At our 2024 Seminar – Future Leadership in Jerusalem, we were so pleased to bring more than 20 of our friends from Canada to Jerusalem during this difficult and uncertain time, showing them through the neighborhoods of Jerusalem and the efforts responding to the many needs of residents of Jerusalem today and in the future.


We were especially pleased to offer our Canadian contingent an extra day to experience Jerusalem, discovering some of the projects the Canadian community has been vital in supporting and creating.


We started the week, opposite the Knesset building, on an exclusive tour in the new 495,000 square foot building with six floors above ground and five below. From the outside, the National Library of Israel resembles a trapezoid with the corners raised like a canopy; from the inside, there are graceful curves and natural light abound. The stunning new facility opened October 29, 2023, and houses over four million books, including fragile collections, which require careful preservation, and digital collections – all offering a fascinating portal into the rich tapestry of Jewish, Israeli and Middle Eastern cultures.



Starting the next morning, the Canadian delegation, donors and friends attended the dedication of Julia’s Lane, honouring the life and service of Julia Koschitzky z’l. Afterwards, we walked along the Canada Pathway where support for the Canada Community and Culture Fund is recognized. From Shivtei Yisrael Street to Ein Chet below to the Naggar Musrara School of Art and Society on the new Ronnen Harary Campus. A local resident made an impromptu speech expressing his appreciation for the Foundation’s positive contributions to his neighborhood.



Our tour ended at Canada House, a social and cultural gathering place for elderly and youth on the IFCJ of Canada Community Floor. We visited the Koschitzky Young Adult Center and also viewed the exhibition of work from Naggar School of Art and Society Students.



At the end of the tours focused on the Canadian projects, the delegation joined the official opening of the Jerusalem Foundation Seminar at the Jerusalem Music Center in Mishkenot Sha’ananim. You can read all about the full Seminar here.

Our 2024 Seminar- Future Leadership of Jerusalem – was a success as we brought more than 70 of our friends from around the world through the neighborhoods of Jerusalem, meeting the wide variety of leaders who bring Jerusalem together and make it a better place during this uncertain and difficult time.


The Jerusalem Foundation Seminar opened on May 20th at the Jerusalem Music Center in Mishkenot Shana’anim, a guesthouse for artists and academics which since October 7th has hosted special retreats and art therapy events for evacuees. Serenaded by guitar, cello and voice, the evening was led by Dr. Mishy Harman, the host of Israel Story, an award-winning podcast that tells the extraordinary stories of ordinary Israelis. Spellbound, the audience was captivated by the musical storytelling of curated, nonfiction. Israel Story has found a home at the Jerusalem Foundation offices, with an advanced recording studio built for them.



To hear a version of what we experienced that night, listen here:


On day two of the conference, in a packed room at the newly renovated Secular Yeshiva, the opening session featured a greeting from Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. Keynote speaker Major General (ret.) Amos Yadlin pulled no punches as he shared his insights on the strategic dilemmas facing the Israeli government in the context of the ongoing war.



Following a short break, we heard from the Jerusalem Emergency Fund Impact Panel, five leaders who acted immediately after Oct. 7th to support and respond to emergency needs. The panel included: Dr. Sinai Oren, Resilience Center for Post-Trauma Treatment; Rabbi Keren Apfelbaum, Principal of Evacuee Elementary School; Dassi Gordon, General Director of Neveh Ya’akov Community Center; Ariel Levinson, PhD, Co-Founder of the Secular Yeshiva; and Neta Meisels, Director of HaMiffal Arts Center.



From there, we went deeper into the Ein Kerem neighborhood, taking in the relaxing and therapeutic environment. Here we found Beit HaShanti, the newly renovated safe home for at-risk and homeless youth. Seminar attendees indulged in a vibrant and nutritious meal overlooking the valley and learned about the Shanti loving kindness approach to give their youth confidence to become independent citizens and contributors to Israeli society.



Next, it was across the city to the Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood to visit the Hassenfeld Family Youth Center and heard from leaders of civil society as they discussed the challenges facing shared living in Jerusalem, especially after October 7th.



After a packed day, we walked to our reception at The Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, we saw displays of fish and sea creatures from all four bodies of water connected to Israel (the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea).  Once seated, we took in an enchanting oceanic backdrop including the occasional appearance of two elegant and powerful sharks, as our host Alice Gottesman spoke about her father’s dream to build an aquarium for all to enjoy in the Holy City. Our guest speaker, Israeli journalist and Middle East Commentator Avi Issacharoff, discussed the significant impact and global influence of his hit TV-series, Fauda.



Early risers on day two visited the Gazelle Valley Urban Wildlife Park and were able to spot the gazelles roaming free within the park contained between neighborhoods in Jerusalem and to hear more about young leaders in arts and culture in Jerusalem.



In the afternoon we visited Talpiot Mizrach and the new climbing wall at the community center there, enjoying the chance to experience the challenge presented by the wall, while having an excellent lunch.



We concluded the formal sessions of the seminar meeting with members of our future leadership programs and in a dialogue among the participants about what is next for the Jerusalem Foundation.



In the evening, we had a festive dinner at a local grill restaurant and then ventured to the cutting edge of contemporary art and young artists on display at HaMiffal Art Center just off King David Street in the center of Jerusalem.



For the last day of the seminar, the Jerusalem Foundation traveled to the Gaza Envelope to stand in solidarity with the people of the south and hear from the residents about their experiences of October 7th and the war since.



We are so glad we had the chance to show so many of our friends from around the world just a small portion of the amazing work that we do for all the residents of Jerusalem. We want to thank all the many people who made it possible to have this wonderful event.


Here in Jerusalem, the new year was welcomed with mixed feelings. While we hope for better times ahead, we are still in the midst of war and carry the trauma of recent events. Jerusalem is still hosting tens of thousands of evacuees, unable to return home three months since the war began. Thousands of men and women are still serving as reservists, leaving their families and businesses behind. Our new normal includes terrible losses and disrupted routines, with no clear end on the horizon.



Our ability to partner with civil society organizations and institutions in Jerusalem is a beacon of hope amidst this turbulence. Viewing the sincere and inventive efforts of culture and community organizations, networks and individuals is truly inspiring, and we are grateful for the support of our friends in Israel and around the world which enables us to continue backing these ventures and making a difference for so many people in the city. While we continue to respond to emerging needs, especially those of the most vulnerable amongst us, we are also thinking about the day after and taking care of a long list of arts and culture institutions that are facing huge challenges.



As the situation continues to change and develop, we have continued to adjust our programming with it. Many of the programs which the emergency fund has supported have continued, these are some that we have not previously been able to highlight.



Biotechnology studies for evacuee youth at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Youth-Division Belmonte Science Laboratories Center. High School pupils from Israel’s southern town of Sderot were unable to complete the practical component of their biotechnology studies, specifically because not all schools offer this course, and not all the pupils are currently living together. The Jerusalem Foundation partnered with the Belmonte Labs to host and tutor the pupils, enabling them to carry out their individual lab project which is a matriculation requirement. Over 4 days, the pupils stayed in the Belmonte Center, experimented and studied with Hebrew U student tutors. While the Israeli Ministry of Education funded part of the program, it could not cover the full costs; thus, JF support was invaluable in helping these teens achieve academic success.



“Mind-Body” Skills Group for Evacuees by CMBM Israel at Mishkenot Sha’ananim: The horrific events of October 7 and the ensuing war have left difficult memories and caused mental and emotional harm to many. Suppression of these memories and neglecting treatment of these harms can only lead to serious symptoms and potentially long-term disorders. CMBM Israel is an experiences nonprofit that supports trauma victims using an evidence-based model of stress and trauma relief.  We supported Mishkenot Sha’ananim in hosting a Mind-Body Skills Group for practicing self-care and building resilience for survivors of October 7 attacks, including full boards at the Maurice M. Dwek Guesthouse. Participants experienced 6 workshop sessions over 2 days, practicing mindfulness, meditation, movement and more as therapeutic means, as well as enjoying cultural respite music concerts.



