January 21, 1939 |
Kansas City, Missouri
|Occupation||Chairman of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation|
|Net worth||US$4.5 billion (March 2014)|
Stacy H. Schusterman
|Parent(s)||Wes Rothschild (biological)
Harold Josey (step-father)
Lynn Schusterman (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, and founder of several other philanthropic initiatives including the Schusterman-Israel Foundation, the ROI Community and the Jerusalem Season of Culture.
Lynn Schusterman was born to a secular, German-Jewish family on January 21, 1939 at Menorah Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has two younger sisters. Her mother, Amelia Mayer, was the daughter of Moses Emmanuel Mayer and Helen Loewen Mayer, of Iowa and Kansas, respectively. Her father, Wes Rothschild, was a brother of Louis Rothschild who served in the Eisenhower Cabinet. Her parents divorced at an early age and she was raised by Harold Josey who ran an investment company called H.I. Josey & Company. Although Jewish, her family also celebrated Christmas and Easter. She graduated from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
In 1962, she married Charles Schusterman, who was also Jewish although of Russian-Jewish origin. 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. Charles graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Charles and his brother later founded their own oil and gas company 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. Charles, now a billionaire, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1983 and died in 2000.
She has three children and six granddaughters:
- Hal Schusterman who lives in Israel
- Stacy Schusterman Dow who lives in Tulsa and runs the Community Action Project, a charity serving the working poor, with her husband Steven Dow
- Jay Schusterman who lives with his wife Mary Lee in Boulder, Colorado.
In 1987, they started the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. The foundation donates 75 percent to Jewish causes around the world and 25 percent to Oklahoma needs. In 2011, Schusterman joined Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others by signing the Giving Pledge. 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.” 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. Among the national Jewish organizations she supports are BBYO, Hillel, Moishe House, Birthright Israel, Repair the World 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.” 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.
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.” 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. 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.
Among her largest single gifts were grants to Brandeis University to create the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and to the University of Oklahoma to create the Schusterman Center campus in Tulsa. Schusterman also contributed $6 million to the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
In addition to her philanthropy, Schusterman holds a variety of leadership positions in organizations such as BBYO, Hillel, Repair the World and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. She is also a founding member of the Birthright Israel Foundation.
She has been published in the Jewish Week, the Forward, 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. 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; in 2003, into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame; and in 2006, into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Schusterman was honored in 2008 with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Public Service award and she has been named one of the “Forward 50” by the Forward newspaper five times.
A mother and grandmother, Schusterman has been a pioneer for women in philanthropy, and her charitable work stresses the importance of family, giving back to society and helping those who help themselves.
- Voices from the Heartland University of Oklahoma Press (September 14, 2007) ISBN 0-8061-3858-0
- Upping the ante – Why I'm doubling down on the teen years
- An Open Letter For Martin Luther King Day: Give Back and Pay it Forward
- Answering the call to greatness
- Embrace LGBT Jews as vital members of the community
- Reflections on King's Day and the Jewish call to service
- Volunteerism is a rite of passage
- Budget cuts threaten the lives of our children
- Teens redefine relationships
- People & Places: TCC to honor Lynn, Stacy Schusterman
- Empowering young leaders in a 2.0 world
- Forward 50
- Invite the Extended Jewish Family For Rosh Hashanah
- Teach us to build and rebuild together
- The importance of the teen years
- Gifts that keep on giving
- The philanthropist from Oklahoma
- Forbes: The World's Billionaires: Lynn Schusterman March 2014
- Official Bio Lynn Schusterman
- About Schusterman Foundation-Israel
- About ROI Community
- About Jerusalem Season of Culture
- Voices of Oklahoma: Lynn Schusterman retrieved March 23, 2013
- 1880 US Census and 1900 US Census, respectively
- 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
- 10 More U.S. Families Commit to the Giving Pledge
- Official Lynn Schusterman Bio
- Lynn Schusterman: Unintimidated Philanthropist
- Foundations Form New Nonprofit to Build Jewish Social Service Movement
- BBYO International Board of Directors
- About Us
- Leadership Council
- Hillel in the FSU
- Jerusalem Renewal
- Voices of Oklahoma Interview
- TEACH FOR AMERICA EXPANDING TO TULSA
- Parent Child Center dedicates stretch of road to leading patron Charles Schusterman
- 'Not enough invested in child abuse prevention'
- Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation makes $15 million
- OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center
- Jewish Studies Center Meets $6 Million Challenge Grant
- JDC Honorary Board Members
- About birthright
- Board Members
- "Annual Report" (PDF).
- A Birthright in Mumbai
- Invite the Extended Jewish Family For Rosh Hashanah
- A Dream of Zion
- Tulsa Hall of Fame
- 2003 Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame
- Alphabetical Listing Oklahoma Hall of Fame
- Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 2007 Graduation/Ordination/Investiture Advisory
- 3 Sooners to receive civic-service awards
- Forward 50
- Lynn Schusterman Unintimidated Philanthropist