Our Mission and Values
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies (Schusterman) is a global organization that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity.
Our philanthropic vision is grounded in a commitment to pursue justice, repair the world and treat all people with dignity and civility. We invest in efforts to improve public education in the United States, strengthen the Jewish people and Israel, and address the needs of marginalized individuals and communities.
Our work is inspired by our founders’ deep commitment to Jewish ethics, values and lessons. We ground our philanthropic vision in our commitment to the pursuit of justice (tzedek), repairing the world (tikkun olam), treating all people with civility and humanity (derekh eretz) and building inclusive communities.
These values shape the beliefs that inform our investments and define how we approach our work.
We believe in...
- Equity: We seek to create a society that is more equitable, inclusive and respectful of all people. We work with partners from diverse backgrounds, faiths, perspectives and orientations to challenge structural inequity and bias and to address the needs of marginalized communities in the US and Israel.
- Impact: We work toward real change by investing in organizations and leaders able to meaningfully address entrenched challenges and complex problems. We recognize change takes time and base our investments in on-the-ground realities and evidence about what works.
- Optimism: We see possibility rather than impossibility in our work. We invest in our relationships and honor the milestones on the road to achieving meaningful change. We bring compassion to our work and a commitment to learning from our successes and failures.
- Humility: We recognize our grantees and partners face incredible challenges every day, and no one has all the answers. We strive to listen deeply, to engage with and learn from diverse perspectives and to act respectfully, from a place of purpose, not ego.
- Collaboration: We believe we can go further by working together to generate solutions. We actively collaborate and build partnerships with grantees, funders and the people we serve. We constantly seek to improve and proactively share what we learn, with our partners and the fields in which we work.
We live by the words of a great Jewish sage, who said: “While no one person is obligated to complete the task of tikkun olam (repairing the world), neither is anyone free to desist from it.”
Our work is primarily focused in seven portfolios in which we hope to make a deep and lasting impact.
- Criminal Justice: We seek to build healthy and safe communities by ending mass criminalization and incarceration, repairing the harm caused by a criminal legal system built on structural racism, and creating new pathways to justice and safety. Learn more about our work in criminal justice reform.
- Education: We seek to build an equitable society in which Black and Latinx students from low-income backgrounds are able to access a high-quality, culturally relevant K12 education that empowers them to achieve social and economic liberation. Learn more about our work in education.
- Gender and Reproductive Equity: We seek to build an equitable world in which women, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, particularly Black women and women of color, have access to reproductive health knowledge and care, to greater political and economic power and leadership, and to safety in all aspects of their lives. Learn more about work in gender and reproductive equity.
- Israel: We seek to strengthen Israel in the Zionist vision of a secure Jewish homeland, a thriving democracy and an inclusive society that cares for its most vulnerable. Learn more about our work in Israel.
- Jewish Community: We seek to strengthen the future of the Jewish community by empowering young people to connect with inclusive Jewish values, deepen their understanding of Israel and contribute to a better world. Learn more about our work in the Jewish community.
- Tulsa, OK: We support efforts to help youth and families in the Schusterman family’s hometown overcome the effects of systemic social, racial and economic inequity to achieve their full potential. Learn more about our work in Tulsa.
- Voting Rights: We support efforts to enable all citizens of the United States to exercise their constitutional right to vote easily and safely, free from voter suppression, so they can have their voices heard and equitably represented in policymaking. Learn more about our work in voting rights.
Within our Jewish and Israel portfolios, we operate a suite of initiatives designed to cultivate and elevate leaders:
- REALITY brings a diverse network of inspiring changemakers on a formative journey to Israel to strengthen their leadership and passion for repairing the world as well as to build their understanding of and connection to Israel. Learn more about REALITY.
- ROI Community is a global network of rising Jewish leaders who are transforming Jewish life and fostering positive social change in Israel, the U.S. and global Jewry. Learn more about ROI Community.
- Schusterman Fellowship is a highly selective leadership development program for exceptional Jewish leaders committed to driving change in their organizations, the Jewish world and beyond. Learn more about the Schusterman Fellowship.
Diversity Statement (Adopted August 2007)
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s philanthropic entities values diversity in its employment practices, in the organizations it supports and in all of its other endeavors. We believe that an understanding of and an appreciation for differences—age, color, disability, sex, race/ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression—lead to healthy and inclusive communities. We believe that by respecting all people and hearing all voices—by celebrating our shared humanity—we make better decisions for ourselves and for the communities we serve.