We identify visionaries, institutions and unsung heroes doing groundbreaking work, and we amplify their impact by providing financial and strategic support. We invest in areas that reflect our founder's passions and perspective, including diabetes care and research, Israel's cultural and economic vitality, interfaith bridge-building, elevating the profession of sales and strengthening community in New Jersey.
Russell Berrie, founder, chairman and CEO of the celebrated gift company bearing his name, was one of the most innovative philanthropists of his generation. He approached philanthropy as a social investment, seeking out energetic leaders with a sense of urgency around their missions and infusing The Russell Berrie Foundation with an entrepreneurial spirit that continues to inspire our work.
The Russell Berrie Foundation is featured in Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s recently published 2018 Annual Report. “Our Foundation continues the work of Russ Berrie in supporting initiatives to improve and enrich the lives of residents of Northern New Jersey,” the report quotes our COO and CFO, Adam Hirsch, as saying. “It is important to us to partner with a financial institution that is as dedicated as we are to understanding the needs of the people who live, work and raise families in this community. Our committed, hard-working and caring bankers at Peapack-Gladstone Bank have proven to be experienced and knowledgeable partners in our efforts.”
More than 150 religious leaders, practitioners, scholars and students gathered in Rome for an international conference marking the 10th anniversary of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and its flagship program, the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies. The conference, “Education for Action: The Urgency of Interreligious Leadership for the Global Good,” was the culminating event in a yearlong celebration that kicked off in September with a symposium at Harvard Divinity School. To read Ruth Salzman’s reflections on the accomplishments, reach and potential of the John Paul II Center, please click here.
Ten of New Jersey's most inspiring unsung heroes were recognized for their outstanding work on behalf of others when they were named as recipients of the 2019 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award. The top prize, of $50,000, went to Fraidy Reiss of Westfield, whose organization Unchained At Last has helped women in New Jersey and across the Unites States resist and escape forced marriages and rebuild their lives. The 23nd annual awards, accompanied by cash prizes ranging from $7,500 to $50,000, were announced at a May 3 ceremony at Ramapo College. Read more about this year’s incredible winners here.