Helping the disadvantaged and vulnerable through nonprofit funding
The mission of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is to help low-income and vulnerable individuals and families by providing grants to nonprofits that provide direct services. Grants from the Weinberg Foundation may be in the form of operating, program, or capital.
The largest single priority for grantmaking is to assist poor older adults. It is a sentiment expressed so ably by one of the great leaders of the 20th century, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “The test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”
By charter, the Foundation is prohibited from giving funds to colleges, universities, and cultural institutions. As a matter of practice, the Foundation also does not support think tanks, research organizations, and advocacy groups, a policy engendered by Mr. Weinberg: “While others are finding the cures for all the ills of the world, someone will be hungry, someone will be cold. That’s our job.”
Mr. Weinberg’s view, and the mission of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, is a reflection of a famous statement in the Talmud: “If all the afflictions of the world were assembled on one side of the scale and poverty on the other, poverty would outweigh them all.” The challenge of the Board and staff of the Weinberg Foundation is not the idealism of those who believe that poverty can be eliminated. We are guided by the teaching of Rabbi Tarfon who said, “You are not obligated to finish the task, neither are you free to neglect it.” (Pirke Avot 2:20 and 2:21)