Message from the Walders

We are living in very challenging times. Every day we hear stories of global unrest and conflict as threats to our natural environment and to our social and economic security continue to mount. An unfortunate lack of compassion and a limited view of our future needs is compromising the long-term sustainability of our planet.

We formed our Foundation to address some of the critical issues that impact our world today--issues and causes that are directly tied to sustaining our planet and our quality of life. Through a philanthropic platform, we hope to create compassionate, vibrant communities in Chicago that can inspire other communities around the world. Through innovative approaches to grantmaking, awards, and programs we hope to transform lives and open new pathways for artists, conservationists, scientists, activists and innovators to build a sustainable future.

We’ve chosen our funding areas based on our passions and interests:

Our appreciation of the enormous contribution artists provide in building vibrant and healthy communities informs our dedicated support of the performing arts.

Our concern for valuable natural resources drives our commitment to support innovative solutions to protect biodiversity and improve global food security.

Our experience with immigrant populations influences our support of programs to create pathways for immigrants and refugees to reach their potential and realize their dreams.

Our values as members of the Jewish Orthodox community inform our plans to strengthen, diversify and inspire Jewish organizations in Chicago and around the world.

Our commitment to scientific discovery and exploration in order to improve health and save lives motivates our support of scientists who are on the leading edge of innovation.

From our philanthropic work, we intend to generate knowledge and innovative practices that will not only bring about transformative change on key issues impacting our city and our country but will serve as a model for others. We invite you to follow our journey as we strive to actualize our vision for a brighter, more sustainable world.

Joseph and Elizabeth Walder,
Founders