Open Space for evacuee youth: The prolonged stay in hotels is a challenge for many families and especially youth; they were torn from their homes, routines and frameworks, many after viewing or experiencing devastating events. Parents are wary of allowing their teen children to travel alone in a new city, yet the crowded feeling in the hotels and the lack of schedule increase tensions, leading to engagement in negative behaviors such as vagrancy and alcohol consumption. The Municipality in collaboration with community centers welcome evacuee youth to supervised open spaces where they can engage with friends, participate in structured activities and enjoy free time playing games such as foosball and table tennis. JF joined this meaningful initiative by adding a creative layer – workshops to restore equipment and furniture that are donated to the spaces by Jerusalem residents. The donations are collected by the municipality and upgrade jointly by evacuee youth and local at-risk youth, supervised by artists from Hamiffal Art Collective.



Kiryat HaYovel Volunteer Headquarters: the outbreak of war, unprecedented evacuation and mass military call-up disrupted the routine of many families, creating new struggles and needs. On the other hand, an inspiring amount of people sought to lend a helping hand wherever possible. To balance the needs and support, Rashut Harabim launched a local headquarters in Kiryat HaYovel. The headquarters provides support on four fronts: food and equipment drive for two weeks, in coordination with the city-wide headquarters, staffed by volunteers and managed by Rashut Harabim staff; coordinating cadres of volunteers to support vulnerable populations – single mothers, elderly and families of reservists; community activities for boosting morale, including craft workshops, dance and music sessions, plays and more; and coordinating donations for lone soldiers living in the neighborhood.



Double Impact



The Double Impact program continues to be one of the most important and essential programs for the coming months. The evacuee hotels are very crowded and naturally create feelings of tension and it is proving difficult to hold formal or informal educational activities on site. Long hours spent in small hotel rooms lead to difficult behavioral problems and stress within families, with friends and with other people. There is a great challenge in conducting school in a building that is not set up for learning spaces and there is difficulty in releasing pent up energy and tension, especially these days, and so ‘getting fresh air’ mental and physically is even more vital. Excursions and outdoor activities will be one of the greatest needs of the refugees, especially for children and youth at risk, and they will also serve the needs of the education system and other vulnerable populations in Jerusalem.



The Double Impact program is taking place in some 35 art and culture institutions across the city, including the Tisch Family Zoo, the Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, the Botanical Gardens, the Ein Yael Archaeological Garden, the Bloomfield Science Museum, the Yellow Submarine, the Tower of David Museum, the Cinematheque and the Train Theater. So far, some 71,000 evacuees and Jerusalem residents have participated in the program.


Jerusalem Emergency Response January 2024 update1

As the War Continues, government agencies are slowly catching up, but it is still civil society that leads the way in responding to imminent needs, thanks to its inherent ability to be flexible and adapt programming and protocol in accordance with changing needs. With the help of friends in Israel and around the world, the Jerusalem Foundation continues to expand its emergency fund, created at the outbreak of the widespread tragedy, supporting the network of community organizations and agencies across Jerusalem, with a focus on those most affected by the disastrous events: Jerusalem’s most vulnerable residents who are even more at risk in this difficult time, Jerusalem families of the bereaved and the injured, essential workers in the city, and of course, evacuees and war refugees currently residing here.


As of the end of November, we have raised millions of dollars for the emergency fund, thanks to the generous and meaningful support of our friends around the world. By partnering with some 100 community and culture institutions, we have reached tens of thousands of people across the city, including many of the 30,000 refugees residing in 37 hotels in Jerusalem, and we continue our work to reach more and more people facing serious challenges. We are assessing the continually evolving needs and adapting our responses to provide for the most urgent and relevant issues, while also thinking about the day after and taking care of a long list of arts and culture institutions that are facing huge challenges.


A major portion of our emergency response has been through the neighborhood community centers across Jerusalem. The Foundation partnered with 17 community centers in every corner of the city. With our help, community centers have been able to provide a range of services, focusing on the most vulnerable populations within the communities: the elderly, people with special needs, people with mental illnesses, new immigrants without family support and families of those in military reserve duty.


With the continuing, and initial trauma of October 7 and the war that has followed, many young people are facing new and continuing mental health struggles. In partnership with the Ein Yael Nature Therapy Center, we have continued to provide nature therapy for survivors of the Nova Music Festival attack and youth at risk.


While on the one hand, food security for many Jerusalem families is not guaranteed, especially due to the ongoing emergency situation, 15 tons of fresh produce are wasted at the Jerusalem Wholesale Market weekly. The Jerusalem Food Rescuers already save 3 tons a week, yet in the face of the crisis are seeking to triple their work in order to reach the growing circle of local Jerusalem families in need as well as providing for evacuees.


Our largest project in the emergency response continues to be the Double Impact project.


The main idea of Double Impact is to create a new system of formal and informal education at many institutions and sites in Jerusalem that have large spaces. These spaces serve as locations for innovative education and for much needed recreation and play. Jerusalem is blessed with an abundance of Israel’s most important sites and institutions, yet many of them are facing serious financial crisis due to the war as they had to close their doors. At the same time, evacuees staying in hotels and local children need some time outside and respite from stress. You can read more about the already huge successes of the Double Impact program here.


These and so many other projects have been made possible by our generous friends from around the world who have been so concerned for the people of Jerusalem and all of Israel. We thank you for your ongoing support and hope that as we go into the new year, we will see many changes, including an end to this crisis period and a beginning of the work to rebuild and repair as we look towards the day after.


We are happy to report that 300 people joined us for the Pathway to the Future Event in Solidarity with Jerusalem.


We are proud to have raised millions of dollars for the Canada Community and Culture Fund which will be allocated for the emergency response in Jerusalem due to the war for the day after. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Jerusalem and for honouring the life of Julia Koschitzky z”l.



Among the many guests were the Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion; former President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem Foundation President Shai Doron, Jerusalem Foundation International Chairman Zvi Agmon and Israeli Ambassador to Canada, Iddo Moed. We were also happy to host shinshinim spending a year in Toronto. These young people have had their military service delayed in order to spend a year in Jewish communities around the world. They shared their support for their home in Israel, as well as their new-found love for Canada by singing both the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, as well as the Canadian anthem, O Canada.


The Jerusalem Foundation established an emergency fund during the first days of the war and has been supporting the residents of Jerusalem who are most at risk while also providing shelter to more than 30,000 residents of the south and north who are currently staying in the city. The Jerusalem Foundation is providing mental health support, respite and care for families of the bereaved and injured and support of isolated elderly and women and children in shelters and much more. The funds raised for the Canada Community and Culture Fund will support some of these emergency programs and respond to the immediate needs created by the war but will also serve their original purpose of supporting the people of Jerusalem, those most vulnerable and the community surrounding Julia’s Lane – the Canada Pathway.



For more information on the programs supported through the Jerusalem Foundation Emergency Fund – watch this video:


We are deeply grateful to all of the sponsors, especially the Koschitzky Family, of this event. Your contributions are vital for us to continue this important work.


There is no question that in the last weeks, the most important activity of our emergency fund has been the Double Impact program, and it is clear it will be the most essential program in the coming months.


The refugee hotels are very crowded and naturally create feelings of tension and it is proving difficult to hold formal or informal education activities on site. Long hours spent in small hotel rooms lead to difficult behavioral problems and stress within families, with friends and with other people. There is difficulty in releasing pent up energy and tension, especially these days, and so ‘getting fresh air’ mentally and physically is even more vital. There is also a great challenge to conducting school in a building that is not set up for learning spaces as described above, and getting out into the open air will dramatically improve this situation. Excursions and outdoor activities will be one of the greatest needs of the refugees, especially for children and youth at risk, and they will also serve the needs of the education system in Jerusalem.   Many Jerusalem families have faced special challenges, with parents who are mobilized in the army, bereaved families, those with special needs, and isolated elderly are also in need of Double Impact and it is providing important and meaningful help to all of them.


