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Philanthropist Anita Zucker Again Ranked Among Forbes 400

Anita Zucker

Anita Zucker, chief executive officer of the InterTech Group in North Charleston, South Carolina, was again named one of the 400 wealthiest Americans by Forbes, The Post and Courier said.

The publication estimated her net worth to be about $2.4 billion, but it’s her tendency to spread that wealth, particularly among educational institutions, that made headlines in 2014, the report said.

Education always has been a top cause for Zucker, a former public school teacher whose late husband started InterTech Group. This year, she donated more than $14 million to educational programs, The Post and Courier said.
In October, she gave $5 million to her alma mater, the University of Florida, to improve its College of Education’s early childhood education program. It was the college’s largest gift ever from an individual donor, the report said.

Less than a month later, she donated $4 million to the School of Education at The Citadel, another college with ties to the family. Zucker took education courses at the military college in the 1970s, and it’s where her oldest son, Jonathan Zucker, earned his master’s of business administration, the Post and Courier said.

Her son also was named chairman of the South Carolina Aquarium board this year, bringing a $5 million donation from the family to help build a new sea turtle hospital and improve the nonprofit aquarium’s educational programs. That donation was also the largest gift the organization had ever seen, the report said.

Anita Zucker will take the helm of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance board in 2015, after a tumultuous year for the agency. Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties withheld routine funding to the organization this year after some disagreements over how the private sector is involved in the process of recruiting industries to the Charleston area. The counties eventually made contributions to the agency, the Post and Courier said.

Zucker, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, said in a 2012 profile by The Observer of Yeshiva University that she brings her Jewish values to work every day. “Tikkun olam (fixing the world) is very much a part of our business platform, ” referring to InterTech Group. “It is very neat to be able to be in a non-Jewish society and take my Judaism with me.”

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