- Defunct as of January 2009
- Assets: $962,818 (2009)
- Grants Received: $1,305,780 (2009)
- Grants Awarded: $0 (2009)
The Justice, Equality, Human dignity, and Tolerance (JEHT) Foundation was established in April 2000 by Jeanne Levy-Church (formerly Jeanne Levy-Hinte), a movie producer and real-estate heiress who was among the leading soft-money contributors to the Democratic National Committee. Throughout JEHT's history, Levy-Church was the Foundation's principal donor. In 2004, for instance, she gave JEHT some $23.4 million, of which $19.6 million was subsequently disbursed in grants. The following year, she contributed $27.2 million to the Foundation, of which $24.4 million was disbursed in grants.
In a manner similar to the Tides Foundation, JEHT collected money from donors who specified the groups and causes for which they wanted it earmarked, and in turn funneled the cash to those recipients. Such "donor-advised funds" enable the givers to remain anonymous if they wish, and thus to avoid being publicly associated with the more radical groups being funded.
JEHT strove to shape public opinion by bankrolling a variety of community-organizing, advocacy-lobbying, and media campaigns that promoted left-wing values and agendas. Its philanthropy was channeled through two major grant-making programs:
1) The Community Justice Program (CJP), proceeding from the premise that the American criminal-justice system discriminates heavily against nonwhite minorities and illegal immigrants, called for the expansion of civil liberties for "citizens and non-citizens alike," and supported organizations promoting alternatives to incarceration. One of the many groups to which CJP donated was the Northwestern University School of Law's "Children and Family Justice Center," which was run by its founder and executive director Bernardine Dohrn, the lifelong Marxist who had led the Weather Underground terrorist cult in the 1970s.
2) The International Justice Program (IJP) sought to counter what it depicted as America's reluctance to sign and abide by international treaties. Toward that end, IJP directed its funding to groups intent on "developing approaches that might work to build new political constituencies to promote U.S. participation in and support of international justice efforts." For example, IJP called on the United States to permit the International Criminal Court, rather than American courts, to preside over investigations of alleged war crimes committed by U.S. military personnel. IJP also opposed the Bush administration's 2002 decision to withdraw the U.S. from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
The JEHT Foundation was a member organization of the International Human Rights Funders Group, a network of more than six-dozen grantmakers dedicated to supporting leftist groups and causes.
In December 2008, the JEHT Foundation announced that it would have to permanently shut down its operations the following month because its founder and principal donor, Jeanne Levy-Church, was one of the many investors who had lost their fortunes in former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff's fraudulent hedge fund.
Among the major groups funded by the JEHT Foundation were: ACORN; the Advancement Project; the Alliance for Justice; the American Civil Liberties Union; the American Institute for Social Justice; the American Prospect; the Brennan Center for Justice; the Center for Constitutional Rights; the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Human Rights First; Human Rights Watch; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the Liberty Hill Foundation; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Migration Policy Institute; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Physicians for Human Rights/Fortune Society; the Prison Moratorium Project; the Sentencing Project; the Tides Center and the Tides Foundation; the Urban Institute/Justice Policy Center; and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the JEHT Foundation, click here.
(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)