Koret Spring Update: Moving Forward

Quarterly Update | Mar 2022

Koret Spring Update: Moving Forward

Quarterly Update | Mar 2022

As we mark the second anniversary of the original shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19, we want to reflect on the resilience of our community and our grantees. If 2020 was about responding to a crisis, 2021 was about sustaining focus, adapting, and working together to support our community. Our grantees faced these challenges with tenacity and ingenuity.

Koret’s grantmaking continues to reflect our overarching mission of improving lives and creating more vibrant communities. This included renewing our support to Bay Area arts and culture institutions as they reopened their spaces to audiences and visitors for a sustainable post-pandemic future. We also increased our funding commitments to food banks and meal programs, which continue to respond to unprecedented immediate and long-term needs.

Amid rising antisemitism and heighted divisiveness, Jewish organizations built bridges within their community and with Israel, through a time when travel and in-person exchanges were impossible. Our grantees offered ways to connect, gather, and unite.

The mounting crisis in Ukraine has affected millions. Our hearts go out to all those facing danger, displacement, and overwhelming uncertainty. The needs are monumental. We are proud to support the work of IsraAID, which responded swiftly to the crisis, providing a safe space and medical support at the Ukraine-Moldovia border. Our gift to local partner Jewish Family and Children’s Services also helped to increase direct humanitarian aid in cooperation with partners on the ground.

The past two years have motivated us to sharpen our focus on our longstanding priorities: educational opportunities, cultural vibrancy, Jewish connectedness, U.S.-Israel Diaspora relations, and support for those most in need. We admire our grantees’ strength and innovation. We look forward to deepening these partnerships and continuing to support our communities at home and abroad.

Inspired by our grantees:
USC Shoah and the Willesden Project

Seventy-five years after the Holocaust, stories of survivors can still teach us about tolerance, resilience, and hope. The USC Shoah Foundation is combining the universal language of music with testimony to develop a dramatic new approach to Holocaust education for primary and secondary school students. Their partnership with the Hold On To Your Music Foundation is leveraging USC Shoah Foundation’s innovative technology and archive of testimony to create a global “destination for testimony-based Holocaust and anti-bias education.” Teaching stories from the Holocaust can engage and empower students who have themselves experienced traumas, from rising antisemitism and Islamophobia to white supremacy, anti-refugee violence, and chronic poverty. For educators, the project provides tools that are both timely and timeless.

Read more about our support of USC Shoah Foundation and the Willesden Project here.

Thoughts & Opinions:
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, a Koret grantee, reflected on the past two years. This blog piece describes how the pandemic has shaped and sharpened their focus.

 “Despite the incredible challenges involved, we remained resolute in our decision to remain open. We understood the critical services we were providing and we are proud to have been part of the support system that helped this City overcome the worst days of the pandemic. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our families and our City’s Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, BGCSF allowed kids to be kids and to feel safe at a time when they needed it the most.”  Read the full article.