Elise Bernhardt, the foundation’s President & CEO, uses the figure of Bezalel from Exodus, as well as some trend-setting contemporary artists from varying disciplines, to showcase the critical role of Jewish artists to the community and to appeal for the community to recognize the value of Jewish artists and support them with real funding.
The Foundation for Jewish Culture invests in creative individuals — through grants, fellowships, and recognition awards — in order to nurture a vibrant and enduring Jewish identity, culture and community. It also advocates for the importance of Jewish culture as a core component of Jewish life.
Culture is the bond that holds our community together; it reminds us of our past and points us to our future. Your gift makes those connections possible. Make a secure online donation today!
The Foundation supports artists and scholars who are exploring the fabric of Jewish life and creating work that is both contemporary and profound. Artists and scholars can articulate the Jewish experience in new ways and are advancing the expression of Jewish culture, and Jewish peoplehood, in all its diversity.
Through our flourishing arts network, these artists and scholars will be able to engage with Jewish and non-Jewish audiences around the country. In turn, we are becoming an important collaborator in the development of contemporary Jewish cultural exchange among Israel, Europe, South America, and North America.
The Foundation has been a significant cultural force since it was founded in 1960. Created as a response to the decimation of Jewish institutions in Europe following the Holocaust, our role was to support American institutions suddenly left responsible for the preservation of Jewish cultural memory.
From 1960 to 1980, Jewish culture was defined by its scholarship. Libraries, archives, and publishing houses were needed on American soil, and future generations of scholars had to be cultivated. The Foundation assumed a leadership role in this endeavor. From 1980 to 2000, we shifted focus toward more engagement in programs and initiatives based in arts and humanities.
Over the last ten years, interest in Jewish culture—both in the U.S. and worldwide—has surged. Filmmakers, painters, writers, scholars, theater artists, choreographers, and other brilliant artists give us new insight into our history and our future. They vitally need our help, and the Foundation supports them at all stages of their careers.
The Foundation for Jewish Culture receives core operating support from the National Federation/Agency Alliance, a partnership between nine national agencies and 37 Jewish federations. Additional funding comes from our generous board members, foundations, corporations and individuals like you. Make a secure online contribution today!
The Foundation for Jewish Culture was named one of the nation’s fifty most innovative Jewish non-profits in Slingshot 08/09 and again in 09/10, an annual resource guide to Jewish innovation published by 21/64.