The main idea of Double Impact is to create a new system of formal and informal education at many institutions and sites in Jerusalem that have large spaces. These spaces serve as locations for innovative education and for much-needed recreation and play. Jerusalem is blessed with an abundance of Israel’s most important sites and institutions, yet many of these are facing serious financial crisis as they had to close their doors due to the war. Double Impact provides relief for refugees and Jerusalem’s vulnerable populations and also supports Jerusalem’s leading cultural institutions.


The program is taking place in the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, the Botanical Gardens, the Ein Yael Living Museum, the Bloomfield Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Yellow Submarine, the Tower of David Museum, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the Cinematheque, the Train Theater, the Jerusalem Theater, and more. A further important component of Double Impact is sporting activities in open spaces and sports centers. The idea is to optimize all these locations particularly during the morning and times when they are under-used and less crowded. In sports, this includes activity of Beitar Nordia, HaPoel Jerusalem and the YMCA sport center that offered free subscriptions to allow the refugees access to the swimming pool and fitness center, almost 1000 people have already signed up.   An efficient, sophisticated, safe transport system brings the children and youth from the various hotels to the Double Impact sites.  So far, we have raised millions for Double Impact and over the last five weeks 30,000 people have already benefited.


“Everyone benefits from this initiative,” says Shai Doron, president of the Jerusalem Foundation. ” Jerusalem is a city abounding in culture, therefore it makes sense to connect between the evacuees now staying in the city who need outlets and respite and the cultural institutions that have seen greatly reduced visitor numbers since the beginning of the war. The Double Impact project is a double benefit for everyone.”


To read more about the Double Impact project, please read this lovely article by the Jerusalem Post.



For many years, we have stood together with many community organizations and agencies across Jerusalem to build a strong civil society network in the city. In immediate response to this widespread tragedy, with the help of friends in Israel and around the world, we have created an emergency fund to support this network’s efforts to respond to the needs of those affected by the disastrous events: Jerusalem’s most vulnerable residents who are even more at risk in this difficult time, Jerusalem families of the bereaved and the injured, essential workers in the city, and evacuees and war refugees currently residing here.


Emergency responses through Jerusalem Community Centers: Programing and emergency needs in ten community centers.

The Jerusalem Foundation continues its close partnership with community centers as existing innovative community resources with the infrastructure and ability to support local communities and identify vulnerable populations. With detailed plans to reach additional centers already in coming days, we have so far enabled emergency responses in the follow 14 Jerusalem community centers: Ganim, Pisgat Ze’ev, East Talpiot, Gonenim, Ramot Alon, Homat Shmu’el, Gilo, French Hill, Neve Ya’akov, Eshkolot, Beit Hakerem, Romema, Morasha and Yuvalim. These centers represent a mix of vulnerable and affluent communities, including ultra-Orthodox, new immigrants and other minority populations.

Jerusalem Foundation aid went towards programming and support for the most vulnerable populations within the communities: elderly, people with special needs, people with mental illness and new immigrants without family support.

Furthermore, various art, culture and respite activities were conducted in safe spaces, for children, youth, adults and the elderly, to help with rising stress levels. Each community center has committed to designate 30% of Jerusalem Foundation support for art and culture activities provided by local Jerusalem art groups and culture institutions. Thus, the Jerusalem Foundation has also worked towards the continued livelihood of the city’s art and culture ecosystem, which has already taken a big hit during this terrible disaster.


Overall, the support has reached tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents and helped them through the struggles, uncertainties and anxiety of the first few weeks of the war.


Welfare, Health & Community Responses to Jerusalem Residents

Daycare & Respite Activities including art, for children of medical personnel and other essential workers.


In the first weeks of the operation, the school system was closed around the country, and even now when it is gradually re-opening, many of the regular after school frameworks and programs remain unavailable. In order to enable medical personnel and other essential workers to continue their vital work, the Jerusalem Foundation partnered with the Tarbut Movement and the Jerusalem Municipality to open daycare programming for young children, using art as a means to ease the stress and anxiety that are only natural in this situation and providing them with opportunities to engage with other children their age. Programming was conducted in schools and other centers across the city which have adequate safe rooms and shelters in case of missile attacks. Over the past few weeks of Operation ‘Iron Swords’, some 800 children of doctors, nurses, psychologists, essential municipality workers and the Israeli national Insurance Institute participated in these activities, enjoying games, crafts, art workshops and performances by local Jerusalem artists.


Culture Responses for City Residents and Evacuees.


The Train Theater: Cultural Respite in Neighborhoods with the ZAZA Municipal Art Truck


The ZAZA Municipal Art Truck is a mobile unit that travels across Jerusalem and provides the city’s diverse residents with a rich array of art and culture events and activities. In these trying times, the truck was mobilized to provide leisure and respite to Jerusalem residents and guest evacuees. So far the truck has visited 5 neighborhoods; Gilo, Kiryat HaYovel, East Talpiot, Baka and Pisgat Ze’ev.

Food prep and distribution to Soldiers, Evacuees and Families in need

The Kulna organization and Keshet School in Jerusalem regularly operate a soup kitchen in the school’s carpark, from which warm meals are distributed weekly to families in need and vulnerable elderly. Starting October 8, the school adapted its kitchen to respond to war-related needs: cooking warm, nutritious meals for soldiers called up for reserve duty, evacuee families now residing in Jerusalem, families of reserve duty soldiers and families in need whose hardships have exacerbated due to the war. Four days a week and especially before the weekend, the kitchen provides 400 meals per day, totaling approximately 5,000 meals since the war has started. It is operated by volunteering school pupils, including special education pupils and the school community, and by special groups of volunteers, such as a group of high school girls from Israel’s southern town of Sderot which have been evacuated to Jerusalem and sought, even in their distress, to help others.


Supporting Evacuees from the Western Negev Desert near the Gaza Strip


Housing Evacuees at the Zippori Center Guest House


The Jerusalem Foundation partnered with the Zippori Center to house 163 evacuees from three small towns in the western Negev Desert. The families moved in on October 9, two days after the deadly attack in the south. On top of caring for their physical needs – well furnished rooms and 3 meals a day, the Zippori Center has been providing its guests respite and cultural activities, adapted for all ages, including forest survival and environment awareness activities, tours of the surrounding area, art performances and workshops by Jerusalem artists.


“The Jerusalem Foundation provided an immediate response to the city, from the beginning of the war, out of a desire to respond to the crisis quickly and efficiently.” Says Shai Doron, president of the Jerusalem Foundation. “We are coordinating with the municipal systems and other entities in the city that are working during the emergency and the mobilization of resources continues all the time. What started small, with responding to initial needs, has been developing in recent weeks and we are changing our priorities so that they fit the burning needs of the city while constantly updating our donors. We wish for quiet and good days and in the meantime, we are doing everything we can to help.”



Photographer: Dana Bar Siman-Tov

Dear Friends,


The State of Israel is facing difficult days, one of the most difficult it has faced since it was established.


The tragedy is vast and overwhelming. The numbers of murdered, hostages taken and those missing and injured – these are incomprehensible numbers. So many families have had their world destroyed and almost every home in Israel is part of this pain and heartbreaking loss – family members, relatives, close friends and colleagues – we all personally know victims of these last days. The national and personal trauma is unbearable and made worse by the horrific images that have been shared so widely.


Israel is in a state of war, an emergency situation, and hundreds of thousands of people have been mobilized to the army for an unknown period of time.


Very difficult questions will be addressed after the war, but now the people of Israel are united and stand before the greatest challenge we have known in many years. In spite of the great difficulties ahead, with the support from our friends around the world and the spirit of the Israeli people, we have no doubt we will win this war.


The first days of the war revealed failures in the public civil support systems and a lack of ability to quickly respond to the vast dimensions of this disaster. Here is where we found some light within the darkest moments. Civil society across Israel, individual volunteers and civil society organizations, were the first to respond with initiatives to help those in harm’s way, and from all parts of Israeli society, people came together to do what was needed.


