From left to right: Donald Sussman (Stevens Clarke); George Soros, Miriam Adelson, Sheldon Adelson, Bernie Marcus, Michael Bloomberg (Getty Images)

(JTA) — Fifteen of the top 25 biggest political donors this cycle are Jewish or of Jewish origin. I picked through the top 100 on the Open Secrets website for a glance at those 15, including Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Bernie Marcus and Donald Sussman. The biggest donor by far is Tom Steyer, the hedge funder-philanthropist who ran a presidential campaign this year and whose father was Jewish.

But scroll through the list of 100 and there are plenty of other intriguing stories behind the names: Daniel Abraham, the Slim-Fast diet mogul who emerged as a major advocate of the two-state solution during the Oslo process, is at 33 and listed as “solidly Democrat/liberal.” Stacy Schusterman, a scion of one of the most important Jewish charitable enterprises, is No. 74 and also “solidly Democrat/liberal.”

Steven Spielberg, the blockbuster film director and producer whose USC Shoah Foundation  is preserving Holocaust testimony, is No. 35 and, you guessed it, is “solidly Democrat/liberal.” Seth Klarman, the Boston hedge funder who might once have been counted as a conservative on the list, is now listed as “solidly Democrat/liberal,” having been driven leftward by his disgust with President Donald Trump. He’s at 28.

Cherna Moskowitz, whose late husband was a major funder of the Israeli settler movement (and oddly joins her on the list despite having died in 2016) is No. 39 and “solidly Republican/conservative.”

No. 37 is Haim Saban, the Israeli-American entertainment mogul who, like Adelson, says concern for Israel is a prime motivator of his giving. The list was updated as of Sept. 8; expect Saban to shoot up with the new numbers.

Alienated in part by the perceived leftward drift of the Democratic Party, he did not start giving this cycle until recently and he is now all in for Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, who has a solid decades-long record as pro-Israel and a moderate.

Saban was No. 13 in 2016, when Hillary Clinton, like Biden a moderate, was on the ballot.

Read more on the list here.


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