“Having a common community vision leads to big, bold efforts that can transcend politics as usual.” Angelica Berrie reflects on the Inaugural Bergen County Funders’ meeting, held on October 4, 2019. To read her full letter, please click here.
"If I had to choose one word to summarize the incredible week that the Board of Trustees and senior leadership of The Russell Berrie Foundation spent in Israel earlier this fall, it would have to be ‘innovation,’” Ruth Salzman writes in a Letter From Our CEO. “Over the course of a whirlwind five-day retreat, we learned about the myriad ways that organizations and leaders we’ve invested in are improving Israel’s society, economy and culture by identifying critical challenges, thinking about them creatively and developing innovative solutions to effect lasting change.” To read the full letter, please click here.
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.
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.
We are all devastated by the senseless loss of lives in the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This heinous slaughter was more than an act of terrorism and anti-Semitism. It is a manifestation of the growing cancer within our society that has erupted in our most sacred spaces: schools where our children should feel safe, places where we worship — mosques, churches and synagogues. To read Angelica Berrie’s full statement, please click here.
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.