With all of the adversity around us, the volunteering and leadership of these people, has truly been something to witness. For many years, the Jerusalem Foundation has stood together with many community organizations and agencies across the city to build a strong civil society network. We have created an emergency fund to support the efforts of this network to respond to the immediate needs of the evacuees and refugees from the war, to support the most vulnerable residents of Jerusalem who are even more at risk in this difficult time, to all the Jerusalem families of the bereaved and the injured who need support.


We have already begun to fund programs across Jerusalem with the help of friends from around the world. Among these are community centers providing support for bereaved families, essential workers and soldiers, including by providing childcare, psychological support, and food deliveries; therapeutic art workshops from Studio of Her Own and theater performances  from Kum Kum Theater group, the Train Theater and Mashu Mashu theater group for children evacuated from the south or whose parents have been mobilized with the military; support for isolated elderly including the 600 Holocaust Survivors in Jerusalem  currently unable to leave their homes and are in need of care and special childcare centers for children of medical workers whose parents are working around the clock and may not have a parent able to care for them. These and other programs are supporting our most vulnerable and needy in Jerusalem as they face this disaster. With your help, these programs will be able to provide support to all of Jerusalem, and all the people of Israel.


Thank you for your support always and especially now.


With hope for better days,


Your friends at the Jerusalem Foundation


Below is a list of the current needs in Jerusalem which the Jerusalem Foundation is fundraising for, we will update the list as needed.


Jerusalem Emergency needs

Double Impact is a program to incentivize exceptional young people to live in Jerusalem following their army service and use their talents to develop excellence in the city while they study at university. Double Impact is a framework where young adults from across Israel can receive scholarship support for their academic studies and participate in leadership development training, in return for their leading social and community initiatives in Jerusalem’s underprivileged neighborhoods. The double impact consists of assistance to needy Jerusalem residents alongside training of highly motivated young leaders committed to living, volunteering and working in Jerusalem. Double Impact is a key element in the Jerusalem Foundation’s 2030 plan for Future Leadership, developing a network of activists and volunteers working for the betterment of the city for all its residents.


Each cohort is a small group of young adult activists from throughout Israel, alumni of Tene Yerushalmi programs (a pre-army mechina training program), recently released IDF soldiers and current university students. Once a cohort is established, they develop a workplan and infrastructure for their initiatives. They cooperate with the local community center in formulation of this workplan including mapping the needs of the community, assessing potential impact, considering the skill sets of the activists and reviewing suitable partners for activities.




The integration of these activists within the community center is what defines the unique character of its program and its success. On the one hand, the activists give to the communities by initiating, growing and improving activities at community centers while on the other hand receiving tools, support, and empowerment from the community centers’ professionals. Alongside their university studies, the activists launch several meaningful projects together with their community center counterparts.


Throughout the year, Double Impact participants take part in a number of in-depth study sessions and tours. Subjects include: postmodern educational challenges; the ultra-Orthodox world and higher education; community care for women undergoing divorce; place making in East Jerusalem; the Jewish-Arab mix in Israeli cities and more.


Thanks to the scholarships for academic studies in Jerusalem, engaged and motivated young adults are making long-term commitments to Jerusalem, its residents and their needs. Many of them stay in the city and will become its next civil leaders. The ripple effect of this Jerusalem Foundation Future Leadership program is increasing hope and access to opportunities in vulnerable communities throughout Jerusalem.


The Jerusalem Foundation seeks donations of USD $10,000-$50,000 to enable the continued support and expansion of the Double Impact program.

 The Maimonides Fund and The Jerusalem Foundation have announced a new prize to honor a young civil society leader.


The “Jerusalem Young Leadership Prize”, a new annual prize, has raised much interest among the community and cultural organizations in Jerusalem due to the high sum that it promises, 100,000 dollars.


The prize is offered to young people (up to age 50) living in Jerusalem who are already active in non-profit organizations for the purpose of benefitting the local community. The grant will be given to the organization in which the winner is active, to be used to advance and develop the organization.


The candidates for the prize must work to promote Jerusalem’s residents, leading programs that are already being implemented. The prize will be given to an organization that works towards one of the following: advancing the city’s cultural heritage; empowering women in any of the city’s sectors; developing science study programs; encouraging the ultra-Orthodox sector to integrate into civil society; and developing English study programs.


Dozens of inquiries have already been received by The Jerusalem Foundation and the Maimonides Foundation, which are granting the prize.


President of The Jerusalem Foundation, Shai Doron said “The Jerusalem Young Leadership Prize will recognize the achievements of Jerusalem’s young leaders from the city’s diverse populations and will serve as an inspiration for leadership and excellence. The Jerusalem Foundation acts on many fronts to promote the city’s future leadership, and this prize is the jewel in the crown.”

SAHI-The Youth Hessed Patrol- has begun a program of a meaningful gap year for high school graduates. SAHI brings youth from Israel’s periphery together to be change makers in their communities. Now, after several years of work, and with the support and guidance of The Jerusalem Foundation these young people have the chance to take a gap year after high school devoted to giving back to their communities, and learning leadership and other life skills.


The participants in the program are agents of change, working in all the neighborhoods of Jerusalem to put on community and educational activities for all ages. These young people are full partners in every aspect of the program, they take much of the responsibilities of planning and organizing on themselves as they work with all the diverse populations of Jerusalem.


In a meeting with the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, participants discussed their activities in the many special places across Jerusalem, as well as their welcome into neighborhoods all over the city.


President of The Jerusalem Foundation, Shai Doron: “We are very proud to support these young people, who have decided to delay their draft to the IDF one year in order to give back to the community and to live within the program and from it receive the tools to guide their way to leadership. This enterprise is a part of the vision of The Jerusalem Foundation and is building the future leadership of the city.”


Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion: “This gap year is a year in which they are both giving and receiving, it is the beginning of leadership, which we are not always privileged to receive, but if you believe in what you are doing, it will be your reward. Not everyone one is able to be a leader and to take charge of other people, but you will be able to be leaders. It will come with time, and it is very important to give that time to yourselves. I look forward to seeing this special and unique community. I wish you all much success”.



To ensure educational opportunities, professional development and economic advancement for the young generation, the Jerusalem Foundation focuses on language education: Hebrew and Arabic to foster understanding and respect, and English to open new opportunities and frontiers.


Although Hebrew and Arabic are both official languages, neither Jews nor Arabs in Jerusalem regularly speak the other’s language, which perpetuates misconceptions and intolerance. To strengthen the community and the social fabric of the city, the Jerusalem Foundation seeks to facilitate understanding between Jews and Arabs by teaching the ‘other’s’ language. The goal is to transform attitudes and behaviors, help Arab Israelis feel at home in Israel and facilitate dialogue between the two cultures and communities. Positive communication and mutual respect build communal strength and help shape the Jerusalem of the future in line with the Jerusalem Foundation’s vision for 2030.



Language as a Cultural Bridge is a 2-year Arabic instruction course for grades 5-6 to enable Jewish children to communicate in Arabic. The Jerusalem Foundation has operated the program in Jerusalem since 2005 in collaboration with the Abraham Fund Initiative, with 18 to 20 schools participating each year. The initiative breaks down barriers by teaching Arabic and Arab culture in Jewish schools and by placing Jewish school-children in regular contact with Arab teachers as role models. The program includes encounters between Jewish and Arab students and opportunities for Jewish and Arab students to practice Hebrew and Arabic together.


Hebrew and Arabic for children and adults: The Jerusalem Foundation also coordinates other programs to advance Hebrew and Arabic language skills for both children and adults.

  • Hebrew instruction in Arab schools: places native Hebrew speakers as teachers in Arab schools, with special Hebrew language rooms to enhance learning.
  • Talking Coexistence: Arabic language instruction for adults, operated by the Jerusalem Intercultural Center, has offered instruction at all levels for the past 15 years.
  • Women Speaking Hebrew: teaches Hebrew conversational skills to Arab women in an affordable and comfortable environment and has operated since 2013.



