Jewish Foundations Give Generously to America’s Charities

Support for Jewish Causes is also Significant

San Francisco – (October 9, 2007) According to a new study released by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR), a sample of the largest and most prominent Jewish foundations in the United States gave 79% of their dollars to secular causes and 21% to Jewish causes in recent years. The study conducted by Gary A. Tobin and Aryeh K. Weinberg, covered approximately 50 foundations established by Jews, representing every region in the United States and over $17 billion in assets.

“Foundations established by Jewish Americans give to an amazing array of causes and organizations in education, health, the arts, and human services. They cover the landscape, which is what you would expect from a community that is so well integrated into every part of American society,” according to Gary Tobin, President of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research.

The IJCR’s report, A Study of Jewish Foundations, provides extensive data on where Jewish foundations make their grants. The selected Jewish foundations gave about $1.2 billion annually. Through a total of over 8000 grants collected using data from tax returns and other sources from 2004-2005, the latest comprehensive data available for many of the foundations. The full report with 13 detailed charts is available to download on IJCR’s web site:

* The selected foundations, with assets of about $17 billion, made a total of over 8,000 grants for a total of over $1.2 billion, just over the 5% minimum disbursement requirement for private foundations.
* Twenty-one percent of total dollars went to Jewish causes, 17% to higher education, 16% to health and medical, 14% to arts and culture, 11% to general education, 7% to human services, 7% to public society benefit, and 7% to all other causes.
* The median of the largest grants made by each foundation to a Jewish cause was about $700,000, and the median of the largest grants made by each foundation to a secular cause was $1.5 million, more than 100% higher.
* About one-third of the foundations gave a majority of their dollars to Jewish institutions, and two-thirds to secular institutions.
* Seven percent of all dollars went to Israel related institutions.

The Institute for Jewish & Community Research analyzes a broad range of issues including racial and religious identity, philanthropy, and higher education. The Institute is an independent, non-partisan think tank, and provides innovative research and pragmatic policy analyses to Jewish and other communities around the world.