Targum Shlishi is a philanthropic foundation
devoted to supporting positive change. Effecting positive
change in the world is a creative act, an often noble
endeavor that deserves attention, imitation, and support.
There are many daunting problems facing Jewry today,
and those problems need to be addressed. At Targum Shlishi,
we believe in working toward solutions. Our goal is
to find and support organizations that are dedicated
to innovative problem solving. We celebrate the art
of positive change by funding initiatives we believe
will make a difference in a variety of areas related
to Jewish life.
Education. Women’s Issues. Israel.
Justice for Nazi War Crimes. These are the areas
of primary focus for Targum Shlishi. Although they belong
to a diverse group of categories, the many causes we
fund have one thing in common: They are dedicated to
improving the quality of Jewish life throughout the
world. Change is vital if Jewish life, culture, and
traditions are to continue to flourish. Change is essential
if we are to continue to grow, to learn, to aspire.
Targum Shlishi seeks innovative, unpublicized,
and behind-the-scenes initiatives
working for meaningful change that otherwise might
not attract funding. Such
are the causes that need our support most, and it
is where our funding can
have the greatest impact. The projects we fund range
in scope from local to
international; our goal is not to fund the highest
profile projects but to fund
those that are creative and, when possible, replicable.
We give strategically and
we give knowledgeably, extensively researching the
concepts and their supporting organizations. Many
of the projects Targum Shlishi supports are initiated
and we then work with others to implement the ideas.
In addition, Targum Shlishi has partnered with other
funders in collaborative endeavors several times.
One of our goals is to leverage our impact through
meaningful partnerships with major
Targum Shlishi thinks and acts both locally
and globally. Several of the programs Targum Shlishi
are applicable in communities throughout the US and
the world. Where practicable, Targum Shlishi promotes
its ideas to other communities and distributes information
and guidelines for establishing similar programs.
Targum Shlishi was founded in 1992 by
Aryeh and Raquel Rubin and is based in Miami. To date,
the foundation has supported more than 60 projects and
organizations, ranging from a free-loan program for
educators to promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue through
a church in New Jersey to bringing to justice a Croatian
Nazi war criminal. The majority of our funding initiatives
have been remarkably successful. On some occasions,
projects have not lived up to the promise we saw in
them, but such situations are learning experiences;
the insight generated is applied to future projects
or shared with other organizations. On the "Lessons
Learned" page, we discuss some of the projects
we supported that did not get off the ground, and we
explain what we have learned from them (see “Lessons
There is no blueprint for the type of
organization or the type of project we support. In a
very meaningful way, our choices are subjective—we
need, quite simply, to sincerely believe in the project
and its ability to make a difference. And while there
is no overriding formula that dictates our funding,
successful projects tend to be a complex mix of vision
and practicality. We invest in management. We look for
strong, committed leaders with senses of purpose, realistic
work plans, concrete goals, and abundant optimism. We
look for the promise of creative change.