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.