One of Jeffrey Epstein’s private charities donated half a million dollars to the Ramaz School, a Modern Orthodox school on the Upper East Side. The foundation also donated to several other Jewish causes.
The Ramaz administration said in an email to its community last week that Epstein gave it “a significant gift” in 2007. Tax documents for the foundation show that the amount of the donation was $500,000.
“At the time, the source of the foundation’s funding was not made known to the School,” read the email, which was sent from Ramaz’s chairman, Philip Wilner, and head of school, Jonathan Cannon. “However, we very recently learned that the foundation was associated with Jeffrey Epstein, whose unconscionable behavior is widely known.”
In the email, Ramaz said the donation was used to establish an educational program and that almost all of the money has since been spent. The school also said it was committed to implementing measures to ensure greater transparency regarding major gifts, and to identify the major donors associated with foundations before accepting gifts from them.
“We are confident that reviewing and improving our approach will further strengthen our development process, reflecting our commitment to honoring the strong values on which Ramaz is founded,” the email said.
The Ramaz donation came the same year that Epstein gave more than $14 million to the YLK Charitable Fund, one of Leslie Wexner’s charities. The next year, he gave YLK more than $40 million, according to CNBC. Wexner was one of Epstein’s only clients and was his close associate.
In addition to his Ramaz donation, the year before Epstein went to prison in 2008, his foundation distributed $50,000 to the Aspen Jewish Congregation in Colorado and $5,000 to the National Council of Jewish Women.
The last donation the foundation appears to have given — in March 2011 — was $50,000 to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.