The Memorial Foundation was established with German reparations funds by Nahum Goldmann in 1965 with the mandate to raise up a new generation of scholars, intellectuals, rabbis, and cultural and communal leaders to replace the Jewish cultural elite annihilated in Europe during the Shoah.
The Foundation awards scholarships and fellowships to scholars, academicians, writers, artists, rabbis, educators, and communal workers. Funds are also provided to academic and scholarly institutions for research and publication. For the first few decades after its founding, special attention was paid to the Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union countries where Jewish life had been suppressed for seven decades under Communist rule. The list of individuals and institutions who received the Foundation's support since its inception can be found on its Website, www.mfjc.org.
In addition to its support of communities and institutions, the Foundation has developed innovative programs to address needs not adequately met by the Jewish community globally. These include the International Nahum Goldmann Fellowship, which prepares communal, cultural, and professional leadership for Jewish communities around the world; reaching the Jewish unaffiliated; Jewish family education; and utilization of new technologies for Jewish culture and education. Currently the Foundation's programs extend to Jewish communities on six continents, reaching both individuals and institutions at the core of the Jewish community as well as Jews affiliated only marginally with Jewish life.
The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture is committed to the creation, intensification, and dissemination of Jewish culture worldwide, the development of creative programs to meet the emerging needs of the Jewish communities as they enter the 21st century, and service as a central forum for identifying and supporting innovative programs to ensure the continuation of creative Jewish life wherever Jewish communities exist. Its headquarters are in New York.