How New York’s ‘Queen of Mean’ Became Israel’s Fairy Godmother

Leona Helmsley had no connection with the Jewish state during her storied lifetime. But since she died in 2007, the giant foundation she set up has donated tens of millions to Israel.

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Alongside such stalwarts of world Jewry as Rothschild, Bronfman, Schusterman and Safra, the new and – for New Yorkers of a certain vintage – unexpected name of Helmsley has quietly taken its place.