The Russell Berrie Foundation Announces $4.48 Million in Emergency Grants to Support COVID-19 Response Efforts

Funding will support organizations in New Jersey and Israel addressing economic and food insecurity, medical needs, among others

TEANECK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Russell Berrie Foundation, a New Jersey-based philanthropic organization with global reach, today announced $4.48 million in emergency grants to support organizations on the front lines of combating the pandemic as they deliver COVID-19 relief efforts. The funds will prioritize direct grants to medical institutions and those providing medical and healthcare-related services as well as organizations addressing the needs of vulnerable populations (the elderly, food insecure, small businesses, etc.) in the Northern New Jersey community as well as in Israel.

The Russell Berrie Foundation is working primarily with existing grant recipients, which have displayed strong leadership and an ability to pivot effectively in these difficult times to meet rising demand for COVID-19 related services.

Of the $4.48 million, a total of $1.82 million in grants have been approved to support organizations serving the Northern New Jersey community. These grants will fund the following:

Medical and Healthcare Needs:

Food Insecurity:

Economic Insecurity:


The Russell Berrie Foundation will also provide financial support to institutions in Israel with an additional $1.66 million in grants. There is a separate one million dollar program-related investment to support Ogen Social Finance, Israel’s first social bank, which will provide impact loan support for small business and non-profit organizations.

“In this moment of extraordinary need, we are working to mitigate the pain and anxiety of communities both locally in Northern New Jersey and abroad,” said Angelica Berrie, President, The Russell Berrie Foundation. “Our strength as a community will be tested by this crisis and how we respond – generously, with empathy and compassion – will reflect our capacity to cope with future challenges. Our role in philanthropy is not just to give money but to lead, especially in times like this, when the need exceeds the capacity of any one giver to fill. We hope our leadership inspires others to give fearlessly at a moment when so many lives and the future of our community, our country and our world needs us more than ever before.”

Beyond meeting the immediate needs of these communities in crisis, The Russell Berrie Foundation believes in maximizing its support for organizations working toward long-term resilience. “We continue to assess ongoing challenges, with the knowledge that more work will need to be done, even after the pandemic passes,” said Ruth Salzman, CEO, The Russell Berrie Foundation. “We are actively learning from our partners on the ground how to anticipate what those needs will be and by investing in the ‘Day After’, we will be better prepared to serve our communities as they cope with the long-lasting impact and challenges ahead.”

Additional grants, both in the U.S. and Israel, will be announced on a rolling basis as the Foundation works in partnership with its grantees, communities and colleagues to respond to the current public health crisis. For more information and a full list of grant recipients visit:

About The Russell Berrie Foundation

Established in 1985, The Russell Berrie Foundation is a philanthropic organization that identifies visionaries, institutions and unsung heroes doing groundbreaking work, and amplifies their impact by providing financial and strategic support. The Foundation invests in areas that reflect Russell Berrie’s passions and perspective, including diabetes care and research, Israel’s cultural and economic vitality, interfaith bridge-building, elevating the profession of sales and strengthening community in New Jersey. Since inception, more than $300 million has been distributed to effective organizations that align with the Foundation’s core mission and values.


Katie Vroom


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