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 mourns the passing of our dear Trustee Emeritus, Norman Seiden z”l, a wise and farsighted community leader and role model who inspired us to do more and to do it right. For three generations, Norman shaped his philanthropy around community and Israel, investing in the Technion as a means of ensuring Israel’s future through the global advancement of cutting-edge technology. The Russell Berrie Foundation had the rare privilege of working closely with Norman, whose probing mind elevated our giving in ways that transform our community and aspire to secure Israel’s place in the world. To read our full tribute, please click here.
Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University, is the recipient of the 2019 Albert Renold Award, which the American Diabetes Association presents to an individual whose career is distinguished by outstanding achievements in the training and mentorship of diabetes research scientists and in the development of communities of scientists to enhance diabetes research. In announcing the award, the ADA cited Dr. Leibel’s work crafting “a scientific environment in which curiosity of students and fellows is encouraged,” singling out programs funded by The Russell Berrie Foundation that support post-doctoral scientists in training throughout the world.
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.