Michael Steinhardt (b. December 7, 1940) is a legendary money manager turned philanthropist who is dedicated to creating a renaissance in American Jewish life. After he graduated from the Wharton School of Business in 1960, Mr. Steinhardt began his financial career as a research associate, staff writer, and securities analyst, and in 1967 he formed his own hedge fund company, Steinhardt Partners L.P. There he made his fortune in one of the most spectacular careers in the history of Wall Street as recounted in his memoirs, No Bull: My Life In and Out of the Markets, published in 2001. He and his wife Judy are life-long residents of New York. They have three children and 13 grandchildren.
Mr. Steinhardt has always believed that wealth and financial achievement alone are not sufficient to give full value and meaning to life. At the same time, he has felt growing alarm over the erosion of Jewish life in the Diaspora. In 1995, Michael Steinhardt stunned the financial world by announcing that he would close his lucrative hedge fund to devote his time and fortune to the causes of the Jewish world.
Mr. Steinhardt has spearheaded a wide range of philanthropic initiatives with the goal of engaging American Jews, especially those on the margins of Jewish life, in the possibilities of Jewish life and celebration. A central philanthropic focus for him has been connecting young American Jews to the life and culture of Israel. To this end, he co-founded Birthright Israel and has been a champion for bringing modern Israeli Hebrew to American Jews through various Hebrew immersion programs. Through the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, Michael Steinhardt has initiated many innovative programs including strengthening Jewish early childhood education, building Hebrew immersion in camps and charter schools, day school education, Shabbat dinner celebrations for millennials, and more.