21st Century Language Skills for Technology


This groundbreaking program in partnership with the Azrieli College of Engineering is geared to non-native Hebrew speakers from underprivileged neighborhoods. The program enhances their ability to begin and complete degrees in the technological professions (chemical engineering, software engineering, electrical engineering, etc.) and successfully integrate into the modern workforce in Jerusalem.  The biggest gap for these students is usually language skills in both Hebrew and English, both essential for success during their studies and as members of a modern workforce.  The program provides tuition scholarships for individual students from disadvantaged backgrounds and courses and mentoring to strengthen their Hebrew and English language skills, allowing them to make the most of their education.  The program emphasizes written and spoken, academic and conversational Hebrew and English before and during the degree program and toward graduation with special workshops for applying for, interviewing and integrating into new employment.


This program is a model for other academic institutions to prepare non-native Hebrew speakers to integrate into the modern workforce in Jerusalem and in Israel, contributing to Israel’s startup economy and opening opportunities for economic advancement for themselves and their families.

Need: Music helps young people to develop their sense of self-worth; it is a universal language that builds bridges transcending cultural boundaries; its beauty can inspire people of all ages. However, many are unable to pursue their passion for music and develop their unique talents due to financial constraints. The Jerusalem Foundation provides opportunities for high quality music instruction to aspiring young musicians from some of Jerusalem’s most vulnerable populations.




  • The JAMD Conservatory is at part of a trio of institutions that form theJerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD). Together with theacademy and its high school, it offers a complete educational program allthe way through the graduate level. A leading establishment of its kind inIsrael, the conservatory provides professional training in music and danceof the highest standards for youths ages 1-19. In addition to a full range ofsolo instrumental and vocal instruction, it offers training in chamber music, orchestral playing, choral singing, as well as in composition,conducting and music theory.
  • The Ron Shulamith Music Conservatory was established in 1910, the first institution of its kind serving members of the Jewish community in the land of Israel and its Jerusalem branch opened in 1972, serving gifted children as well as children with special needs, including boys and girls from the secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox populations. The conservatory boasts a women’s string orchestra, 12 youth ensembles and five choirs, music teacher fellowships, graduate placement assistance, school programs and more.
  • The Hassadna Jerusalem Music Conservatory is a preeminent Israeli conservatory using music as a bridge between Jerusalem’s different communities, including at-risk youth, children of immigrant families and children with special needs. Hassadna provides high-quality musical training to children and youth ages 3 to 18 from all sectors of Jerusalem’s diverse population, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic background, with five primary departments: Piano, String, Wind and Voice. Students receive one-on-one instruction and participate in orchestras and chamber music ensembles performing in regular concerts. The conservatory also offers special programs, supported by the Jerusalem Foundation, for three distinct population groups: at-risk youth, children of Ethiopian descent, and children with special needs.

To ensure a vibrant future for Jerusalem and all of its residents, the Jerusalem Foundation seeks to support young adults willing to complete their studies in the city, while encouraging them to stay on. By investing in the next generation, the foundation shapes Jerusalem’s leaders of tomorrow and safeguards the future of the city. The Jerusalem Scholarship Fund pools together most major funding sources for higher education in Jerusalem, with the advantage of streamlining the application process. The project requires students to volunteer their time and talents in return for scholarships, connecting them to the city and creating a future leadership looking to 2030 and beyond.



There is a wide range of scholarships – from those targeting students of advanced arts institutes, to those studying engineering and other technical degrees, to those studying in one of Jerusalem’s academic colleges and universities. The program alleviates the financial burden faced by students while strengthening their ties to the community through volunteering. Volunteering options include: presenting plays and workshops for people with special needs, facilitating enrichment activities such as creative writing workshops for children in public schools, tutoring children and brightening disadvantaged Arab and Jewish neighborhoods alike.


The Jerusalem Foundation has been offering higher education scholarships for the past decade. In 2017 we distributed the largest amount of community involvement scholarships in the country, with 18,900 students receiving support.


Impact:  The scholarships strengthen the institutes of higher education, increasing the number of students who are able to study. They reinforce social and community organizations, which receive additional volunteers. They alleviate the financial burden faced by students while strengthening their ties to the community. This benefits the city as a whole, making it more vibrant and connected.


Partners: Jerusalem Municipality, Mifal HaPayis Lottery

The Jerusalem Foundation established Kayma, the George Pinto Jerusalem Leadership Fellows Program to promote young civil leadership with a long term commitment to the city, in line with its Future Leadership objective for 2030. Scholarships will be awarded to students in the final year of their PhD and will cover three years. The program provides a career “runway” for these young people to live, work, teach and conduct research in Jerusalem. In return, they are required to volunteer their time and talents and commit to remaining in the city for an additional three years, to carry out groundbreaking work in Jerusalem.



A steering committee composed of eminent community leaders will evaluate and award scholarships. The program is intended for those working towards a PhD focused on community service so to strengthen Jerusalem’s civil society. To increase the impact on the city, the fellows will become part of a network of young leaders meeting every month at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. These meetings will broaden their knowledge of the city and strengthen collaboration between the fellows, who will then be able to cooperate professionally, setting the highest standards for leadership in social activism and commitment to Jerusalem.



Impact: This program provides opportunities for future leaders to stay in Jerusalem and use their talents to develop excellence in the city, making it a modern and vibrant home for generations to come.


Partners: Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

Need: The diverse communities of Jerusalem often exist side by side, but residents live parallel, nonintersecting lives, in separate schools, neighborhoods, buses, sports activities and communities. This lack of understanding of the ‘other’ is a missed opportunity to learn respect and to see what they have in common. Dialogue programs that bring people from different communities together do not affect a large segment of the population. This year the mistrust grew and some programs slowed down. At the same time, improving the quality of education is of vital importance to all educators, Jewish and Arab, and most educators agree on the importance on long term systemic change in promoting ongoing, positive and mutually enriching cross cultural encounters for the next generation.



Response: The Learning Together program improves educational programming in Jewish and Arab schools, and by bringing Jewish and Arab principals and educators together to do so, it advances understanding and partnership. The program is a joint project of the Jerusalem Foundation and the Municipality and takes place during regular school hours. It is based on a highly successful model developed in Northern Ireland, in which Catholic and Protestant educational staffs worked together to improve specific academic subjects in their respective schools, working together along the way. In light of the program’s success and expansion, the Jerusalem Foundation, together with the Jerusalem Education authority, seeks to continue to develop the program, which includes:


  1. Training courses for principals and senior officers of the Jerusalem Education Authority – in-depth 4-hour workshops in east and west Jerusalem, study tours, dialogue and planning. Earlier cohorts of participating principals continue to meet and reflect together on the implementation of learning initiatives. These activities foster mutual understanding and build educational partnerships according to affinities and common needs and interests.


  1. Training courses for school teachers to initiate in-depth dialogue and creative thinking about joint curricular initiatives – 8 4-hour workshops (co-facilitated dynamic encounters and lectures), an east Jerusalem study tour, and an overnight seminar. Earlier cohorts of teachers continue to meet and reflect together on the implementation of their learning initiatives thus far. Eight monthly meetings are planned each year. On-site planning and monitoring with program staff, teachers and principals take place monthly between the partner teachers.


  1. Jerusalem Foundation Ambassadors program cultivates teachers who advance the program more actively in their schools and organize community events and special programs.


  1. Student encounters– currently 40 schools are involved, with the aim to involve 150 schools over the next years. Topics include tennis, music, drama, shared learning of English, visits to Science Museum and Museum of Islam and other activities according to the partners’ interests.


  1. An optional study tour to Northern Ireland in partnership with Queens’ University in Belfast.



Population Served: 100 Jewish and Arab schools, including principals, teachers and 3,000 students. The Municipality’s vision is to make this a regular part of the curriculum.


Partners: Jerusalem Education Authority; Ministry of Education, Center for Educational Technology

Need: The Jerusalem Foundation strengthens the community support systems of Jerusalem, with a focus on the social and communal needs of the city’s most vulnerable populations. The 11,000 Holocaust survivors living in Jerusalem represent one of the most vulnerable populations in the city, facing psychological, physical and financial challenges that require immediate and substantive solutions.


