As we usher in the new year, I’d like to share with you some highlights from 2017, a year of tremendous growth at The Russell Berrie Foundation. Please click here to learn how we have strengthened our team, committed to two new strategies for our work in Israel and expanded our grant-making, awarding almost 200 grants and supporting groundbreaking institutions and visionary leaders who are making a difference in the lives of others.
In about three years, a gleaming glass-walled $100 million home for Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design — Israel’s oldest institution of higher education, founded in 1906 — is scheduled to open in Jerusalem’s city center. It is to be accented with Jerusalem stone and topped by a garden rooftop offering a panoramic view of the capital.
Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center, has joined with other leading members of the Endocrine Society to call for more research aimed at understanding the underlying mechanisms that make it difficult to maintain long-term weight loss. The scientific statement, published online in the Endocrine Society's journal, Endocrine Reviews, will appear in the journal's August issue.
David Rosenblatt, an entrepreneur who co-founded Israel's leading solar energy developer, Arava Power Company, has joined the Russell Berrie Foundation's Board of Trustees. Rosenblatt, who has experience working with companies at all stages of development and across a range of industries, has held numerous leadership positions in the N.J. Jewish community. He is a 2008 graduate of the Berrie Fellows Leadership Program.
A dozen of New Jersey's most inspiring unsung heroes were recognized for their compassion and concern for others when they were named as recipients of the 2017 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Awards. The 21st annual awards, accompanied by cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, were announced at a ceremony at Ramapo College on May 5.
Supported by a gift from the Russell Berrie Foundation, the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center has launched a multidisciplinary Obesity Research Initiative to study the relationship between the brain and metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.
A Native American chief who fought to protect New Jersey's mountainous Highlands region received the top prize at a ceremony honoring 11 unsung community heroes for their extraordinary work.