In 1920, 13-year-old Sol Koffler arrived on the eastern shores of the United States, eager to pursue his American Dream. Twelve years later, at the height of the Depression, Koffler formed American Tourister Luggage. Mr. Koffler’s vision, integrity and courage revolutionized the luggage industry as it grew to be one of the most recognized consumer brands in the country. In 1978, the family sold American Tourister and formed The Koffler Group, a third-generation family office with a full-service real estate division headquartered in Providence, RI. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Koffler’s son-in-law, Richard J. Bornstein, joined the firm as the President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Bornstein carried on Mr. Koffler’s entrepreneurial spirit over the next three decades as he directed the firm’s expansion efforts throughout New England, cultivating the Group’s reputation as a leader in the real estate industry.
From the time he reached adulthood, Mr. Koffler was a philanthropist. He and his wife, Lillian, donated buildings to Brown University, Providence College, Bryant University, Miriam Hospital, Providence Hebrew Day School and the Rhode Island Jewish Home for the Aged. They were major contributors to the Jewish Federations of Palm Beach County and Rhode Island. Mr. Koffler’s belief in giving back to the community that supported him inspired a Koffler family tradition of philanthropy both locally and nationally. That commitment continues today through the donations of Koffler-Bornstein Family Foundation directed by Mr. Bornstein and his wife, Sandra. During his lifetime, Mr. Bornstein worked with numerous non-profit charities and institutions. He served on the Boards of the Jewish Federations of Rhode Island and Palm Beach County, and Temple Emanu-El of Providence. Mr. and Mrs. Bornstein helped to establish The Koffler Bornstein Institute of Jewish Studies at Temple Emanu-El of Providence and were major contributors to the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center. As Trustees of the Koffler-Bornstein Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Bornstein have continued the philanthropic spirit of Mr. Koffler by directing numerous charitable donations to institutes of higher learning in Rhode Island, including Brown University, Brown Medical School, University of Rhode Island, Bryant University, and Roger Williams University. At their direction, the Koffler-Bornstein Family Foundation is also a staunch supporter of the Miriam Hospital, United Way of Palm Beach, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Morse Life of Palm Beach, and AIPAC.