Rennert's Torahs

American Jewish businessman and philanthropist Ira Rennert has donated his 160th Torah scroll to Israeli communities.

Shelly Silverstein,

One of 160 donated Torah scrolls
One of 160 donated Torah scrolls

Ira and Ingeborg Rennert recently donated five new Torah scrolls to Jewish communities in Israel, bringing the total number of their Torah scrolls in Israel up to 160. With a hefty price tag of upwards of $30,000 each, the philanthropist has contributed some $5 million worth of Torah scrolls in recent years. Rennert customarily dedicates six Torah scrolls every Sukkot and another six every Passover (Pesach).

The Torahs scrolls are placed all over the country, from the Western Wall to yeshivas (rabbinical seminaries) in major cities and in Judea and Samaria. In addition, Rennert has made a considerable contribution to help restore an area of the Western Wall, and has built many mikvaot (ritual immersion pools) and Batei Midrash (houses of study) in towns throughout Israel.

An observant Jew born in Brooklyn in 1934, Rennert, who has a home in Jerusalem, studied at Brooklyn College and New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he received his M.A. He then began a career on Wall Street as a credit analyst.

In the 1970’s, he went into consulting and eventually built a group of companies in the steel and chemical industries. Rennert is also a professor at New York University Stern School of Business.