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.
Celebrate a local New Jersey hero by nominating them by February 18th for the 23rd annual Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, in which the The Russell Berrie Foundation honors unsung New Jersey heroes who have made an uncommon contribution to the common good. Up to ten extraordinary people will be honored for making a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic act. The top honoree will receive an award of $50,000, two honorees will receive awards of $25,000 and up to seven honorees will receive $7,500 each. Nominate your hero today!
President Reuven Rivlin of Israel recently announced the launch of the “Excellenteam” boot camp: a new initiative, designed by The Russell Berrie Foundation and Start-Up Nation Central, for bringing Haredi women and Arabs into Israel’s high-tech workforce by reverse-engineering a targeted training program for high-potential talent. Industry, including leading companies such as Mobileye, Lightricks, Ex Libris and 40Nuggets, will play a lead role in specifying the “end product,” ensuring that participants have the right skills and aptitudes and are, upon graduation, set up for success, writes Ruth Salzman in a Letter From Our CEO.
A new report has found that the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and its flagship program, the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies, have transformed not only the lives and perspectives of the 87 religious leaders who have participated, but the communities—in 33 countries—that those leaders returned to. The report, “Transformative Pathways to Interfaith Leadership,” commissioned to mark the John Paul II Center’s 10th anniversary, found that 93% of alumni incorporate interfaith cooperation or dialogue into their daily conversations with students, parishioners and superiors. To read the full report, please click here.