In recent months, small and large donations, totaling $400,000, have flowed into The Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Some of the money was given directly to Wiesel and his wife Marion, but the couple turned everything over to the foundation.
“At any moment it would have been an amazing outpouring of generosity,” Marion Wiesel told Portfolio.com, “but specifically in these times it’s so amazing, and it continues.”
Among the donors are two alumni of Boston University, where Wiesel has taught for over 30 years, who launched an e-mail campaign to encourage one million people to each donate $6, in remembrance of the six million Holocaust victims.
Donations to the Wiesel Foundation, which supports after-school centers in Israel, international conferences and various humanitarian awards and prizes, have ranged from $5 to $100,000.
Many small contributions came from “people we don’t know, in places we’ve never been to,” Marion Wiesel said.
While Wiesel personally lost about $7 million, his Foundation for Humanity lost more than twice as much, or “substantially all” of its endowment.