The Shimon Ben Joseph Foundation, commonly known as the Jim Joseph Foundation, (the Foundation), is committed to the legacy of its founder, Jim Joseph, z”l. The Foundation was established in 2006 as a private foundation, classified legally as a California Public Benefit Corporation. The Foundation is devoted exclusively to supporting Jewish education of youth and young adults in the United States.
Jim Joseph was a dedicated Jewish philanthropist who cared passionately about the education of Jewish children, youth, and young adults.
He believed that focusing on young people was the best way to preserve a strong Jewish faith and proud heritage, thereby ensuring success of the Jewish people for the future.
Inspired by Jewish learning experiences, all Jews, their families and their friends lead connected, meaningful, purpose-filled lives and make positive contributions to their communities and the world.
Our Lasting Commitment
Jim Joseph, z"l, established the foundation motivated by his belief that the most important way to ensure the Jewish future is to invest in Jewish education for young people.
We affirm that Jewish ideas and Jewish people have a critical role to play in improving the lives of individuals, communities, and the world.
Compelling and effective Jewish learning experiences draw upon Jewish wisdom, values, practices, culture, traditions and history that help people live more connected, meaningful and purpose-filled lives. These experiences influence how learners think, feel, and behave. They empower learners to integrate the learning with their varied interests and identities. Compelling learning experiences enable people to wrestle with topics of relevance to them in new and nuanced ways. They incorporate diverse voices and perspectives into the conversation.
Jewish learning experiences must constantly evolve and expand to serve current and future audiences of learners. They can take place in a wide range of settings, including classrooms, homes, offices, camps, campuses, synagogues, retreat centers, community centers, service and travel experiences, and other public spaces. They are facilitated through different forms of interactive activities and content both online and offline, through cohort-based group learning experiences, and through one-on-one conversations and relationships.
The Foundation works with grantee-partners who influence young people at key inflection points in their lives. We cultivate and support Jewish leaders and educators who are inspiring and inspire others, and create Jewish learning experiences that are uniquely relevant today.
Mission, Aspiration & Guiding Principles
The Board embraces its responsibility to expand the generous philanthropy of its founding donor.
The mission, aspiration, and guiding principles that inform our work:
- To foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews.
- Inspired by Jewish learning experiences, all Jews, their families, and their friends lead connected, meaningful, purpose-filled lives and make positive contributions to their communities and the world
- Pursue and promote excellence
- Take risks, be bold, and experiment
- Seek systemic solutions
- Embrace effective grantmaking practices
- Listen, learn, and be accountable to our audiences
- Engage diverse voices and partners
First principles help us make decisions and lead to actions.
These principles are an operating system through which the Foundation team holds itself accountable.
Center Young People
Our work focuses on young people and those who work with them. We center them as end-users as we forecast and solve for unmet needs and challenges. Their ideas and actions will shape the future.
Build Meaningful Relationships
Connecting meaningfully to other people and organizations honors our shared humanity and accelerates the change we seek. When we know our partners in genuine ways, we can better support efforts toward a common good.
Look Around Corners
Bold and transformative solutions come from peering into the future and being eager to take risks. Failing is part of our risk-taking and experimenting. Learning from failing leads to new ideas and greater impact.
Our journey to creative ideas and smart planning is steeped in a diversity of perspectives, research, personal stories, and results from our work in the field.
In different contexts, we use time to create urgency or provide space for deeper thinking and learning. Going fast or going slow is a choice we make with intentionality.