The Firedoll Foundation is a private family foundation founded by community activists and liberal donors Sandor and Faye Straus. The foundation supports a number of left-of-center advocacy organizations. 1
The Firedoll Foundation is largely funded by the Straus Family Trust and provides grants to groups that engage in community development and entrepreneurship, as well as those working on immigrant issues, human rights, environmentalism, and far-left policy toward the Middle East. 2
The Firedoll Foundation reports granting money to wide variety of organizations supporting left-progressive causes, including Defenders of Wildlife and the Multicultural Institute. 3
Firedoll Foundation financially supports a number of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli advocacy organizations, including the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF). PCRF has ties to the Holy Land Foundation, an organization alleged to have funded the terrorist organization Hamas. 4
Beyond this, the foundation has also donated to Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization which aims to create a wedge between American Jews and their support for Israel. 5
As for advocating for immigrant issues and human rights, since 2008 the Firedoll Foundation has donated to the Alliance for Global Justice, an organization that funds numerous left-wing groups which also serves as a fiscal sponsor for left-wing social initiatives and supports authoritarian governments in Latin America. 6
Sandor Straus and Faye Straus met while campaigning for Senator Eugene McCarthy’s (D-MN) bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968. Faye received her B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and Sandor received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Berkeley, going on to teach mathematics and computer science at NYU Stony Brook. Sandor later became involved in financial modeling and financial investments in the 1980s with Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund known for its founder James Simons who himself is renowned for his contributions to the mathematical modeling of investments. 7
While employed for Renaissance, Sandor worked at the Medallion Fund, Renaissance’s most profitable portfolio and a fund known for having one of the best records in investing history. 8 While at Medallion, Straus shepherded the fund out of a series of losses during the 1980s and eventually helped to create investment returns of 39.4 percent in 1991, 34 percent in 1992 and 39.1 percent in 1993. 9 Straus later cofounded his own investment firm, Merfin LLC, which was merged with Edgestream Partners in 2012 and relocated to New Jersey.
Since 199,4 Sandor Straus and Faye Straus have made individual donations respectively totaling $1,674,227.60 and $678,160 to various liberal organizations and Democratic candidates. These include donations to presidential and congressional candidates, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and groups such as the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and Indivisible Action. 10
- “Firedoll Foundation: Community Development and Immigration & Human Rights Grants.” Instrumentl. Accessed November 9, 2019. https://www.instrumentl.com/grants/firedoll-foundation-grant-programme.
- “Grant Seekers and Focus Areas.” Firedoll Foundation. Accessed November 9, 2019.http://www.firedoll.org/focus_areas.
- “Grantees” Firedoll Foundation. Accessed November 9, 2019. http://www.firedoll.org/grantees/
- Strom, Stephanie. “Charity Seeks To Transfer Money Frozen By Treasury.” The New York Times. April 15, 2004. Accessed November 9, 2019 https://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/15/us/charity-seeks-to-transfer-money-frozen-by-treasury.html.
- Yashar, Ari. “Who Funds Group ‘Driving a Wedge’ between US Jews?” Israel National News. February 5, 2016. Accessed November 9, 2019. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/211646.
- Hogberg, David. “Communists Funding the Resistance: The Alliance for Global Justice.” Capital Research Center. August 29, 2017. Accessed November 9, 2019. https://capitalresearch.org/article/communists-funding-the-resistance-the-alliance-for-global-justice/.
- “Firedoll Foundation – About Us.” Firedoll Foundation. Accessed November 9, 2019. http://www.firedoll.org/about-us.
- Mider, Zachary and Richard Rubin. “Renaissance Said Probed by Senate Panel on Tax Maneuver.” Bloomberg. July 12, 2014. Accessed November 9, 2019. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-07-12/renaissance-said-probed-by-senate-panel-on-tax-maneuver
- “Pure Alpha: Story of Renaissance Technologies.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 9, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141117150538-17004994-pure-alpha-story-of-renaissance-technologies.
- “Straus, Sandor and Faye Sandor.” Federal Election Commission. Accessed November 9, 2019 https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/