To support Jewish life and culture, to strengthen Bay Area communities, and to support economic expansion in Israel through policy work and small-business development programs.
About the Organization:
Stephanie and Joseph Koret were Eastern European Jewish immigrants who founded the sportswear-manufacturing firm Koret of California in 1938. A year after Stephanie Koret's death, the Koret Foundation was established with significant funding from her estate. Joseph Koret served as board chairman and president until his death in 1982. The foundation now has assets of $400 million and has awarded more than $325 million in grants during the past quarter century. Over time, its funding philosophy has evolved from traditional grantmaking to more innovative, entrepreneurial approaches to contemporary issues.
The foundation's Bay Area programs include the Koret Education Initiative to improve K-12 education, centered on the research and analysis of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; the Koret Prize to recognize achievements by individuals in areas of interest to the foundation, including public policy, economics, arts and culture, education, and Jewish life — accompanied by a $1 million grant to each recipient's institution; and Routes to Learning, Koret's youth development initiative. Koret Israel Economic Development Funds spurs economic growth in Israel through the economic policy research and advocacy of the KIEDF Koret Fellows and a small-business development program, helping hundreds of Israeli small businesses create and sustain thousands of jobs. The revised Koret International Jewish Book Awards program is now managed by Jewish Family & Life! and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, and it includes a first-time People's Choice Award. Nominations and voting will take place online at JBooks.com in the fall; previous winners are highlighted on the Koret Web site.
Initially funded through the estates of Stephanie and Joseph Koret, the foundation's endowment has increased substantially, supporting the organization's operations.