NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS
The Newly Renovated Davidson Center in Jerusalem Archaeological Park Reopens
The Davidson Center in Jerusalem Archaeological Park reopened to the public on March 13, 2023 after being closed for three years for renovations. Visitors of the newly renovated Davidson Center will explore the theme of the Temple City of Jerusalem through a unique combination of ancient archaeological finds, innovative technology, artistic depictions, and interactive galleries. The renovation project, which included a building expansion, curation of new exhibits, and full content refresh, was led by experts from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), The Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter (ROVA), and Israeli-based design firm Breeze Creative.
A reopening ceremony was held on March 12 with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who spoke at the reopening ceremony about the Davidson Center’s ability to connect Israelis, Jews, and visitors from around the world to the history of Jerusalem. The Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion, representatives from the IAA and ROVA, and several William Davidson Foundation board members and their families were also in attendance for the special dedication event.
Foundation founder, William Davidson z”l had an appreciation for archaeology and believed deeply in preserving the history of the Jewish people. Mr. Davidson established the Davidson Center in 2001 following a transformational contribution he made in 1995 to establish the Jerusalem Archaeological Park. Thank you to all the partners who were involved with the Davidson Center’s renovation which stands as worthy tribute to Mr. Davidson’s vision. Read more about the history of the Davidson Center and the recent renovations here.
Advancing Greater Detroit’s Startup Ecosystem
In 2022, Startup Genome, a San Francisco research firm, named Detroit as the #1 emerging startup ecosystem globally in its 2022 Global Startup Ecosystem Report. This ranking marked a 13-spot jump for Detroit from the previous year in supporting early-stage funding. To build on this momentum, the William Davidson Foundation partnered with Startup Genome and Endeavor Detroit to further study and support the current entrepreneurial climate for growth and tech-oriented startups in the Detroit region. Through the Foundation’s support, Startup Genome and Endeavor released the findings from Advancing Greater Detroit’s Startup Ecosystem earlier this year which outlines some of the key gaps and opportunities to actively support high-growth entrepreneurship in Southeast Michigan. Read more about this work here.
CASJE’s Career Trajectories of Jewish Educators Study Receives The 2023 Ilia Salita Excellence in Research Award
Congratulations to CASJE (Collaborative for Applied Studies in Jewish Education) for receiving The 2023 Ilia Salita Excellence in Research Award for their study titled Career Trajectories of Jewish Educators in the United States. The Ilia Salita Excellence in Research Award was created by Genesis Philanthropy Group in honor of its longtime CEO and President Ilia Salita z”l, who was passionate about informed, data-driven philanthropy.
Co-funded by the William Davidson Foundation and Jim Joseph Foundation, the Career Trajectories of Jewish Educators research was designed to provide applicable knowledge about the recruitment, retention, and professional development of Jewish educators. The managing director of CASJE, Dr. Arielle Levites accepted the award which was presented at the 2023 Jewish Funders Conference in Phoenix, AZ on March 20, 2023. Dr. Levites accepted the award on behalf of the entire research team, including Dr. Michael Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Professor of Education Policy at George Washington University, who was the Principal Investigator for the study. Read more about the research here.
The Foundation Launches Updated Website!
The William Davidson Foundation is excited to share its updated website with grantees and partners! The website refresh is part of the Foundation’s effort to continue further buildout of its communications tools, practices, and capabilities. A big thanks to the team at Douglas Marketing Group for their web development and design services.
The Foundation Welcomes New Staff Members!
At the end of 2022, the Foundation welcomed Shana Kantor as its newest Program Officer for the Jewish Life portfolio which focuses on Detroit’s Jewish community, leading Jewish educators, and cutting-edge programs and products. Prior to joining the Foundation, Shana most recently served as the Director of Advancement at Frankel Jewish Academy. She spent most of her professional career in the Hillel campus movement as the Executive Director of two campus Hillels – Binghamton and Miami, and at the Schusterman International Center, where she focused on student leadership development. Read more about Shana and connect with her on LinkedIn here.
The Foundation is also pleased to welcome Mike Muccino as its Assistant Controller. Mike is a certified public accountant, working with the Foundation’s Director of Accounting and Accounting Associate to perform accounting, tax, and other finance-related functions. He also assists with the annual financial statement audit and tax return filings. Mike joins the Foundation after nine years working in public accounting for Plante Moran, PLLC in Auburn Hills, MI.
Connect with Mike on Linkedin.
Join Our Team – We’re Hiring!
The William Davidson Foundation is building a world-class team of professionals to honor and extend the legacy of William Davidson through the practice of thoughtful, intentional, and inclusive philanthropy.
Check out the full job description for the Communications Associate here.
FROM THE ARCHIVE
William Davidson, z”l speaking in front of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem at the Davidson Center’s dedication event in 1999 with the Israel Antiquities Authority. The Ethan and Marla Davidson Exhibition and Virtual Reconstruction Centre, known today as the Davidson Center in Jerusalem Archaeological Park, officially opened in 2001 as one of Jerusalem’s most innovative and technologically advanced tourist attractions.