The Philanthropist

George at PTI

George W. Schaeffer

Chairman of the Board – BnaiZion Foundation

“Every time I go to Israel and visit one of the Bnai Zion projects, I see another building going up. I don’t want to call it ‘charity.’ We are making the lives of all Israelis a lot better. That’s all you want when you give money: to see an idea that will change the lives of others in a positive way come to life.”

Overcoming challenges and adversity has been a theme in George W. Schaeffer’s life, even before birth. His parents, both Holocaust survivors, immigrated (with young George in tow) to the United States to escape the violence of the Hungarian Revolution. That history and those experiences helped fuel George’s great devotion to philanthropy.

That spirit has evolved into decades of generosity that makes it a priority to give back to those who need it most. He established the George and Irina Schaeffer Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to charities worldwide and was recognized by ELTE University in Hungary with the Senate Medal, following his generous donation that made the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation accessible to students, faculty, and researchers throughout the world.

George is actively involved as a Former President and current Chairman of the Board of the Bnai Zion Foundation. His unending generosity, coupled with the love and support from his wife Irina, has an immeasurable effect throughout many of the organization’s past and present projects. He has gone on to win numerous awards, including the City of Hope Cancer Center Spirit of Life Award and many others.

George continues finding new avenues for helping, starting in his backyard. Through his Deerfield, Florida-based People’s Trust Insurance Company, George has helped with local drives for food, clothing, and school supplies, fund-raising for breast cancer and families in distress, and hurricane relief for the Bahamas. That help even extends to his own employees. George sponsored an essay contest that awarded laptops and printers to 44 employee families and $1,000 scholarships to another 15 families with college-bound students.

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