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The Davidson Foundation Sets Aside $30 Million for the Jewish Community of Detroit

The Foundation, in the name of the late  Detroit industrialist William Davidson,  has been a regular supporter of the Detroit  Jewish community.

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William Davidson at Detroit Pistons game/ Getty

Jonathon Aaron, chairman of the Davidson Foundation and son-in-law of its founder William Davidson has announced that the fund will be allocating a total of $30 million  in grants to the Jewish community of Detroit as part of their funding pledge for 2014.

The funding, are located with the intention of enhancing Jewish life in the city, takes in a $5 million, five-year grant to support the PJ Library, so that  they can only continue their good work in providing free Jewish children’s books and music to families; an additional $8 million to be distributed over the next r five years to support the Hebrew Free Loan’s interest-free college loan program for students;  the fund of up to $15 million to revise tuition assistance program at the city’s  Hillel Day School, a nondenominational K-8 school as well as $1.2 million to establish a three-year fellowship program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The late William Davidson, one of the city’s most successful industrialists as well as owner of a number of its sports teams was known as a major philanthropist during his lifetime, supporting a number of causes in the city, as well as Jewish charities and initiatives both in Detroit as well as in Israel . In particular Davidson was an avid supporter of  the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, which boasts a graduate school of education established in his  name.

In the city of Detroit,  as well as throughout  the state of Michigan, during his lifetime William Davison was the recipient of many honors, as well as being recognised as being among  of America’s most generous philanthropists.

In Israel, Davidson is particularly remembered for his magnanimous deeds in the wake of the calamitous Yom Kippur war in 1973.  After the war he was invited to Israel by the late Prime Minister Golda Meir to be presented with the Prime Minister’s club award for outstanding Philanthropic deeds towards Israel, which he continued throughout his life.

In 1999, he endowed $20 million in order to establish the Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, which was at that time the largest private donation ever presented to the Weizmann Institute, with Davidson later adding a further endowment, this time of  $15 million.

Other major endowments made by William Davidson in include financing the excavations on the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,  supporting the American Technion Society in their efforts to establish the world’s first educational institution entirely dedicated to the international management of technology-based companies at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

Davidson also participated in the funding of the Wexner Foundation, which was established to provide such grants to graduate students of Jewish Studies. In March 2007, two years before his passing, William Davidson donated $75 million to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.

William Davidson passed away in 2009, at the age of 86, having established a considerable charitable foundation in his name that will continue to help the Jewish people, both in the United States as well as in Israel.



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