Bruce Levenson, businessman, philanthropist, and recent NBA owner, is one of the majority stakeholders of the Atlanta Spirit, a group formed in 2004 for the purpose of buying the Atlanta Hawks NBA team, Phillips Arena and the Atlanta Thashers from Turner Broadcasting. In September of 2014 Levenson announced that he was selling his share of the team and several months later the remaining ownership partners agreed to sell their shares in the franchise. Although many people had thought the team and arena operating rights would sell for $1 Billion, most notably Goldman Sachs who convinced Levenson of that one billion amount, Levenson and the minority group of partners will realize a large profit on the sale of the franchise.
It seems apparent that philanthropy is a life passion as he is involved in many charitable endeavors, such as spearheading the growth of the University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, providing the seed money to fund the institution’s mission of educating students in organizing and leading nonprofit entities. In addition, Levenson, along with his wife Karen, was one of the first people to fund the U.S. Holocaust Museum where he also helps underwrite the Museum’s “Bringing the Lessons Home” program. This unique program teaches young people to be guides in the museum in addition to exposing them to the history of the Holocaust. In addition to being active in many other charitable organizations such as the Hoops Dream Foundation and Community Foundation of Washington D.C., Levenson has been a past president of the “I Have A Dream Foundation” of Washington, an organization that encourages and helps low-income children to pursue higher education.
Mr. Levenson, whose Mother-In-Law is a Holocaust survivor, has given significant funds to many Jewish organizations including Seeds of Peace, Birthright Israel, the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Philanthropy Institute. In April 2010, Levenson, along with other prominent American Jews authored a letter to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to devise plans and initiatives with Secretary of State John Kerry that would signal Israel’s readiness to make difficult sacrifices for peace.