Jack Chester set up the Jack Chester Foundation as a trust, to be activated upon his death. The foundation began operation in 2001, following the death of Jack. From 2001 through 2019 the foundation has provided grants totaling approximately $10 million to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, primarily for programs in Israel and in the Jewish community of Miami.
Jack Chester was a Holocaust survivor. He made his way from Eastern Europe to Cuba after World War II. When Castro came to power, Jack moved to Miami. He started National Electronics, an electronics distribution company, which became a major distributor of electronics in Latin America.
Jack Chester was a quiet, caring and humble man who was also a giant in the Jewish community. He was one of the founding members of the Holocaust Memorial of Miami Beach. Over the years he was its most frequent visitor and one of its most substantial supporters. As a result of his generous philanthropy, the Cuban Hebrew Congregation-Beit Shmuel, was named in memory of Jack’s father. The office of the Israeli Consulate in Miami was opened as a direct result of the intervention and support of Jack Chester. In each of these situations, it was Jack Chester who made the difference.
There were many institutions in the Jewish community of Miami and in Israel supported by Jack Chester. These included the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged (now Miami Jewish Health Systems) and the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Jack decided to perpetuate his philanthropy through the creation of the Jack Chester Foundation which continues to give generous support to many Jewish institutions.