Response: The Café Europa network offers social and cultural opportunities for the city’s Holocaust survivors. Each neighborhood offers its own menu of services including:

  • A meeting place where survivors can enjoy a social and cultural experience.
  • A resource center where trained professionals assist survivors in accessing and maximizing the rights and services to which the elderly sector, and the survivor population in particular, are entitled.
  • Special activities for veterans, intergeneration activities, lectures, concerts, trips, Yom HaShoah memorials, etc.
  • A mobile service of home visits by a social worker, therapist, or trained multi-lingual volunteer for homebound survivors to enhance emotional, social, physical and cognitive well-being.



Population Served: Over 650 men and women participate in Café Europa activities each year in the program’s five branches dispersed among the city’s areas to enable easy accessibility. During Corona, the program identified new needs, and the project added additional volunteers and services.

  • The South branch serves the southern part of the city (Rehavia, Katamon, Baka, Gonenim) and includes French, English and Hebrew-speaking groups.
  • The North branch, also known as “Café Moscow,” caters mostly to Russian-immigrant populations (Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Ya’akov).
  • The Western branch café services Beit Hakerem, Kiryat HaYovel and the surrounding areas.
  • The branches in the Geulah and Sanhedriya host separate groups for men and women in the Haredi survivor community.


Impact: “Café Europa is where I can socialize, hear a concert, or just read and relax, in the one place where I feel surrounded by those who truly understand me” (a participant).


Partners: Israeli Ministry for Welfare and Social Services; Jerusalem Municipality Elderly Welfare Department; local community centers; Misgav Lakashish, JDC.

Jerusalem is a complex city with unique struggles. Though it is home to an incredibly diverse population, many communities face steep challenges. Especially young people, with 55% of children in Jerusalem living below the poverty line, compared to the Israeli national average of 30%. Of the 341,718 children and youth up to the age of 18 who live in Jerusalem, 37,838 depend on welfare services and 20,023 are considered at risk. The Shanti House Association, already operating in Tel Aviv and the Northern Negev, discovered that many of the young people they support are from Jerusalem.


In an exciting new initiative, the Jerusalem Foundation plans to establish a Jerusalem Shanti House to serve as the first port of call for at-risk youth of any religion, gender or culture aged 14-21. Open 24/7, the Jerusalem Shanti House will provide a safe space to escape dangers such as physical violence, prostitution, and sexual abuse and steadily recover to regain a normal life. Those requiring long-term support will transition to one of the existing Shanti Houses to benefit from additional assistance in a sheltered environment. Preventive programs will help identify at-risk youth early and avoid them ending up on the street. The process is fast, as no official referral is required and there is no waiting time.



A suitable building was been identified in the Ein Karem neighborhood, where the city meets nature, and warm energy fosters a sense of new beginnings. Thanks to generous support from dear friends of the Jerusalem Foundation in Italy, the Jerusalem Foundation purchased the house and will begin extensive renovations in January 2021. To create a positive and supportive environment, the large property will feature a balcony, a family-style kitchen for children, as well as a large industrial kitchen, a spacious living room and TV area and separate girls’ and boys’ rooms.


Population Served: Open to all youth at-risk ages 14-21 in the Jerusalem area, the Shanti House will be a 24/7 resource for young people from any background, serving as short-term stepping stone towards regaining a normal life. The Tel Aviv and Negev Shanti Houses together already help 2,500 young people every year and the Jerusalem House will extend their reach, preventing more youth from falling between the cracks and giving them tools for a brighter future.


Impact: From its establishment to this day, Shanti House has helped more than 60,000 young people. The unique therapeutic model developed over the course of 36 years by Mariuma Ben Yosef, the founder of Shanti House, has won extensive recognition in Israel and around the world.

Jerusalem Foundation U.S. Launches $1-Million Innovation Fund to Promote Communal and Cultural Vitality After COVID-19


New York and JerusalemOctober 6, 2020 – The Jerusalem Foundation, Inc., announced today the creation of its new Community and Culture Innovation Fund, beginning with an initial $1 million donated by friends across the United States. The goal of this new fund is to ensure Jerusalem’s future vitality by encouraging institutions and organizations across the city to create innovative models for navigating these unprecedented times and flourishing after COVID19. In so doing, the Foundation also affirms and extends its founding mandate to unify Jerusalemites across the breadth of the city’s social, cultural, religious, and economic landscapes.


The first call for proposals will open on November 8, 2020, with submissions due by December 6, 2020. Grant awards will be announced early in 2021 for initiatives to be implemented throughout the year.



Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the Jerusalem Foundation has served Jerusalem’s most vulnerable populations, from young children with special needs to elderly people living in isolation. Raising more than $2 million from sources worldwide, including nearly $1.3 million from the United States, the Foundation has been able to support pressing social and humanitarian needs, ranging from food packages for the homebound to the provision of laptops for remote learning and counseling. Working in close collaboration with Jerusalem’s Mayor Moshe Lion, the Foundation’s recent efforts have so far touched the lives of more than 100,000 Jerusalemites.


Through both its new Innovation Fund and its earlier COVID-19 relief efforts, the Foundation has been able to catalyze matching support from municipal, philanthropic, and corporate sources, creating an immediate multiplier effect and demonstrating another model for the power of public-private partnerships on all fronts. Examples like these take on that much more meaning today, given the mounting demands on philanthropy worldwide during a time of crisis.


U.S. Chairman of the Board Alan Hassenfeld states, “At a time when philanthropy everywhere must focus on urgent needs close to home, it is truly gratifying to see how individuals and foundations across the U.S. have risen to the occasion to support Jerusalem by preserving and strengthening its social fabric and cultural vitality.”


“If initiatives like these succeed in Jerusalem, they can also serve as models throughout the country, and indeed the world, especially at a time when nourishing broad communal engagement is essential. New models must emerge to bolster the city’s social and cultural agendas and its economy – all with the goal of preserving Jerusalem’s unique character and uplifting the spirits of those most affected by the health crisis,” says James Snyder, Executive Chairman in the U.S.


During these times, we are preserving our focus on supporting the city’s most vulnerable populations, while also ensuring the city’s social and cultural recovery in the face of the ongoing pandemic,” says Shai Doron, President of the Jerusalem Foundation in Jerusalem.  “Doing so has always been central to the mission and mandate of the Foundation as a convening and coordinating partner for city-wide initiatives that foster communal strength and develop future leadership.”


About The Jerusalem Foundation

Founded by Mayor Teddy Kollek in 1966, the Jerusalem Foundation has worked on behalf of the city of Jerusalem and its people for more than 50 years to shape an open, vibrant, and resilient community that serves as a global destination for the arts, culture, science, technology, and industry and supports the daily needs and aspirations of its residents. Since its establishment, the Foundation has invested in more than 4,000 projects throughout the city, ranging from the physical, developing parks and cultural centers, neighborhood community and sports facilities, health centers and synagogues; to the programmatic, delivering education and literacy, cultural competency, and economic vitality; to the spiritual and artistic, restoring and preserving heritage sites, including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and the Via Dolorosa, and supporting social and cultural programming. These initiatives serve the ongoing development of the historic city and enhance Jerusalem’s contribution today to the world as an exemplary cross-communal model for the arts, culture, and ideas.


Media Contacts
Resnicow and Associates

Juliet Sorce


The Canada Community and Culture Fund 

Responding to the Coronavirus Crisis and Building for the Future


The situation in Jerusalem and Israel is changing quickly and we are learning that the pandemic continues to hit Jerusalem in waves.  Residents are slowly learning to live with Covid and find ways to adjust to uncertainty and a very changed world.  Rapidly evolving restrictions and rates of infection have forced to be innovative and creative as we look towards a different future than we had expected.  Jerusalem has one of the highest rates of infection amongst cities in Israel. One of the characteristics of the city, due to the city’s population, is a significantly higher percentage of families with children (and sometimes many children) with verified COVID19 infections.


