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 education of Jewish youth and young adults who are residents of 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.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors and its Foundation professionals continue to build on the philanthropic mission that Mr. Joseph pursued: to foster compelling, effective learning experiences for young Jews in the United States. In accordance with Mr. Joseph’s view, the Foundation recognizes that Jewish learning takes place in a multitude of settings, including but not limited to day schools, camps, youth groups, congregations, college campuses, service learning experiences, community centers, and the like.
Based on both intensive planning and extensive study the Foundation conducted in 2006, the Foundation developed a vision for its grant making. The Foundation seeks to make an indelible impact on the lives of young Jews in the United States and envisions a future that it helps to create — one in which increasing numbers of young Jews engage in ongoing Jewish learning and choose to live vibrant Jewish lives.
Initially, yearlong planning efforts in 2006 resulted in delineation of core grant making strategies and tactics. During the Foundation’s first several years, approximately 60% of the Foundation’s grant awards focused on teens and young adults, ages 13-23. Geographically, this 60% was concentrated in the greater metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.— cities where initial Foundation Directors resided.
Approximately 40% of the Foundation’s grant making in these first several years of operation was targeted to support initiatives that focused on education of young Jews; presented opportunities for partnering with other like-minded funders; and enabled the Foundation to leverage its assets and influence. Awards were made to initiatives that demonstrably served to educate Jewish children, youth, and young adults and evidenced carefully documented promise for advancing the Foundation’s mission and helping to achieve its vision.
Today, the Foundation is a national grantmaker primarily focusing on organizations that serve youth, teens, and young adults ages 13-30. Other areas of grantmaking in which the Foundation has made notable investments are early childhood and leadership development.
Since its inception, the Foundation has accepted grants by invitation only. Please see our Process page for more details. We continue to seek out opportunities that most closely align with the Foundation’s mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities.
We use this site as a means for communicating routinely with the field. Our expectation is that the material we make available will be of utility to grantees, funders, grant seekers, and Jewish educators, among others. We certainly hope that the site is valuable to readers who are exploring how young Jews in contemporary American society engage in Jewish learning and how that learning shapes their Jewish lives.