Israel plays an important role in the lives of the Jewish people, as an ally of the United States and on the world stage. We are committed to building knowledge of, and deepening connections to, this diverse and complex country.
Our love for Israel has figured strongly in our philanthropy since the earliest days of our Foundation. We see Israel as the ancient and eternal Jewish homeland and a source of inspiration for all who know its history and appreciate the principles that continue to guide it today: democracy, freedom of expression and progress through innovation.
And yet, more than 60 years after achieving statehood, the challenges facing Israel—both at home and abroad—are many and extremely complex. We remain focused on deepening the connection and commitment to Israel, ensuring its safety and security and, through the broader Schusterman network, helping Israel meet the demands of its growing and increasingly diverse society.
We do this by weaving together a network of programs and organizations that expand opportunities for young people to engage with and explore modern Israel, its rich history, diverse society and fertile cultural landscape. We are also at the forefront of developing a multi-faceted field of Israel studies, where young people can learn about modern Israel with the thoughtfulness and intellectual rigor it deserves.
Through this work, we believe we will see a time when Israel will be a natural, positive part of academic discourse and taught from diverse perspectives by growing ranks of outstanding and exciting scholars; when every major institution of higher learning in this country will offer courses related to Israel; and when young people will appreciate Israel as the Jewish homeland and an integral member of the family of nations.
We hope to build understanding of and connections to Israel in four primary ways:
- Engagement: Creating opportunities for young people to explore Israel firsthand and cultivate a personal connection to the land, people and culture of Israel;
- University and Pre-Collegiate Education: Broadening and improving the quality of formal and informal Israel education at universities across the U.S. and in K-12 educational settings;
- Advocacy: Providing young people with the knowledge, confidence and tools they need to develop as Israel advocates, especially on campuses; and
- Arts and Culture: Exposing both Jewish communities and the general public to the vibrant, creative face of modern Israel through the lens of its arts and culture.