Lynn Schusterman
Lynn Rothschild

(1939-01-21) January 21, 1939 (age 85)
EducationUniversity of Miami
SpouseCharles Schusterman
Children3, including Stacy H. Schusterman
RelativesLouis S. Rothschild (uncle)

Lynn Schusterman (née Rothschild; born January 21, 1939) is an American billionaire philanthropist. She is the co-founder and chair emerita of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and founder of several other philanthropic initiatives.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in Oklahoma City in a Jewish family, Lynn married Charles Schusterman in 1962. The couple founded the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation in 1987 and became prominent philanthropists. Lynn ran the foundation from her husband's death in 2000 until 2018 when her daughter Stacy H. Schusterman took over as chair of the organization. Since 2018 she has served as the chair emerita of the foundation.

Early life and family

Lynn Schusterman was born as Lynn Rothschild on January 21, 1939, at Menorah Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri to Wes Rothschild and Amelia Mayer.[a] Her mother was one of the six children of Helen Loewen Mayer and Moses Emmanuel Mayer.[1] The Mayers were the descendants of German Jewish immigrants who immigrated to the United States in the 1800s.[2] Her father was the son of Louis Phillip Rothschild and Nora Westheimer Rothschild.[1] Her paternal uncle was Louis S. Rothschild who served in the Eisenhower administration.[2] Her parents divorced at an early age and she was raised by her mother and stepfather, Harold Josey, who ran an investment company called H.I. Josey & Company. She has two younger sisters.[1]

She was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she attended Sunday school and was confirmed in the local B'nai Israel Reform synagogue. She graduated from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1962, she married Charles Schusterman, who was of Russian-Jewish origin. He died on December 30, 2000. The couple had three children including Stacy H. Schusterman.[1]


Shusterman began volunteering in the early 1960s with the National Council of Jewish Women.[1] In 1987, she and Charles started the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.[3] After Charles died in 2000, Lynn led the foundation herself, becoming the first woman to lead a large Jewish philanthropic organization.[1] In 2018, her daughter, Stacy H. Schusterman, took over as chair of the foundation and Lynn took the role of chair emerita.[4] Schusterman's giving is focused on the global Jewish community, Israel and her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.[3] In 2021, the foundation was renamed to Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.[5] In 2011, Schusterman signed the Giving Pledge.[6]

According to The Jerusalem Post, Shusterman is known for her work in "strengthening Jewish identity, supporting Jewish innovators, expanding opportunities for service learning and promoting inclusivity."[7] Among the national Jewish organizations she supports are BBYO, Hillel, Moishe House, Birthright Israel, Repair the World, and Keshet.[1] In 1994, Schusterman helped to found Hillel in the Former Soviet Union.[8] Since 1998, she has authorized more than $6 million to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Israel.[9]

She is a supporter of Teach For America and Teach For All and was instrumental in establishing Teach For America to create a corps in Tulsa and Israel.[10] Schusterman has also been deeply involved in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, both in Tulsa, OK, and in Jerusalem, where she helped to establish the Haruv Institute.[11][12]

Among her largest single gifts were grants to Brandeis University to create the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and to the University of Oklahoma to create the Schusterman Center campus in Tulsa.[13][14] Schusterman also contributed $6 million to the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.[15]


She has advocated for acceptance of LGBT people in the Jewish community.[16] Her advocacy was criticized by Orthodox writer Nathan Diament as "tramping on the religious liberty of Orthodox Jewish institutions that refuse to condone homosexual behavior.”[17]

In June 2017, Shusterman signed a petition criticizing Benjamin Netanyahu's government for cancelling the Kotel compromise and advancing a bill that would give the Chief Rabbinate of Israel a monopoly on performing conversions to Judaism in Israel. After the petition the conversion bill was put on hold for six months.[18] The next month she criticized the Israeli governments cancelling of the Kotel compromise in a speech after receiving the Jerusalem Builder Award from Mayor Nir Barkat.[19]


In 2000 Schusterman was inducted into the Tulsa Hall of Fame; in 2003 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame; and in 2006, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.[20] In 2007 she received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.[21] Schusterman was honored in 2008 with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Public Service award.[22] In 2021, Schusterman was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Brandeis University, where she had endowed the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and served on the board of trustees.[23] In 2022, Lynn and her daughter Stacy were awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.[24][25]


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Jewish Women spells Amelia's maiden name as "Mayer",[1] while Voices of Oklahoma spells it "Muir."[2] For consistency this article uses spelling Mayer.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Goldberg, Idana (December 27, 2021). "Lynn Schusterman". Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Erling, John (September 14, 2010). "Lynn Schusterman (transcript)" (Interview). Voices of Oklahoma. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Kelly, Nellie (August 22, 2011). "A shared vision". Tulsa People. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  4. ^ "50 Influential Jews: Schusterman Family Philanthropists - No. 16". The Jerusalem Post. September 15, 2023. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  5. ^ "Introducing Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies" (Press Release). Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. January 13, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  6. ^ Howard, Tiffany (December 1, 2022). "Schustermans share stage with Dolly Parton". Tulsa People. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  7. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (September 12, 2021). "Jewish values at the core - why Stacy Schusterman gives". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  8. ^ "Hillel in the FSU". Hillel International. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  9. ^ "Israel as the focal point". Alliance. March 6, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  11. ^ Averill, Mike (April 5, 2011). "Parent Child Center dedicates stretch of road to leading patron Charles Schusterman". Tulsa World. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  12. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (December 28, 2011). "'Not enough invested in child abuse prevention'". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  13. ^ "Schusterman Family Foundation Pledges $15 Million for Israel Studies at Brandeis" (Press Release). Philanthropy News Digest. Brandeis University. June 27, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  14. ^ "Judaic and Israel Studies". University of Oklahoma. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  15. ^ Jewish Studies Center Meets $6 Million Challenge Grant[dead link]
  16. ^ "Half of Jewish communal groups moving toward LGBT sensitivity". The Times of Israel. November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  17. ^ Prince-Gibson, Eetta (August 31, 2010). "Lynn Schusterman: Unintimidated Philanthropist". eJewish Philanthropy. The Jerusalem Report. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  18. ^ "Major US Jewish philanthropists decry Western Wall backtrack, conversion bill". The Times of Israel. June 30, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  19. ^ Amouyal, Noa (July 14, 2017). "Lynn Schusterman blasts Kotel deal". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  20. ^ "Lynn Schusterman, Class of 2006". Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  21. ^ "Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 2007 Graduation/Ordination/Investiture Advisory". Hebrew Union College. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  22. ^ "Honors await three Oklahomans". The Oklahoman. November 29, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  23. ^ "Lynn Schusterman". Brandeis University. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  24. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (October 13, 2022). "Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy celebrates 20th anniversary". AP News. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  25. ^ Stanley, Tim (September 4, 2022). "Tulsa philanthropists Lynn and Stacy Schusterman receive international award for giving". Tulsa World. Retrieved November 14, 2023.