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Leon Levy Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-07-17

At A Glance

Leon Levy Foundation

One Rockefeller Plaza, 20th Fl.

New York City, NY United States 10020-2003


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $452,543,270

Total giving: $28,022,837





Additional Contact Information

E-mail for Nina Berg:


Established in 2004 in NY - Founded by the late Leon Levy, who co-founded the mutual fund manager Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. In 1959, he started dozens of mutual funds that have grown to manage more than $120 billion. Levy had a passion for expanding knowledge and believed in the power of ideas and a just and equitable society. This broad humanism also defined his philanthropy, which the foundation endeavors to continue by administering and supporting six program areas that range from understanding the arts and humanities to research into the functioning of the brain.

Purpose and Activities

Giving primarily for higher education and the arts.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Ancient World

The foundation fosters scholarship and research that leads to an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural understanding of the civilizations of the ancient world.

Arts and Humanities

The foundation supports several programmatic initiatives at cultural institutions that are designed to expand knowledge and encourage artistic efforts at the highest levels. It also provides unrestricted support to important organizations in the visual, performing and literary arts and humanities mainly those located in New York City.

Human Rights

Foundation grants support advocacy and protection of the rights to political freedom, blind justice, humane treatment, and international legal standards. The foundation has a particular interest in protections from abuse of power, the use of economics to promote social justice, and women's rights.

Jewish Culture

Foundation grants support programs and projects of important Jewish cultural institutions in the New York City area and in some cases provide operating support.

Nature and Gardens

The foundation supports organizations that cultivate and maintain botanical gardens and parks, mainly in the New York area as well as those whose primary goal is to protect natural landscapes and wildlife habitats, especially for birds.

Neuroscience Fellowship

The program expands on Leon Levy’s interest in neuroscience and the functioning of the brain to better understand its impact on human behavior. The foundation hopes to advance the careers of outstanding young neuroscientists as they pursue innovative risk taking research at select New York institutions. Grant proposals must be submitted by the institution at the invitation of the LLF. Individual applications will not be accepted .

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Biology
  • Community beautification
  • Higher education
  • Individual liberties
  • Museums
  • Science
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Students
  • Multipurpose centers

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $452,543,270 (market value)

Expenditures: $38,868,207

Total giving: $28,022,837

Qualifying distributions: $29,565,448