Canadians have a long history of providing support to the vulnerable in Jerusalem and to arts organizations and institutions in the city. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada has established the The Canada Community and Culture Fund. This new fund will support two critical areas for the wellbeing of Jerusalem: ongoing needs for vulnerable residents of Jerusalem of all ages and the recovery of the cultural sector which has been decimated by COVID. Working in close cooperation with Mayor Moshe Lion and his team, funds raised will maximize the efficient and effective delivery of essential goods and services to residents of the city.



In response to the current health, social and economic crisis, the Jerusalem Foundation continues to provide support and a safety-net to the most vulnerable residents from all population groups in the city. This support has included provision of food, respite, mental health support and outreach to those across this city who have required it.  In addition, The Jerusalem Foundation has continued to support the cultural and creative life of Jerusalem during this crisis. The Canada Community and Culture Fund will build on this longstanding tradition and provide continued support to the people of Jerusalem through projects and initiatives which respond to the real needs on the ground.  In recent months, through our emergency campaign, we were able to provide desperately needed support.


Examples of support of the vulnerable during COVID-19 to date include:

  • Provision of culturally adapted relief kits for children whose family members have been struck by COVID-19
  • Providing funding to Machshava Tova to purchase computers and laptops to low income families across the city, to enable long distance learning and connection to the community
  • Ongoing assistance to elderly citizens by establishing hotline phone support, purchasing tablets/computers for home use and food packages
  • Through Triple Impact, supporting visits for vulnerable at risk and socially isolated children from shelters, and child welfare agencies to cultural and educational sites in the city – helping to also support their economic recovery


Examples of support of new programs in the cultural sector in response to COVID- 19 to date include:

  • Creation of a new broadcast studio to enable live streaming and broadcast of dance, theatrical, musical and arts events at the Horseshoe Cultural Center
  • Installation of an outdoor sculpture exhibit during fall, 2020 at The Jerusalem Botanical Garden with works by leading contemporary artists on loan from private collectors all over Israel.
  • Provision of employment opportunities for artists at HaMiffal, who will participate in creating new art and at the same time participate in renovating this emerging arts centre in Jerusalem.



Through the Canada Community and Culture Fund, we will build upon our tradition of giving and continue to have a significant impact on the city of Jerusalem.

‘Oxygen for Culture’ is a new initiative with private individuals to invite singers and musicians to perform in private homes where there is an appropriate space such as a garden or balcony. The series of events allows for intimate performances by leading Israeli musicians and singers, and a simultaneous live-stream on Facebook.


The events provide exposure and income to artists who would usually be performing internationally, and provide a much-needed breath of cultural fresh air into a city that has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


Mekudeshet/FeelBeit, Jerusalem’s newest “culture without borders” performing arts project has developed a series of meetings and encounters conforming with current Corona guidelines, in order to preserve opportunities for social, cultural, and personal artistic engagement among Israeli and Arab artists and audiences, even during these constrained times.



Most events are planned for outdoors at FeelBeit’s new headquarters on the Sherover Promenade, offering space and opportunities for artists and performers, even with limited audiences.  In FeelBeit’s own language:  “Because we have a stage, and it hurts us to see it empty, because there are artists who need a stage but cannot find one, because this is a chance to give artists a way to make a few shekels in these insane times, because we do not feel like waiting endlessly for the day after…”


HaMiffal, the ‘factory’, is a unique cultural and arts center, a platform for creativity where Jerusalem’s young artists can experiment in a variety of ways. The whole space in itself is a massive work of art, open to Jerusalem’s residents and visitors who can also enjoy the café and co-working spaces. HaMiffal is an opportunity for local art academy graduates to stay in Jerusalem and contribute to its diverse and busy art scene.



HaMiffal proposes its own Jerusalem version of the American New Deal’s WPA, employing artists to participate in the current renovation of HaMiffal’s historic landmark property in west Jerusalem with large-scale public works commissioned to enhance the site. Participating artists will become part of the arts community creating this new communal art site, and they will earn stipends to help support themselves during the economic crisis. The project includes video documentation of the renovation and the addition of public art as an integral part of the project.


A Studio of Her Own is a platform for promoting religious women artists. Opened in 2009, the Studio provides a physical and mental space for creation, as well as programs tailored to meet the needs of participating artists. It also presents exhibitions of contemporary women’s art – with special support for religious women who are not always able to find a community for artistic expression.


The Studio, housed in painter Pinhas Litwinowsky’s former home and atelier, was recently renovated to include a gallery for exhibitions, a library and research center and a coffee shop. With more space available, a tailored residency program for women artists has been launched and the Studio now hosts a variety of cultural events featuring performing arts, film, literature poetry and music.



Due to the coronavirus crisis, they have opened up their gallery space to host women artists who cannot work at home or find a place for their creativity under the unique pressures of the pandemic.  A Studio of Her Own has become a home for these women artists and provides support and encouragement during this difficult time. They have opened up this community to performance artists and musicians and expanded the world of art together. The women have found new collaborative partners and are creating special exhibitions of work that have grown out of this unique time and experience.

The ‘From Jaffa to Agripas’ Festival, which has become a tradition in Jerusalem, is presenting unique and innovative performances, characterized by an authentic connection created between the audience and the artists, between dance and food, inspired by the Machane Yehuda market and its proximity.


The festival is bringing the Mahane Yehuda market and contemporary dance together and will celebrate culture and food in a vibrant and authentic experience.


Some of the shows are open to the general public for free, and some for a fee, but all guests are required to pre-register due to the coronavirus restrictions.


Children and youth at risk and those with special needs who have been most deeply affected by this crisis, from group homes and women’s shelters, impoverished neighborhoods and some still in dangerous and unstable home situations have had to confront even more difficulties than usual.  Due to the economic crisis, these children and youth will continue to face serious challenges and will not have the same opportunities to flourish as others.  The Jerusalem Foundation wishes to provide these young people with the chance to breathe, grow, learn, develop and enjoy all that the city has to offer.


The city of Jerusalem contains a richness of cultural and educational institutions unparalleled in Israel and the rest of the world.  Many of these institutions have been shut down during the crisis and are now trying to find their way back to a new “normal”.



Triple Impact brings together children and youth at risk from shelters and therapeutic agencies to visit cultural/communal sites otherwise not available to them at this time and using transportation services subsidized by the Municipality.  This program can also help support Jerusalem institutions suffering from lack of tourism and from diminished local traffic.  The program is ongoing and currently active at Ein Yael Living Museum and the Bloomfield Science Museum.

The Jerusalem Foundation is committed to leveraging the city’s diversity and unique history to shape its future as a modern, thriving metropolis and an inspiration around the world. We celebrate Jerusalem’s rich history and help create opportunities for residents of diverse backgrounds, particularly youth, to learn about the city’s significance through the ages.


Central to this endeavor is the Tower of David Museum, which contains archeological finds dating back over 2,800 years. Each year, the museum brings Jerusalem’s history to life for more than 300,000 people from Israel and abroad, offering innovative exhibits tracing history from ancient through modern times, and examining Jerusalem’s centrality to diverse peoples and religions.


In 2000, archeologists working on the Kishle structure – erected in 1834, and later used by the British to imprison members of the pre-state Jewish underground – stumbled upon layers of remains chronicling Jerusalem’s expansive history. This included evidence of Jewish life in the Crusader period; important finds from the Second Temple period; part of the First Temple-period city walls; and beneath the entire structure, a tunnel that served as a drainage duct for Herod’s Pool, and as an escape route for the priests and their families when the city was destroyed by the Romans.


In one of the most important initiatives in the field of archeological sites in Jerusalem to date, the Kishle will be transformed into a world-class visitor site, with a cutting-edge archeological center. Visitors will follow a linear route exploring the mysteries of the Kishle excavations and the remains of the palace, the walls, the tunnels and the people behind them. The complex will house an interactive 45-minute multimedia experience, alongside a new, two-story entrance and exhibition gallery building with two rooftop observation decks, as well as space for lectures and events.




