Russ cared deeply about a secure, thriving and pluralistic state of Israel. We honor this by investing 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. In 2017, we committed to two new strategies for our work in Israel: expanding access to 21st century employment opportunities for talented Haredi and Arab tech workers and, recognizing that Israel’s local governments are best positioned to impact Israelis’ quality of life, building capacity and human capital at the municipal and regional level. One of our 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
“Excellenteam” Boot Camp To solve two of Israel’s most pressing problems (socioeconomic stratification and a shortage of skilled tech workers) with a brand new approach for bringing high-potential Haredi women and Arabs into Israel’s tech economy.
Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design To revitalize the culture and economy of Jerusalem’s city center by contributing to Bezalel’s new state-of-the-art campus in the central Russian Compound.
Avratech To combat poverty within Israel’s ultra-Orthodox population through an innovative job training and placement program that enables Haredi men to work in technology-related fields while also maintaining their commitment to Torah study.
KamaTech To facilitate the successful integration of ultra-Orthodox Jews into the Israeli high-tech workforce and support Haredi entrepreneurs.
Mawared Program at JDC Institute for Leadership and Governance To improve the capabilities of Israel’s Arab municipalities by connecting them to government funding opportunities available through the groundbreaking Government Resolution 922 initiative.
Maoz To identify, train and connect promising leaders to accelerate social change in the public sphere, create a pipeline of skilled professionals in education, health care and municipal governance, and improve Israelis’ quality of life.
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.
MSR, Israel Center for Medical Simulation To provide simulation-based training programs designed to improve clinical and communication skills as well as teamwork, with the ultimate goal of improving health care quality and protecting patient safety.
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.
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.