Jerusalem Renewal


Jerusalem’s population is a microcosm of Israeli society. The city is also a portender of issues that will face the country in the future. By encouraging grassroots, entrepreneurial solutions in Jerusalem, we believe that the seeds are being sown for solutions to many of the challenges that Israeli society as a whole faces. We see Jerusalem as a critically important demonstration ground, a laboratory for social entrepreneurship and vibrant social change, an ancient muse where old problems can be re-constructed to pilot new solutions.

Jerusalem of biblical times was the center of the world, not only in terms of purely religious beliefs, but also in today’s nomenclature of social entrepreneurship. We envision Jerusalem rising again as a center of social activism and entrepreneurship. The city has become a hub for young people fighting to reclaim and renew the ancient Jerusalem. We believe the intensity and diversity that many point to negatively for Jerusalem is actually the city’s foremost advantage.

Jerusalem is also one of Israel’s poorest cities. A focus on workforce development in two key communities reflects the values of our founders.

Our work in Jerusalem is focused on the following sub-strategies:

  • Improving the quality of life for young people in the city: A negative migration of young people from Jerusalem over the past decade has sapped the city of much-needed human capital. We focus on intervening at key decision points–including after graduation from university and when families have young children—in order to provide a spectrum of opportunities for young people in Jerusalem specifically focusing on:
    • Social entrepreneurship and activism.
    • Economic entrepreneurship.
    • Arts and culture where arts bridges social activism significantly.
    • Infrastructure and capacity building for artists working in the city.
    • Young communities.
  • Workforce development and career advancement in the Ultra-Orthodox community, with a focus on men.
  • Workforce development and economic advancement for the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem, with a focus on women.


Recent Jerusalem Renewal News:

  • International Council of Advisors for the City of Jerusalem Launches February 17, 2017 International Council of Advisors for the City of Jerusalem Launches – eJewishPhilanthropy
  • New NY-based Initiative of Jerusalem Partnerships, spearheaded by the Leichtag Foundation and Mayor’s Office, Launched December 16, 2016 New NY-based Initiative of Jerusalem Partnerships, spearheaded by the Leichtag Foundation and Mayor’s Office, Launched A new international initiative of Jerusalem partnerships has been launched by the Leichtag Foundation in partnership with Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. The initiative is part of the Leichtag Foundation’s ongoing commitment to transformative support of renewal and bridging of social ...
  • Israeli rain barrels debut at EUSD farm lab February 23, 2016 We are thrilled to have helped the Encinitas Union School District’s EUSD Farm Lab become one of three schools in the county to receive Israeli-designed rain barrels as part of a pilot program being launched by the U.S.-Israel Center (USIC) at Rady School of Management, UC San Diego. Read more.
  • Jewish Food Justice Fellows Return February 4, 2016 Reunited again! The Jewish Food Justice Fellows returned from around the world last month to be team leaders at Coastal Roots Farm’s first ever Food Forest Festival. We are so proud of the amazing work these individuals continue to do in our community and their communities, too.
  • Ruth Cummings Shares Insights on Jerusalem Arts and Culture during our Jerusalem Conversations series November 16, 2015 Ruth Cummings, a Jerusalemite in residence for 20 years who has worked in resource and program development for some of Jerusalem’s key arts and culture organizations, visited our offices on Thursday, November 13 in Encinitas. She spoke at our “Jerusalem Conversations,” series this month on social activism and building civil society. It was interesting to hear her ...