The Irving Moskowitz Foundation is a charitable, non-profit foundation dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of people based on the precept, 'He who has saved one life, it is as if he has saved the world.'
The Moskowitz Foundation was established in 1968 by Dr. Irving Moskowitz to help people in need regardless of race, creed, politics or religion.
One of the Foundation's principal beneficiaries is The City of Hawaiian Gardens, California where the Foundation operates a state-legislated Bingo Club. Dr. Moskowitz believes that by concentrating many efforts in one small community, a significant benefit will be felt by all.
In the City of Hawaiian Gardens, proceeds from the Bingo Club benefit the residents of the city through social action organizations such as Head Start and The United Community Group, and through the Foundation's direct support of the Hawaiian Gardens Food Bank, children's athletic programs, scholarship awards, health care programs, and educational initiatives. The Bingo Club has also played a role in revitalizing the Hawaiian Gardens community.
Numerous organizations in Israel also benefit from The Moskowitz Foundation's charitable support. The loss of many of Dr. Moskowitz's relatives during the Holocaust strengthened his conviction that Israel must be maintained as a safehaven for Jewish people from all over the world. In Israel, the Foundation supports a wide array of religious, educational, cultural and emergency services organizations. Its many projects range from restoring an architecturally significant synagogue to providing "dream trips" for adolescent cancer patients to funding the construction of university student housing.
The Irving Moskowitz Foundation also recognizes the need to help alleviate suffering when crisis arise throughout the world. The Foundation is always proud to support and contribute to the many different relief efforts such as: The 1998 Hurricane Mitch devastation in Central America, the Kosovo relief crisis and the devastating earthquake in Turkey, all taking place in 1999, the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund in 2001 when tragedy occurred in New York City. Large donations were also made to the American Red Cross to help aid and give relief to: the victims of the 2003 massive wild fires in California, the Tsunami disaster that hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand in 2004, Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans and Louisiana in 2005, the China disasters of 2008, the Haiti earthquake of 2010, and most recently; the earthquake in Japan 2011; the hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma in 2013; also a large donation made to the Philippines Relief Disaster, received by the Red Cross Organization for the devastation left by the Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Set your priorities in life and faithfully follow them, always observing and reassessing your path." Dr. Irving Moskowitz's lifetime of accomplishments is a testament to his adherence to this doctrine.
As the ninth of thirteen children, Irving Moskowitz was born in 1928 in New York City to Polish immigrant parents. His family soon moved to Milwaukee where he grew up in a poor, close-knit neighborhood, where education was highly emphasized. Young Irving, always competitive was an avid baseball player. With a glove won from a friend in a bet, he played on the local streets and playgrounds and became an All-Star outfielder in the Municipal AAA
League of Milwaukee. He had a .421 batting average and was offered contracts by both the Chicago and Cleveland professional baseball organizations. He turned them down to pursue his dream of becoming a physician.
In 1946, he entered the University of Wisconsin where he received the Phi Beta Sigma scholastic award for academic excellence. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Medical Science in 1949, Dr. Moskowitz began practicing medicine in Long Beach, California in 1953. Focused and ambitious, Dr. Moskowitz transformed his career as a physician into an entrepreneurial career building and managing hospitals. In 1968, Dr. Moskowitz's considerable business success enabled him to establish a charitable organization funded solely by his personal contributions.
In 1988, the City of Hawaiian Gardens, California gave approval to The Irving Moskowitz Foundation to operate the Bingo Club in Hawaiian Gardens as a charitable, non-profit organization. Thus began the unique, intimate relationship that the City of Hawaiian Gardens and The Irving Moskowitz Foundation still share. In 1995, the Foundation opened the Hawaiian Gardens Food Bank.
Dr. Moskowitz has dedicated his life to his family and to his philanthropic calling of supporting life-enhancing activities. Fundamental to his personal philosophy is the tenet that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed in life. He believes in extending to a disadvantaged student the scholarship that will enhance his or her life by ensuring that a child experiences the pride, fun and teamwork of playing on a sports team; or in seeing that inner city sixth graders have an outdoor, hands-on learning experience at science camp. Likewise, in his beloved Israel, The Moskowitz Foundation is ensuring that university students have housing, that cancer- stricken youth get their "dream trips", that synagogues are restored and built, and that basic healthcare is improved by a dialysis center and dental clinic.
Dr. Moskowitz and his wife Cherna recently celebrated their 65nd wedding anniversary. They have been blessed with 8 children, 42 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchild.
Cherna Moskowitz was born and raised in Wisconsin in 1931 of parents who immigrated to the United States in the early 1900's. Cherna Moskowitz and her brother were well aware of the difficulties their parents faced during the depression, but she was fortunate to have dedicated and devoted parents who nurtured her and gave her the confidence to believe she could help others who needed a helping hand.
"Next to raising my children, working for the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation has been the most exciting and rewarding endeavor of my lifetime," said Cherna Moskowitz. "Since its inception in 1988, we have donated $150,714,466.92 to non profit organizations."
Cherna Moskowitz was pleased that in January 3, 2005, the Los Angeles Times Newspaper, in the business section reported that, ranked by total assed value of the top one hundred charities in Los Angeles County, the "Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation rated 32nd." Cherna Moskowitz also reported that according to the same article the "Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation was one of only three of the top 100 charities that did not pay salaries to its executives."
"I look forward to the future knowing the work of the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation will continue," promised Cherna Moskowitz. Cherna Moskowitz adds, "I am very proud to be the president of a charitable public foundation which has touched and improved the lives of so many people in need."
Cherna Moskowitz serves as president of the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation and is on the board of Nefesh B' Nefesh, The Ariel University Center, ZOA, JINSA and Bar Ilan University, and Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot. She also chairs the newly established Moskowitz Prize for Zionism. She is president of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and other business ventures in California.
Dr. Irving & Cherna Moskowitz have been married for 65 years. They have 8 children, 42 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.