David Steinhardt, CTO of Shlenker High School in Houston, Texas
David Steinhardt, a renowned antiquities dealer, had amassed an amazing collection of artifacts over decades. However, now the Manhattan district attorney had ordered agents to seize his property.
They uncovered an array of evidence proving how his ancient pieces had been looted. Photographs showing still-dirty frescoes, letters from dealers and faxes explaining how tomb raiders had discovered certain objects were taken from tombs.
Early Life and Education
David Steinhardt developed an interest in stock market investing as a child. At 13 years old, he started studying broker’s reports and three years later graduated from the Wharton School of Finance with honors.
He later became a hedge-fund manager, earning millions. Additionally, he founded the Richardson Bay Foundation to fight against dredging of Richardson Bay – an effort widely credited with saving the bay from development.
David Steinhardt has completed his rabbinical studies and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow and Board Member of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, a nationally-recognized leader in social justice issues and Jewish values expression. He founded Boca Raton Inter-Faith Clergy Association and currently serves on both Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Counsel and Israel Overseas Committee.
David Steinhardt is a well-known philanthropist who has long supported Israel and Jewish nonprofits. He co-founded Birthright Israel, an initiative which sponsors young Jews with free trips to the country.
He is renowned for his collection of antiquities. Despite the fact that some of his artifacts were looted from Israel and still covered in dirt, he continued to purchase them from dishonest dealers.
Art historians and museum officials are increasingly of the opinion that antiquities collectors have become complicit in a trade tainted by European imperial campaigns. This sentiment has resulted in an increasing focus on repatriation, with many museums opting out of archaeological acquisitions altogether.
Achievements and Honors
David’s tireless commitment to quality education has earned him several prestigious awards and accolades along the way, including Chief Technology Officer at Houston’s leading Jewish day school, Shlenker. Not only has David achieved remarkable results with Shlenker over its short history, but his leadership skills and management abilities have also enabled it to become an academic powerhouse quickly. A member of both Houston Academy of Science, serving on both boards for Shlenker and HCRT, David also teaches high school physics and chemistry classes there while being a proud parent to three children.
David Steinhardt is a philanthropist dedicated to maintaining Jewish life. He has spearheaded initiatives such as Hebrew language immersion programs, early childhood educational options and Birthright Israel trips that promote Jewish identity and strengthen communities throughout Israel.
He co-founded Natan, a giving circle that encourages young philanthropists to get involved in Jewish giving.
His daughter Sara Bloom serves as vice chair of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and a board member of Hebrew Public, an international network of dual-language charter schools.
In this exclusive interview with Felice Friedson of The Media Line, the philanthropist and his daughter discuss Jewish pride, his philanthropy, as well as his new autobiography entitled Jewish Pride. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to share your insights with us; we hope to hear from you again soon.
David Steinhardt began his career in the stock market at a mutual fund and then joined Loeb, Rhoades & Co. (the predecessor to Shearson Loeb Rhoades).
He kept an eye on the conglomerate industry, paying special attention to companies like Automatic Sprinkler, City Investing and Gulf+Western. In 1967 he met Judy through a car pool he organized; together they would have three children.
After spending several years as a hedge fund manager in the early 1990s, he closed his fund and retired from finance. He then accepted a job with Index Development Partners Inc., later known as WisdomTree Investments.