From Our Blog

The Importance of Individualized Identities

By Michael Kay on July 26th, 2016

Editor's Note: The Jim Joseph Foundation supports Jewish educator training programs at institutions of higher education around the country. These programs help develop educators and education leaders with the skills to succeed in a variety of settings. This blog--the second in a series of reflections from participants in these training programs--is from Michael Kay, Head of School at Solomon Schechter of Westchester, who received his Ph.D. at New York University’s program in education and Judaic studies. During the summer of 2014, a recent graduate of our High School experienced one of the preeminent rites of passage of those pre-college months: learning the identity of his soon-to-be-roommate. The excitement of the moment wore off quickly, however, ...More

Israel and Philanthropic Inspiration

By Chip Edelsberg on July 8th, 2015

"Israel" Say the word in a gathering of almost any diverse group of Jews, and the room divides. “Israel" Write the word for almost any Jewish audience of readers—as I have done here—and expect that each individual immediately conjures up a passel of highly personalized associations and passionate opinions about political matters. Proceed with caution and make no assumptions as an author that there is agreement on what Israel means to your readers. That in mind, the Jim Joseph Foundation Board of Directors and professional staff recently returned from a week in Israel that included special immersion activities and our regular quarterly board meeting. Israel embraced us with her people and landscapes, language and culture. For whatever differences of opinions exist among the Directors ...More

In Our Backyard: Israel Education Flourishing in the Bay Area

By Dawne Bear Novicoff on September 19th, 2014

As a mother of two school-aged children, a Jewish foundation professional working in the area of Israel Education, and lover of Israel, this summer’s situation in Israel created many reasons to worry. I worried for friends and family, soldiers and citizens, and victims on all sides. I worried for college students and Hillel professionals preparing to re-populate college campuses across the country. I also worried for my kids—born and raised in San Francisco—who have not yet visited Israel and clearly found the events confusing and scary. Judaic Studies Principal Dan Finkel’s guest blog earlier this month shared how his Bay Area day school—a member of the Jewish LearningWorks BASIS Israel Education Day School Project—is supporting educators to ...More

Israel Education and Engagement: The Evolution of a Field

By Chip Edelsberg on June 10th, 2014

Periodically in this column I take stock of Jim Joseph Foundation philanthropy dedicated to Israel education. I do so because the Foundation from its inception committed to fund Israel education as essential to the character of Jewish education the Foundation seeks to support and develop. Over the years, the Foundation’s investment in Israel education has steadily grown. The current portfolio of grants includes investments in Brandeis University’s Summer Institute for Israel Studies; UC Berkeley’s Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society; and the recently established Israel Institute. The Foundation is a major supporter of Birthright and NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation. The Foundation’s $31,025,000 of funding for these two entities has benefited literally thousands of young ...More

Israel Education at a New Stage

By on February 7th, 2013

The Jim Joseph Foundation continually seeks to deepen its knowledge of what constitutes effective Israel education. Within the last few months, several of the Foundation’s investments in Israel education have reached new stages of development. As a result, we have a better understanding of ways in which the Foundation’s philanthropy can help to build a bona fide field of Israel Education. The Foundation’s more than four years of funding for the Bay Area Israel Education Project (known as BASIS) has resulted in the development of an educational model that you will soon be able to access at the Jewish LearningWorks website. This model provides myriad tools for Israel education that day schools - and other educational organizations - can apply to ...More

The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.