Celebrating its centennial in 2017, UJA-Federation of New York to partner on ‘transformational’project with the Jerusalem municipality, the Israeli government and the Jerusalem Foundation

NEW YORK, Dec. 14 – In a signature initiative marking UJA-Federation of New York’s 2017 centennial year and the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, UJA-Federation, the Jerusalem Municipality, the government of Israel and the Jerusalem Foundation are partnering to build the landmark Jerusalem Arts Campus, part of a broad plan to transform Israel’s capital city into a global arts and cultural center. The $50 million dollar project is slated to open in January 2020.

Today, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and UJA CEO Eric S. Goldstein announced that the Kirsh family, longtime UJA-Federation supporters from New York, is making a $10 million gift toward the project. “Our family has long been committed to both Israel and UJA. It is our privilege to be involved in such a meaningful project that will be of such great benefit to Jerusalem,” said Natie Kirsh, speaking on behalf of the Kirsh family.

“As we approach the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem, I am excited and honored to announce this partnership with the UJA-Federation of New York and the Kirsh family, shareholders in the city who are committed to our most strategic projects. For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been a center of innovation and creativity; my vision for the city includes an essential focus on growing the city’s creative class. The Jerusalem Arts Campus will have a significant impact on attracting young people to the city, strengthening downtown Jerusalem, and bringing the vibrant creative class to the city to stay,” said Mayor Barkat.

UJA’s Goldstein thanked the family and reiterated the organizations commitment towards helping to strengthen Jerusalem, Israel and the Jewish people.

“As UJA-Federation of New York celebrates our centennial in 2017, we couldn’t be prouder to support Jerusalem’s extraordinary new Arts campus, which will help ensure a vibrant future for Jerusalem and cement its place as a leading city of the world. We have long been focused on the well-being of the State of Israel and its people, and are deeply grateful to the Kirsh family for their incredibly generous and transformational lead gift. We are also grateful for the opportunity to continue our partnership with Mayor Barkat and the municipality of Jerusalem,” he said.

The campus is a key element of a bold vision by the Municipality of Jerusalem and Mayor Barkat to amplify Jerusalem’s appeal, and draw people of all backgrounds by providing outstanding educational, employment, and cultural opportunities.

The nearly 2.5 acre state-of-the-art campus, to be constructed in downtown Jerusalem near the Gerhard Behar Center on Bezalel Street, will include four distinct academic institutions including the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio, the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, the School of Visual Theater, and the Center for Middle Eastern Music. The four schools have a current combined enrollment of 650 students, but the new campus is expected to accommodate 1,100 total students.

In addition to housing Israel’s leading performing arts schools, the Jerusalem Arts Campus is designed to become a main thoroughfare through Jerusalem’s central neighborhoods featuring public spaces such as an outdoor plaza and new performance venues that will draw young people, academics, entrepreneurs, artists, and others to Israel’s capital, fostering a creative ecosystem in central Jerusalem.

About UJA-Federation of New York

For nearly 100 years, UJA-Federation has inspired New Yorkers to act on their values and invest in our community for the biggest impact. Through UJA-Federation, more than 50,000 donors address issues that matter most to them, pooling their resources to care for Jews everywhere and New Yorkers of all backgrounds, respond to crises close to home and far away, and shape our Jewish future. Working with nearly 100 nonprofit partners, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations, UJA-Federation is the world’s leading local philanthropy; our reach extends from New York to Israel to more than 70 other countries around the world, touching 4.5 million people each year. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, please visit our website at www.ujafedny.org.