investing in programs, people, and institutions.
The core of The Wexner Foundation’s philanthropic work has consisted of leadership programs that Foundation staff run and operate: The Wexner Heritage Program, The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program, the Wexner Israel Fellowship, the Wexner Senior Leaders Program, the Wexner Field Fellowship, the Wexner Service Corps, and Wexner Summits. In addition to its own leadership initiatives, The Wexner Foundation has invested in a wide variety of programs that share our mission of strengthening the Jewish people worldwide and the State of Israel. These programs include Birthright Israel, Hillel International, CLAL, HIAS, PEJE, JESNA, Israel Experience and many more.
The people that The Wexner Foundation has invested in start with the members and fellows of the core leadership initiatives listed above, but don’t end there. A constellation of thinkers, academics, researchers, practitioners, and innovators in Jewish life and in Israel have helped advance The Wexner Foundation’s mission and programs. These contributors and beneficiaries include:
- Rabbis such as Herbert A. Friedman, Maurice Corson, Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, David Hartman, Shlomo Riskin, Nathan Laufer, Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, Jacob Schachter, Avi Weiss, Jay Moses, and Elka Abrahamson;
- Public service leaders and leading intellectuals in Israel including Abba Eban, Teddy Kollek, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, and Itamar Rabinovich;
- Thinkers, teachers, professors such as Charles Liebman, Deborah Lipstadt, Robert Chazan, Henry Rosovsky, Erica Brown, Leonard Saxe, Steven Bayme, Arna Poupko, David Gergen, Larry Moses, Cindy Chazan, Or Mars and Brian Mandell.
The Foundation has also pursued its mission by supporting institutions which serve crucial functions in enriching Jewish life and employing and training leaders for the North American Jewish Community and Israel. Beneficiary Institutions include the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Shoah Foundation, Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University, Yad Vashem, Jewish National Fund, United Jewish Appeal, the Jewish Federations of North America, Yeshiva University, the Peres Center for Peace, the Yitzhak Rabin Center, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Kolot, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and many more.
In addition to these national and international institutions, The Wexner Foundation has been a significant supporter of the core Jewish communal institutions in Central Ohio, including JewishColumbus, (formerly Columbus Jewish Federation,) Wexner Heritage Village Senior Healthcare and Housing, Jewish Family Services, the Jewish Community Center, Columbus Jewish Day School, Columbus Torah Academy, Agudas Achim Congregation and other Columbus synagogues, and OSU Hillel - Wexner Jewish Student Center.