Donald Jonas, Founder, Jonas Center for Nursing ExcellenceAdvisor to the Barbara & Donald Jonas Family Fund
Donald Jonas was born in New York City on October 16, 1929. He attended the Horace Mann School and graduated in 1947. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps (1951).
Donald Jonas married his wife Barbara in 1953. They have two children and two grandchildren and have homes in New York, Greenwich, Connecticut and La Romana in the Dominican Republic.
A prominent retail executive, Donald Jonas was founder and Chairman of the Barbara Lynn stores and its successor company, Belscott Retailers, both of which were listed on the American Stock Exchange from 1953 to 1975 He was Co-Founder and Chairman of Lechters Housewares retail chain from 1973 until he retired in 2001.
Mr. Jonas is former Board Member of Dress Barn apparel retail chain (1988-2004); Kipp Academy Charter School, Bronx, New York (2002-2004); Guggenheim Museum Business Board (1993-1998); American Jewish Congress (1970), and Cancer Care, Inc. (1963). He is a Trustee and an Honorary Trustee of the Horace Mann School (1968-present).
A concerned philanthropist, he started the Read to Feed Program in New York City public and private schools for Heifer International and remains active with Heifer programs. His pro bono interests include support of educational and medical programs in the Dominican Republic.
Avid collectors of modern art, Donald and Barbara Jonas donated fifteen pieces of art for auction to the Jewish Communal Fund in 2005. Forty-four million dollars from sale of that art established the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund. The Jonas Family Fund focuses their philanthropic giving on nursing, their major focus, as well as on mental health and at-risk youth and families. Donald Jonas is currently an advisor to the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund and Co-Chair of the Advisory Board to the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence.