Michael Steinhardt was born on December 7, 1940. He has had an illustrious career in money management and has channeled his success toward philanthropic pursuits including revitalizing Jewish life and practice in America. His 2011 memoir, No Bull: My Life In and Out of the Markets, details Mr. Steinhardt’s personal and professional journey.
He graduated from the Wharton School of Business in 1960 and began working in the financial industry as a research associate. Mr. Steinhardt also worked as a staff writer and securities analyst before forming his own hedge fund, named Steinhardt Partners L.P., in 1967. It was in his fund that Mr. Steinhardt experienced his remarkable achievements, described to be “one of the most spectacular careers in the history of Wall Street.”
Principle among Mr. Steinhardt’s ethos is his belief that monetary achievements alone do not offer value or meaning in life. He is deeply concerned by the erosion of Jew life outside of Israel and has committed his own wealth toward remedying disheartening trends. In 1995, he made the surprising announcement that he would be closing his hedge fund and devoting his time and fortune to the Jewish present and future.
Toward this end, Mr. Steinhardt has been a visionary and strategic philanthropic leader in an effort to engage American Jews, particularly those on the margins of community, in the rich and dynamic opportunities within Judaism. Mr. Steinhardt co-founded Birthright Israel as an expression of his profound dedication to linking young Jews to Israeli life and culture. He has also steered an educational movement bringing modern Hebrew to American Jewish students through immersion programs.
Through The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, Mr. Steinhardt purposefully advances Jewish early childhood education programs, Hebrew immersion in Jewish camps and charter schools, weekly Shabbat dinner programs, and more. He chairs the Foundation with his wife Judy. They have lived in New York all their lives; they have three children and 13 grandchildren.