Russ cared deeply about a secure, thriving and pluralistic state of Israel. Our foundation invests in leaders and institutions that are developing Israel’s northern region, contributing to a vibrant Jerusalem and, through a longstanding partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute, transforming how the next generation of Israelis think about culture, heritage and Jewish identity. Other areas of focus include expanding career-track and education opportunities in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) and Arab sectors. One of our most longstanding investments, the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, has boosted Israel’s status as a world leader in nanotechnology research, in which scientists work with objects measuring less than 1/100,000 the width of a human hair.
Selected Recent Grants
Shalom Hartman Institute Be’eri Program To transform the way Israeli students, teachers and community leaders lay claim to their Jewish heritage and culture, by engaging them in a curriculum that explores Jewish history, text and tradition through a pluralistic, democratic lens.
Israel Democracy Institute To maximize the effectiveness of Israel’s $130 million commitment to increase employment in the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) sector, by engaging stakeholders, forming policy recommendations and publishing a yearly statistical analysis of the Haredi community to inform the choices of decision makers and funders.
Migal Applied Research To fuel entrepreneurship in Israel’s economically underdeveloped North by providing funding to top emerging researchers pursuing ideas with exciting commercial potential.
Hadassah Academic College To provide culturally specific counseling and academic support to Haredi and Arab students, many from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds, ensuring that they graduate, find jobs in their fields of study and are successfully integrated into the workforce.
Tsofen To prepare Israeli Arab college graduates for engineering jobs in Israel’s booming high tech sector, by expanding professional training, mentoring and job placement programs in Nazareth and other Arab communities.
Jerusalem Season of Culture To build community among musicians and audiences through Abraham’s Tent, a component of the annual Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival that enables international performers from different religions and cultures to collaborate with one another and connect with their audiences.