Lynn Schusterman

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Lynn Schusterman
Lynn Rothschild

(1939-01-21) January 21, 1939 (age 80)
Kansas City, Missouri
NationalityUnited States
OccupationChairman of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Known forPhilanthropy
Net worthIncrease US$3.4 billion (September 2019)[1]
Spouse(s)Charles Schusterman
ChildrenHal Schusterman
Stacy H. Schusterman
Jay Schusterman
Parent(s)Wes Rothschild (biological)
Amelia Mayer
Harold Josey (step-father)

Lynn Schusterman née Rothschild (born January 21, 1939) is an American philanthropist. She is the co-founder (along with her late husband Charles) and chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation,[2] and founder of several other philanthropic initiatives including the Schusterman-Israel Foundation,[3] the ROI Community[4] and the Jerusalem Season of Culture.[5]


Lynn Schusterman was born as Lynn Rothschild to a secular, German Jewish family on January 21, 1939 at Menorah Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.[6] She was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[6] She has two younger sisters.[6] Her mother, Amelia Mayer, was the daughter of Moses Emmanuel Mayer and Helen Loewen Mayer, of Iowa and Kansas, respectively.[7] Her father, Wes Rothschild, was a brother of Louis Rothschild who served in the Eisenhower Cabinet.[6] Her parents divorced at an early age and she was raised by Harold Josey who ran an investment company called H.I. Josey & Company.[6] Although Jewish, her family also celebrated Christmas and Easter.[6] She graduated from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.[6]

In 1962, she married Charles Schusterman, who was also Jewish although of Russian-Jewish origin.[6] Charles grew up in Tulsa, the son of Sarah Goldstein, a Jewish emigrant from Riga, Latvia, and Sam Schusterman, a Jewish emigrant from Minsk, Belarus, who was in the used oilfield pipe equipment business.[6] Charles graduated from the University of Oklahoma.[6] Charles and his brother later founded their own oil and gas company[6] and then after dividing the business, Charles developed his portion of the company into the Samson Investment Company (named after his father), which eventually became one of the largest gas exploration and production companies in the country.[6] Charles, now a billionaire, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1983 and died in 2000.[6]

Personal life[edit]

She has three children and six granddaughters:[6]


In 1987, they started the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.[6] The foundation donates 75 percent to Jewish causes around the world and 25 percent to Oklahoma needs.[6] In 2011, Schusterman joined Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others by signing the Giving Pledge.[9] Schusterman's giving is focused on the global Jewish community, Israel and her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

One goal of Schusterman's philanthropy is to "spread the joy of Jewish living, giving and learning."[10] She is known for her work in strengthening Jewish identity, supporting young Jewish innovators, expanding opportunities for service learning and promoting inclusivity, especially within the Jewish LGBT community.[11][12] Among the national Jewish organizations she supports are BBYO,[13] Hillel, Moishe House,[14] Birthright Israel,[15] Repair the World[16] and Keshet. In 1994, Schusterman helped to found a branch of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life in the Former Soviet Union in order to "reconnect thousands of Jews, once denied access to their heritage, with Judaism and the Jewish people."[17] Since 1998, she has authorized more than $6 million to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Israel, including a major grant to help with the renovation of the museum campus.[18]

Schusterman also supports programs in "education, child advocacy and youth leadership in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma, and providing assistance to non-sectarian charitable organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life throughout Oklahoma."[19] She is a supporter of Teach For America and Teach For All and was instrumental in establishing Teach For America to create a corps in Tulsa and Israel.[20] Schusterman has also been deeply involved in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, both in Tulsa, OK, and in Jerusalem, where she helped to establish the Haruv Institute.[21][22]

Among her largest single gifts were grants to Brandeis University to create the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies[23] and to the University of Oklahoma to create the Schusterman Center campus in Tulsa.[24] Schusterman also contributed $6 million to the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.[25]


In addition to her philanthropy, Schusterman holds a variety of leadership positions in organizations such as BBYO,[13] Hillel, Repair the World[16] and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.[26] She is also a founding member of the Birthright Israel Foundation.[27]

In her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Schusterman serves on the advisory boards for the Foundation for Tulsa Schools[28] and the Parent Child Center of Tulsa.[29]

She has been published in the Jewish Week, the Forward,[30][31] JTA, eJewishPhilanthropy, Contact and Tulsa World. Her reflection on family philanthropy appears in Voices from the Heartland, a collection of essays from 50 Oklahoma women, and she also contributed to A Dream of Zion: American Jews Reflect on Why Israel Matters to Them.[32] Her work has been profiled in the global Jewish and secular press, including the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post, and others.


In 2000, along with her late husband Charles, Schusterman was inducted into the Tulsa Hall of Fame;[33] in 2003, into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame;[34] and in 2006, into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.[35]

In 2007 she received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.[36]

Schusterman was honored in 2008 with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Public Service award[37] and she has been named one of the "Forward 50" by the Forward newspaper five times.[38]

A mother and grandmother, Schusterman has been a pioneer for women in philanthropy,[39] and her charitable work stresses the importance of family, giving back to society and helping those who help themselves.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Forbes: The World's Billionaires: Lynn Schusterman 19 September 2019
  2. ^ Official Bio Lynn Schusterman
  3. ^ About Schusterman Foundation-Israel
  4. ^ About ROI Community
  5. ^ About Jerusalem Season of Culture
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Voices of Oklahoma: Lynn Schusterman retrieved March 23, 2013
  7. ^ 1880 US Census and 1900 US Census, respectively
  8. ^ Tulsa People: "A shared vision - Lynn and Stacy Schusterman will be honored with the 2011 Vision in Education Leadership Award this month for their continuing contributions to education in Tulsa" by Nellie Kelly September 2011
  9. ^ 10 More U.S. Families Commit to the Giving Pledge
  10. ^ Official Lynn Schusterman Bio
  11. ^ Lynn Schusterman: Unintimidated Philanthropist
  12. ^ Foundations Form New Nonprofit to Build Jewish Social Service Movement
  13. ^ a b BBYO International Board of Directors
  14. ^ Supporters
  15. ^ About Us
  16. ^ a b Leadership Council
  17. ^ Hillel in the FSU
  18. ^ Jerusalem Renewal
  19. ^ Voices of Oklahoma Interview Archived December 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Parent Child Center dedicates stretch of road to leading patron Charles Schusterman
  22. ^ 'Not enough invested in child abuse prevention'
  23. ^ Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation makes $15 million
  24. ^ OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center
  25. ^ Jewish Studies Center Meets $6 Million Challenge Grant
  26. ^ JDC Honorary Board Members
  27. ^ About birthright
  28. ^ Board Members
  29. ^ "Annual Report" (PDF).
  30. ^ A Birthright in Mumbai
  31. ^ Invite the Extended Jewish Family For Rosh Hashanah
  32. ^ A Dream of Zion
  33. ^ Tulsa Hall of Fame
  34. ^ 2003 Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame
  35. ^ Alphabetical Listing Oklahoma Hall of Fame
  36. ^ Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 2007 Graduation/Ordination/Investiture Advisory Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ 3 Sooners to receive civic-service awards
  38. ^ Forward 50
  39. ^ Lynn Schusterman Unintimidated Philanthropist

External links[edit]