New Grant Launched by the Jerusalem Foundation – the Amos Oz Grant for Humanism in Jerusalem


This week, despite the new lockdown in Israel, a live online ceremony was held to launch the new Amos Oz Grant for Humanism in Jerusalem.


The grant, a partnership between the Jerusalem Foundation and the Spinoza Center at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, will award NIS 30,000 each year to organizations which are working to promote the values of humanism, tolerance and pluralism in Jerusalem.


To mark two years since Amos Oz, one of Israel’s greatest authors, passed away, a ceremony was held to launch the grant and commemorate the legacy of this giant of Israeli society. Oz’s daughter, Professor Fania Oz-Salzberger, and the author Eli Amir, both addressed those watching the live-streamed ceremony.



Oz, who was born in Jerusalem, authored dozens of books and essays which were translated into over 40 languages and, in 1998, won the Israel Prize for literature. At the ceremony, he was remembered fondly by President Reuven Rivlin, who was Oz’s classmate at school in Jerusalem.


Speaking in a video message, Rivlin said that “Amos lit the streetlights to show us the reality of our lives [in Israel]” and mourned the fact that Oz’s words, “which were always deep and sharp, and so wise…are missed, by all of us and me personally.”


Rivlin also commented that Amos Oz was, to many people, “an adversary with whom we disagreed on many issues but, no less than that, was an ally who spoke the language of my generation – a fierce critic, but someone who loved [Israel], its leaders and its people.”


Striking a similar tone, Shai Doron, President of the Jerusalem Foundation, said that “there were those who agreed with Amos Oz, and those who opposed what he said, but one thing that they all agreed on was that his words and his writings always caused people to think. But not just to think – to speak and to debate.”


Doron went on to bemoan the situation in Israel, in which far too many people lack the ability to speak and listen to one another – the very things that this new grant will begin to change, by encouraging initiatives which bring people together – in the fields of culture (including literature, art and music), education, society and community.



The grant is part of the Adele Singer Rifkind Fund’s ongoing support for religious and cultural pluralism. The members of the steering committee that will decide on the grantees for 2021 are: Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger, Prof. Shai Lavi, the author Eli Amir, Odia Lavi, Muhammad Salman, Dasi Gordon, and Shai Doron.


Click here to watch the video of the event >> https://www.facebook.com/JerusalemFoundation/videos/700060564232600

For more details on the grant (in Hebrew), click here >> https://bit.ly/3o1hf3G

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