March 30th, 2011
Adapted from the Lisa’s remarks during the 2011 Jewish Funders Network Plenary: The Power of Narrative to Drive Change. A version of this article also appeared on eJewishPhilanthropy.
It all started on a blind date in 1961. He was an hour and a half late. She was getting ready to leave when he finally showed up. Less than a year later, they were married.
He was a risk taker by nature, she a caretaker, and this unique combination was the hallmark of their lives together. She supported his gamble on drilling wells. He was in awe of how much she gave to those around her – from the tiniest victims of abuse and neglect who she accompanied to court, to her children and grandchildren, to him in later years when he was diagnosed with an illness that would eventually cut his life short.
When they were blessed with abundance, they established a family foundation that they infused with the same family values that filled their home: a love for Judaism, the Jewish people and Israel; a passion for repairing the world and for helping their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They viewed themselves less as grantmakers and much more as change makers determined to help create more vibrant, relevant, value-driven communities.
Nearly 25 years later, their foundation has expanded into a global network of programs and organizations that has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. And yet the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is still grounded in the same values Charlie and Lynn established with their initial investment. Read More »