ABOUT

The Posen Foundation was founded in the early 1980s by philanthropist Felix Posen, with a vision of making Jewish culture and learning, representing thousands of years of creative and scholarly Jewish existence, accessible to non-religious Jews. Felix Posen’s belief, that a Jewish education is the birthright of every Jewish individual, is at the heart of all educational endeavours that the Posen Foundation supports. Led by Daniel Posen, Felix’ son and the foundation’s CEO, the Posen Foundation aims to promote the idea of Judaism as Culture, an approach to Jewish history, life, and learning that emphasizes Jewish culture, philosophy, and creativity, and includes religion as one aspect of Jewish civilization.

It is the Posen Foundation’s view that education can facilitate and inspire meaningful change in Jewish life and a deeper understanding of Jewish identity. Therefore, the Posen Foundation is involved in the development and funding of a variety of educational programs and organizations, teacher training programs, the publishing of books, textbooks, classroom syllabi, articles and online resources and scholarly research relating to modern Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life and identity.

The Foundation aims to make the study of Judaism as Culture accessible to all Jewish individuals and groups, providing the opportunity to deepen and enrich the study of cultural and historic Jewish heritage from secular and traditional perspectives.

The Posen Foundation views the Mamlachti public education system in Israel as the arena in which an array of Jewish identities meet and interact, among them secular and traditional (Masorti) identities, all deserving representation. Therefore, the foundation collaborates extensively with the Ministry of Education and applies a multifaceted approach to address these varied educational needs – supporting teacher training programs and graduate studies in Jewish Thought (Machshevet Israel); Continuing education for teachers and school principals in Jewish Thought and Jewish-Israeli culture; supporting non-profit organizations in the field of Judaism as Culture, who operate educational programs in public schools; developing educational content for school classes in “Jewish Thought” and “Jewish-Israeli Culture”.

The Posen Foundation also uses its funding initiatives to support organizations that provide informal educational outlets, bringing the vision of Judaism as Culture to diverse communities in many parts of Israel, such as community Batei Midrash and secular yeshivas in areas of geographical and social periphery, educational activities for Israeli Military soldiers and staff, a program for collaborative learning on Jewish-Israeli culture for youth from the former Soviet Union, and more.

The Posen Foundation strives to create and to support collaborations among all who operate in the educational ecosystem of Judaism as Culture. The Foundation partners with educational non-profit organizations, academic institutions, governmental bodies and philanthropic funds, to advance and encourage budgeting and funding of the growing array of educational activity on the subject of Judaism as Culture.

 

 

 

 

Co Founder and President, Felix Posen

Each generation must struggle to make sense of its legacy. What we call Jewish identity is, quite simply, the result of that struggle. This has been the case for the majority of the world’s Jews since the Enlightenment.

My involvement with Jewish philanthropy has been something of a second life for me, and I was privileged to acquire a real Jewish education late in life. Today I hope that others, old and young, may have the same opportunity.

I was born into an Orthodox Jewish home, with an adequate religious education in an Orthodox Cheder; and so I was not exposed to the broader, cultural aspects of Judaism. Where could one go, I wondered, to learn about all this, about a history so rich with achievement and intellect? The answer, sadly, was nowhere. There were no courses in schools or universities, nor was there a single literary source available, not even the Encyclopedia Judaica.

This led to the launching of the substantial Posen Library project and to the founding of the Posen foundation. I believe that the next generation of Jews, striving and intelligent, deserves an opportunity to claim its birthright: a Jewish education. How do we start to provide that for the millions of Jewish students who might seek it?

We must start, I believe, by providing more educational opportunities, and that is something the Posen Foundation has supported for over a decade. We started by offering the first ever courses in Judaism as Culture for university students in North America, Israel, and Europe and have progressed to a great variety of educational projects.

We know that the future depends on transmitting the love of Jewish knowledge to the next generation. How to do that are both a riddle, and a challenge.

Co Founder and CEO, Daniel Posen

The Posen foundation labors towards one major goal: making Jewish education easily accessible to any eager and curious mind. Education is the key to it all. A well-informed society is a more just, a better society.

My father, Felix Posen, and i founded the Posen Foundation to contribute to the development and advancement of Jewish education. One of the most fruitful paths to this vision has been through student and teacher training. Throughout the years we founded and supported many programs to train students and current and future educators.

It is clear to us that a good teacher is one who never stops being a student. One who continually learns who finds ways to be further educated. That is the reason we have created the Posen foundation.

The theme of our activity in Israel is educating educators and would-be educators. Regrettably it’s not a very popular area of philanthropy; however we are convinced that investing in teachers is the only way to foster the intellectual and social skills of students.

WHO WE ARE

FELIX POSEN

CO FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

DANIEL POSEN

CO FOUNDER AND CEO

YAEL NAKHON HAREL

ISRAELI OFFICE CEO

TAL ZEHAVI

PROGRAMS OFFICER

CARINE BAR OR

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
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