Search Philanthropists by Country
David and Ruth Gottesman

David and Ruth Gottesman

David and Ruth Gottesman

Edited 23rd April, 2016

Amount donated: $25m to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

Philanthropic Causes: Jewish organisations, education, health, human services, arts & culture

Region of philanthropic focus: U.S. & Israel

Ranking: Forbes lists him at #401 in the U.S. as of 23rd April, 2016

Net Worth: Forbes put his real time net worth at $1.7bn as of 23rd April, 2016

Source of wealth: First Manhattan, business & investments

89-year-old billionaire David Gottesman and his family are among Yeshiva University’s biggest patrons. In 2008, Gottesman and his wife Ruth gave a $25m gift to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, establishing the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

He was born on 26th April, 1926 in New York City to Jewish parents, Esther (Garfunkel) and Benjamin Gottesman. David Sanford ‘Sandy’ Gottesman obtained his BA/BS from Trinity College in Connecticut and later earned a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University in Boston.

In 1962, Gottesman developed a friendship with Warren Buffet and became an early investor in his company, Berkshire Hathaway. He currently owns close to 20,000 shares in the stock and now holds the bulk of his fortune there. Gottesman has been a Berkshire board member since 2004 and is also on the board for the American Museum of Natural History.

The father of three and grandfather to seven founded his own investment firm, First Manhattan Co. in 1964. The firm specialises in providing professional investment management services primarily to individuals, partnerships, trusts, retirement accounts and institutional clients. It currently manages investments in securities for accounts that range from under $1m to over $100m. His son Robert now runs the company, which has over $16bn in assets under management.

Established in 1965, The Gottesman Fund is dedicated to enhancing Jewish life and supporting cultural, medical, scientific and educational institutions in the U.S. and improving the quality of life for Israel’s inhabitants. The foundation gave $50,000 to the NYPD Counter-Terrorism Foundation, as well as giving to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the Israel Project.

The Gottesman family has funded Jewish schools including Abraham Joshua Heschel School, SAR Academy in Riverdale, New York, Golda Och Academy, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester and Ramaz School in Manhattan. The Gottesmans are involved with PEF Israel Endowment Funds,

an outfit founded in 1922 to enable the direct distribution of funds to select and approved charitable organisations in Israel, and via their fund the Gottesman’s have already directed in excess of $14m.

Ruth Levy Gottesman is the Clinical Professor of Paediatrics and Director of the Fisher Landau Centre for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In 2014 the Teachers College publicly launched “Where the Future Comes First,” its $300m campaign that puts support for student scholarship as the top funding priority. Shortly after the launch, Ruth pledged $3m to establish the Ruth L. Gottesman Math & Science Education Scholarship Fund and said: “There’s such a great need for teachers who can attract young people to these disciplines.”

Along with her husband David, Ruth recently committed $6.5m to establish Teacher’s College library of the future and spoke about her work with great enthusiasm: “I am delighted and grateful that we are able to give this gift to an institution that we cherish and respect. Teachers College is one of those exceptional places that solves problems in education. It’s a leader-and the kind of educational institution that our community, city, and nation need today.”