WURZWEILER, GUSTAV (1896–1954), U.S. banker and philanthropist. Wurzweiler was born in Mannheim, Germany. After serving in the German forces during World War I, he established his own banking firm and accumulated a fortune. When he left Nazi Germany for Belgium in 1936, Wurzweiler managed to take out much of his wealth. He lived in Brussels from 1936 to 1941, and then emigrated to the United States where he again established himself successfully as a financier. In 1950 he became a member of the New York Stock Exchange. An Orthodox Jew, Wurzweiler established the Gustav Wurzweiler Foundation in 1950 to aid Jewish cultural, social, and educational agencies, with emphasis on higher education, research in Jewish history, aid to the handicapped, and support for congregations.
By 1970 about 100 institutions had received grants, with the Leo Baeck *Institute a major beneficiary. Among the foundation's grants was $1,000,000 in 1962 to the Graduate (renamed Wurzweiler) School of Social Work of Yeshiva University, augmented in 1968 by a $500,000 grant to establish a doctoral program.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.