The Foundation was established in 1966 by the legendary Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Over the last five decades, the Jerusalem Foundation has brought together friends from around the world to invest more than $1.5 billion dollars in projects throughout the city. Through over 4000 initiatives, both capital and long-running programs, the Foundation has touched the lives of all of Jerusalem’s more than 900,000 residents, in all spheres of life and in all the city’s communities.


Today, the Jerusalem Foundation’s original mandate is more relevant than ever.  The Jerusalem Foundation has created a model for cross-cultural and cross-communal engagement among all of the population groups in the city. Looking forward, we have developed a plan for the next 10 years to ensure a better future for the city in 2030.


As the leading institution in grant making for the cultural and communal sectors, our initiatives and projects promote communal strength, creative culture and future leadership.


As we envision the future of Jerusalem through 2030 and beyond, we can take pride in the Foundation’s half-century of achievement that has shaped the modern city’s landscape. We continue to refine our priorities in order to support Jerusalem’s future development, adapting to the evolving needs of its entire population, with its next generation as the highest priority. Taking full advantage of the unparalleled mix of historical, cultural, and human capital that exists in the city today, and consistent with Teddy’s charge to each of us more than fifty years ago, philanthropy can be the essential catalyst to fulfilling this vision.


Join us in strengthening Jerusalem, an ancient city becoming a center for youthful creativity, innovation, inclusiveness and pluralism; an open city functioning as the civil society capital of Israel and the Jewish people; a livable city for young families; an inspiration to the world.

As the leading institution in grant making for the cultural and communal sectors, our initiatives and projects promote communal strength, creative culture and future leadership.


Our Founder – Teddy Kollek

Teddy Kollek was born in 1911 in Hungary, and grew up in Vienna, Austria. After emigrating to Israel in 1935, he dedicated himself to ‘building a new society” and helped to found Kibbutz Ein Gev in 1937, the same year he married his wife Tamar.

During World War II, he served as a liaison between the Haganah and the Allied intelligence agencies, and during Israel’s War of Independence he headed the Haganah’s clandestine operations in the US. At the same time, he forged contacts and friendships with individuals willing to support the young state of Israel, some of whom later became major contributors to Jerusalem.


In 1952, he was appointed by then-Prime Minister David Ben Gurion as director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office and, in 1964, spearheaded the opening of the world-renowned Israel Museum in Jerusalem.


In 1965, at the request of Ben Gurion, he ran to be mayor of Jerusalem and won that year’s mayoral election – a position that he held for twenty-eight years. Teddy Kollek established the Jerusalem Foundation in 1966, giving lovers of Jerusalem worldwide a vehicle for becoming involved in and contributing to  the  city.


In 1967, Teddy Kollek became the first mayor to preside over Jerusalem after its reunification. Kollek faced the truly formidable task of uniting Jerusalem – not just on the map, but in the hearts and minds of the city’s diverse residents. He realized that a divided city could not survive.


Teddy acknowledged each person’s right to live in and be an active part of Jerusalem’s vibrant community. He spearheaded the development of new neighborhoods, built public parks and schools, and created world-class cultural institutions. He reconfirmed his conviction that every resident of Jerusalem – regardless of faith or national background – is entitled to equality of services and quality of life.

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