May 16, 1954 |
Elizabeth, New Jersey
|Alma mater||New York University (B.A.)
Hofstra University Law School (J.D.)
Stern School of Business (M.B.A.)
|Occupation||Co-owner of Kushner Properties|
|Religion||Modern Orthodox Judaism|
|Spouse(s)||Seryl (Stadtmauer) Kushner|
Charles Kushner (born May 16, 1954) is an American real estate developer, political fundraiser and philanthropist. In 2005, he was convicted in federal court for making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering.
Kushner's parents were Joseph and Rae Kushner, who had come to America from Belarus by way of Italy in 1949. When Charles Kushner was born on May 16, 1954, his mother wanted to name him "Chanan", a Hebrew name, after her brother, who was killed in the Holocaust, but she was overruled by an American nurse. Joseph Kushner worked as a construction worker and concurrently as an independent builder, while investing in real estate, eventually building a portfolio totalling 4,000 New Jersey apartments, which Charles Kushner began managing in 1985. Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, in Livingston, New Jersey, built by Charles Kushner, are named after them.
Charles Kushner grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, with an elder brother, Murray, and a sister, Esther. His son Jared Kushner is the owner of the New York Observer, and is married to Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald Trump.
Education and legal career
Kushner graduated from New York University in 1976 and received an MBA from there and a Juris Doctor from Hofstra Law School in 1979. He worked as a real estate and tax lawyer, becoming a partner in the law firm of Brach, Eichler, Rosenberg, Silver, Bernstein, Hammer & Gladstone, in Roseland, New Jersey, and a member of the bars in the states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
In January 1985 Kushner founded Kushner Companies, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, and based on his father's real estate holdings. He was CEO, chairman, manager and, he says, "dishwasher"; he had one secretary.
In 1999, Kushner won the Ernst & Young New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year award. At the time, Kushner Companies had grown to over 10,000 residential apartments, a home building business, commercial and industrial properties and a community bank.
In 2003, New York University and Kushner Properties announced that the University has signed a 15-year lease for three floors, comprising 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) of contiguous space, in the historic Puck Building, 295 Lafayette Street in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood.
In early 2007, Kushner bought the building at 666 Fifth Avenue, New York City, for US$1.8 billion, the highest price ever paid for a single office building in the United States. Subsequently Kushner shifted focus from his New Jersey real estate operations to the New York market. In July 2007, the Kushner Companies sold 17,500 apartments in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York, valued at $2 billion. Before that sale, the Companies had employed approximately 800 people.
In August 2011, representatives from the Kushner Companies made a presentation to the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency proposing a scaled-back design concept for the Landings at Harborside, a residential development set to be built along the city's waterfront, and allowing rental housing instead of owner-occupied units as originally planned. The plan, which would save two historic Perth Amboy buildings, was endorsed by Mayor Wilda Diaz, who was quoted as saying "Too many sites have been torn down. Let’s restore them and use them for other purposes." She further said that Kushner sketched a concept for the courthouse that was incorporated into the redesign.
On July 5, 2013, Kushner Companies signed an agreement to purchase a five-building complex formerly used by Jehovah's Witnesses.
One of the Kushner family's philanthropic ventures was the dedication of Joseph Kushner Building of the Jewish Educational Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Kushner's father, Joseph, for whom the building is named, had been a longtime member of the Jewish community and major force in the JEC's early growth.
Kushner also funded the building of the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy (Pre-K through 8) and the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School (grades 9-12), two connected Modern Orthodox Jewish institutions located in Livingston, New Jersey, where Kushner resides. The schools are named after his deceased parents, both Holocaust survivors.
Political fundraising, convictions, and tampering
Kushner is a major donor to the Democratic Party, most notably to former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. In 2005, following an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, Kushner was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering and was sentenced to two years in prison. He has since been released.
- Smothers, Ronald (March 5, 2005). "Democratic Donor Receives Two-Year Prison Sentence". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Executive Profile: Charles Kushner", Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- "Mini Bio: Rae Kushner", Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Elkies, Lauren (November 1, 2007). "The Closing: Charles Kushner". The Real Deal. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- "Charles Kushner" Cityfile. Gawker Media. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Sherman, Gabriel (July 12, 2009). "The Legacy". New York. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Karoliszyn, Hendrick; Furse, Jane H. (October 25, 2009). "Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pose for wedding photos after ceremony at Trump National Golf Club". Daily News (New York). Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Academic Chairs and Distinguished Professorships", Hofstra University. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- "1999 New Jersey Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year(R) Award Recipients Announced". Ernst & Young. press release, June 17, 1999. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Dunlap, David W., (June 22, 2003). "Postings: 2 Floors for Wagner Graduate School; N.Y.U. Leases 3 Floors at Puck Building". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Bagli, Charles V. (December 7, 2006). "A Big Deal, Even in Manhattan: A Tower Goes for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
- Smothers, Ronald (June 14, 2006). "Newark: Large Real Estate Block Offered for Sale". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- "Kushner's blow-out sale.", Real Estate Weekly, July 4, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Russell, Suzanne (September 16, 2011). "Perth Amboy's Landings at Harborside project takes new direction". Home News Tribune.
- "Purchase Building Complex". jw.org. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "Facilities: Libraries". Graduate Studies 2004–2005. Hofstra University. p. 435.
- Dickter, Adam (July 23, 2004). "Kushner Fallout Unclear". The Jewish Week. Archived from the original on August 28, 2005. Retrieved September 28, 2011. "Kushner is most closely associated with the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, named for his father, a Holocaust survivor, and the Kushner Hebrew High School."
- Sullivan, John (August 22, 2004). "Like an 'Abandoned Planet'". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Hanley, Robert (January 13, 2005). "Donor Apologized to Sister for Seduction of Husband". The New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- New York Magazine: "The Legacy - Guilty of a shocking crime against his own brother-in-law, real-estate mogul Charles Kushner has been cast out of power. So his son Jared, the 28-year-old Observer owner, has to carry the ambition for the both of them" By Gabriel Sherman July 12, 2009
- New Jersey News: "Accused Kushner in-law again claims tainted evidence" By Claire Heininger January 10, 2008