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 62nd wedding anniversary. They have been blessed with 8 children, 42 grandchildren, and 7 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 $116,442,819.20 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 62 years. They have 8 children, 42 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.