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Overseas Supplemental Giving/IEF
BUILDING ON A LEGACY OF COMMITMENT: The Alexander Grass Foundation
Rendering of new Nissan Nativ Acting studio in Jaffa,
renovated by The Alexander Grass Foundation
Respected as a passionate advocate for the people of Israel and
our Jewish future, Alexander Grass z"l transformed his personal commitment into an extraordinary legacy of leadership. Alex served as chair of the Board of Governors of both the Jewish Agency and Hebrew University, as national chair of United Jewish Appeal and the Israel Education Fund, in addition to many other leadership roles. In a tribute to Alex on his passing in 2009, Sallai Meridor, former chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, explained, "Alex was driven by a love of Israel and by the rational recognition that the future of the Jewish people depends on a strong Israel."
Alex Grass’s philanthropy in Israel can only be described as prolific. He was an ardent supporter of Israel’s periphery and worked with IEF to build numerous capital projects in the city of Ma’alot in Northern Israel. Alex began building there in 1975 in an effort to revitalize the community in the aftermath of the tragic 1974 Ma’alot Massacre. Over the next three decades, he remained deeply connected to the people of Ma’alot and left an indelible mark on the community by funding the construction of the Grass Community Center, which also houses the Grass Library, the Grass Auditorium and the Grass Cultural Center.
From left: past IEF projects built in Ma'alot with Alex Grass' partnership:
The Grass Library, Grass Cultural Center and Grass Community Center
Today, the spirit of Alex’s commitment to the land of Israel and his extraordinary legacy live on through The Alexander Grass Foundation. Under the direction of two of Alex’s children, Roger Grass and Elizabeth Weese, the Foundation is partnering with Overseas Supplemental Giving/IEF to renovate the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in Jaffa in his memory.
The Nissan Nativ Acting Studio is the premier acting school in all of Israel and has a long history of training Israel’s most successful actors.
The project, the Foundation’s first since the passing of Alex Grass, includes renovations of the current structure, an expansion into a new third floor, and the addition of a state-of-the-art auditorium.
The 30,000 square foot building will not only house the acting school but will become a major venue for events. In choosing to invest in the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio, the Foundation was guided by Alex’s longstanding commitment to the arts and to actively contributing to the culture of local communities. “The culture—television, theater, movies, and so on—are very important to the fabric of the state. To some extent, we are developing not only the acting school, but also a new cultural center for Tel Aviv/Jaffa. It’s a project that my father would be very happy with, because it has a sense of permanence and a sense of contributing to the local community and the greater community,” explains trustee Roger Grass.
Looking toward the future, the Alexander Grass Foundation will continue working with IEF to identify opportunities to build on Alex’s vision of securing a vibrant Israel through investing in education and culture.
mission of JFNA Overseas Supplemental Giving/Israel Education Fund is to provide
personalized, named opportunities that directly align with specific
philanthropic objectives of donors in the Jewish Federations family.