Impact: The 450 sq. m. (4,850 sq. ft.) space unearthed will serve as an important archeological site for visitors from around the world, with the center split into two levels: a multimedia archeological center displaying archeological findings on one floor and a gallery on the upper level for changing exhibitions and other cultural activities. The renewed and expanded Kishle complex will attract hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world, and enable the Museum to significantly expand educational and cultural programs and reach out to larger and more varied audiences. This is a priority heritage project for the State of Israel and is a designated landmark tourist attraction.


Partners: The Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs, the National Heritage Site Fund of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Tourism and the Jerusalem Municipality

The Jerusalem Foundation focuses on developing leadership in the city through investing in the next generation. We safeguard the future by promoting young civil leadership with a long term commitment to Jerusalem and giving diverse communities access to opportunities.


In partnership with the Israel Scouts youth movement in Jerusalem and the Tene Yerushalmi organization, the Jerusalem Foundation is establishing a program for youth leaders in disadvantaged neighborhoods which will inspire future leadership in Jerusalem.


The Jerusalem Young Leadership Program will focus on exceptional youth movement graduates, facilitating their familiarization and deep connection with Jerusalem, its residents and needs, forming a cohesive community of future leaders in the city and developing and applying practical leadership skills in activating youth in their neighborhoods.


The leadership program will be conducted jointly by the Jerusalem Foundation and the management of the Israel Scouts in Jerusalem in disadvantaged peripheral communities across the city, with professional leadership guidance provided by Tene Yerushalmi. The Israel Scouts will employ a core of young adult staff members who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills as Israel Scouts youth instructors or branch managers. The Scouts will be responsible for staff training and supervision and accompany participants in conducting activities for children and youth in peripheral neighborhoods and peak events in those communities.



With a view toward enabling participants to remain living, working and learning in Jerusalem and to realize their potential at this critical juncture in their early adult life, and in exchange for a long-term commitment to living and leading social and community activity in Jerusalem after the program’s conclusion, the program will provide rent, living stipends and higher education scholarships.


Becoming involved in their communities, these young leaders will develop a long term commitment to their neighborhoods and Jerusalem as a whole, while also breaking the cycle of poverty in their areas. The program will also act as a model for other youth movements, which they can operate in the future to nurture their own leadership talent and harness their leadership potential for the needs of the city.


Impact: The project’s impact goes beyond the empowerment of the next generation, encouraging all members of the community to build a new reality on the ground for the struggling neighborhoods.

Need: Jerusalem reflects the entire diversity of the Jewish People; it is both a launching pad for new dynamics and developments in the Jewish world and a laboratory for experimentation and innovation. What happens in Jerusalem affects Jews worldwide. We have witnessed an increasing tension between secular and ultra-Orthodox expressions of Judaism in the public sphere.


The Jerusalem Foundation seeks to shape a modern and vibrant city by creating opportunities for all Jerusalem residents, including opportunities for dialogue and shared living. In line with our vision for 2030, we support endeavors developing innovative, collaborative models of Jewish renewal and pluralism that will reinvigorate a sense of communal belonging among the city’s diverse population. Among those endeavors is the Jerusalem Secular Yeshiva, which transforms Jerusalem’s unique energy into a systemic set of ideas and activities that will impact Israel and the entire Jewish world.


Response: The Jerusalem Secular Yeshiva was established in 2011 with the aim of inspiring the city’s young people by offering them greater opportunities for multifaceted creative Jewish expression. The JSY curriculum involves texts, lectures, hevruta (paired) learning, tours, film, art and environmental projects. Core principles include: uncovering, investigating and examining the process of secularization – Jewish and general – as a subject and as a world view, via textual study from the Bible and modern Hebrew literature, and nurturing a deep connection to Jerusalem as the cultural and spiritual center of the Jewish people throughout the generations, through meetings with different personalities, organizations and communities in Jerusalem.

For some time, the Secular Yeshiva has operated on a temporary basis from a building in Ein Karem, which they shared together with the local community. The building is in need of renovation, to allow it to appropriately serve the needs of both the Secular Yeshiva and other community groups which use the shared space.



The Jerusalem Foundation seeks, in partnership with the Jerusalem Municipality, JSY and others, to establish in the building a multipurpose community center that will respond to the diverse needs of the creative community of Ein Karem and the institutions sharing the building. We believe that through creative and spiritual sharing, the community members, artists and educators will create a center where the spirit is greater than the sum of its parts, a center of Jewish culture and renewal that will manifest an innovative model of attractive activity, attractive to the lives of young people and community in Jerusalem.


The Jerusalem Foundation, in partnership with the Jerusalem Municipality, seeks to renovate the JSY building in order to transform it into a multipurpose, modular center that can be adapted to serve the wide variety of community needs in Ein Karem and manifest an attractive location for the community members, particularly young adults.


The Center will be housed in the building to be renovated and adapted by the Jerusalem Foundation in Ein Karem for this express purpose. The project partners – the local community center, the Community Minyan and the Jerusalem Secular Yeshiva – have reached agreement in principle regarding space allocation. The lower floor will be used by the Secular Yeshiva, the top floor alternately by the Ein Karem branch of the local Community Center and the Community Minyan (a weekends and holidays prayer group) and the courtyard will host shared activities. This allocation will form a new community model, responding to the diverse needs in a modular and sensitive manner.

In line with our vision for 2030, we support a number of projects which provide platforms for Jerusalem’s varied populations to find expression through creativity.


Established in 1973, the Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna is a premier Israeli music academy, providing unique high-quality music education opportunities to some 650 children and youth ages 3 to 18, reflecting the diverse mosaic of Jerusalem’s population including secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jews, Muslims and Christians, pupils with special needs, dozens of Ethiopian-Israelis and new immigrants from around the world, spanning the full range of socioeconomic backgrounds.


Hassadna strives to provide each pupil with musical instruction of the highest caliber while ensuring that every child longing to experience the gift of music can access this life-changing opportunity. Its pupils and graduates receive worldwide acclaim, winning coveted Israeli and international music competitions, launching international careers and continuing on to the most prestigious universities and academies.



Need & Response: Forty-six years since its establishment, the enormously successful Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna operates out of inadequate, makeshift facilities within a building that serves in morning hours as an elementary school and where heavy and costly equipment has to be re-arranged each afternoon, preventing the conservatory from fulfilling its full potential.

A new, contemporary building is needed to ensure the conservatory maintains its superior-quality music instruction and continues to grow. This facility will serve its diverse population of pupils, families and faculty, fulfilling Hassadna’s potential as a central cultural and educational hub in the heart of Israel’s capital.


The new building will feature:

  • Practice and training studios enabling pupils to hone their skills with the support they require, play together, establish ensembles, maximize rehearsal time and focus on the task at hand
  • Music library and listening room with computer and work stations, a sheet music lending library, a recorded music listening library, supporting literature and expert librarian assistance
  • A pupil area with a comfortable lounge, a small eat-in kitchenette, computer stations, study corners, a furnished garden and an outdoor play area for children coming from school and returning home late
  • A family waiting area with sitting areas, Wi-Fi, a toddlers’ play area, games and audio-visual equipment, enabling parents and young siblings to utilize waiting time on a computer, reading or playing
  • Faculty lounge with a kitchenette, couches, work stations, lockers and computer stations for the use of Hassadna’s roughly 100 first-rate faculty devoted to musical education
  • Many more facilities, including acoustically isolated, well equipped classrooms, small learning spaces, storage for musical instruments of all types and sizes, a reception and security desk, a distinguished entrance foyer and snack bar
  • Management and administration offices with a reception and waiting area, spaces for meetings with pupils, parents, faculty and guest musicians, as well as instruments for pupils skill assessments


Location: The designated site is in close proximity to the conservatory’s current location in south-central Jerusalem’s German Colony, a busy, dynamic and easily accessible part of the city, contributing to the cultural life in Jerusalem.




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