The Bernstein Family Foundation is committed to investing in people and ideas to strengthen and celebrate the greater Washington community.

"GIVE 17 OUNCES TO THE POUND." -

"REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE" -

"KNOW WHO YOUR RELATIVES ARE...SEE YOURSELF IN THEM" -

"THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH" -

"DO A GOOD DEED EVERY DAY" -

"FOLLOW THE TEN COMMANDMENTS" -

"DO THE RIGHT THING" -

"ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WORD" -

"THINK MAN THINK" -

"HOPE... IT LASTS" -

"THERE ARE NO ANSWERS" -

"LOVE IS RESPECT" -

Leo M. Bernstein (1915-2008) was a Washington, D.C. real estate broker, banker and philanthropist with a keen interest in American history and a deep devotion to democracy and to democratic institutions.

The son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, he believed fervently in the American Dream—and he lived it.  He believed strongly in this country’s ideals—the values embedded in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights–and he sought to put them into practice in his own life. He took great pride in his country, and he celebrated its presidents and the opportunities it had afforded him.

Mr. Bernstein’s legacy exists not in the things he collected but in the democratic ideals he fought for and achieved for society at large: open housing, gender equality, racial and social justice. Even today, there are lessons to be learned from the life of Leo B. Bernstein, as society continues to struggle with some of the same issues he encountered during his 93 years of life.

Foundation Achievements to Date

100,000+

Lives impacted by investments targeting specific thought leaders

60+

Years Investing in People & Ideas in Washington, D.C.

1,200

Thought leaders supported in our nation’s capital

Our 2016 – 2017 Grantees

Click on the map to see what we have funded in DC this year.

Grantee Activities

Canal Trust logo

What Happened to Congress?

National Constitution Center Monday, June 19, 2017 • 6:30…

John Avlon: Washington's Warning to Future Generations

National Constitution Center Wednesday, June 21, 2017 • 12…

Remember Birmingham: Civil rights and constitutional change

National Constitution Center Friday, June 16, 2017 • 12 P.M. Admission…
iCivics

iCivics' Executive Director Louise Dube won the DVF People's Voice Award

Louise Dubé is Executive Director of iCivics. Founded by Justice…

Experts in the D.C. Dance community joined us for a "Dancing With the Stars" Panel

"Dancing With the Stars" is back! And Season 24 is warming up…

Halcyon House: Spring Arts & Entertainment Guide 2017

If you thought David Sedaris’ Billie Holiday imitation was…

Washington Post: For these artists, limited vision expanded their horizons

Sharnita “Shugg” Smoot vividly remembers the initial trauma…
iCivics

PLEASE VOTE for our grantee Louise Dube at iCivics!

PLEASE VOTE for our grantee Louise Dube at iCivics!

FRESH TALK: How can the arts inspire environmental advocacy?

Artists across disciplines and around the globe are creating…

FRESH TALK: Ann Hamilton and Emily Pilloton—How can makers change the world?

Ann Hamilton, an internationally renowned visual artist and self-described…

201 Artists You Should Remember This International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women's Day, the Huffingtonpost revived…

Freedom Day: April 13, 2017

National Freedom Day honors the signing of a resolution that…

The Constitution and the federal budget process

The state of the federal budget will be a hot topic of discussion…

Economist Article: How to teach citizenship in schools

From The Economist:IN 2012 David Souter, a retired justice…
S and R Foundation

Announcing Halcyon: A New Nonprofit Organization Devoted to the Power of Human Creativity

Co-Founders Dr. Sachiko Kuno and Kate Goodall are delighted to…

Preorder the New Studio Album from the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus

Pre-order of بيت home בית. You get 3 tracks now (streaming…
iCivics

iCivics was proudly named among the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education by Fast Company

On February 13, 2017, iCivics – the civic education nonprofit…
iCivics

A Video Game Game Can Help Kids Make Sense Of Post-Election Chaos

Originally posted on Forbes.com. Article By Jordan ShapiroCould…
The Urban Alliance
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Fresh Talk For Change

Tune in to this page to watch live-streaming and recorded FRESH…
2239 Metro Minyan

Why And How We Give

By Kyle CaldwellThe giving season in the last months of the…
2239 Metro Minyan

WE Capital: Leveraging the Power of Female Investors

A new consortium of women investors seeks to break barriers and…

NPC Luncheon with Education Secretary John B. King

Education Secretary John B. King will appear at Oct. 19 National…
Trust for the National Mall

Completion of the National Mall Turf Project

This fall marks the completion of the decade-long turf restoration…

Confronting the 4 myths of impact investing

Editors Note: This piece was originally published on medium.com…
Eshauna Smith

Eshauna Smith Receives Honor from Washington Business Journal

Urban Alliance CEO, Eshauna Smith has been honored as one of …
2239 Metro Minyan

From Stanford Social Innovation Review: Putting Grantees at the Center of Philanthropy

Research shows that grantmakers that are more connected to their…
S and R Foundation

S&R Foundation's Social Enterprise: Halcyon Creatives in Georgetown

In a 18th century mansion, once believed haunted, a new life…
2239 Metro Minyan

Discretionary Grantmaking: Should Your Foundation Let Members Go Solo?

Foundations typically approach most grants as a team sport, debating…
2239 Metro Minyan

WRAG Members Among 50 Corporate Leaders “Changing the World”

Fortune just released its 2016 “Change the World” roster…
2239 Metro Minyan

We have to invest in the C&O Canal for future generations

The July 10 Washington Post Magazine article “C&O Canal:…
2239 Metro Minyan

Top Ten Moments at the 2016 Jewish Teen Philanthropy Summit

Last week, nearly 100 Jewish professionals, partners, and stakeholders…
Trust for the National Mall

The Trust for the National Mall has a new president

The Trust for the National Mall has a new president, nearly a…
Trust for the National Mall

After sod restoration, National Mall set to reopen in early 2017

The Trust for the National Mall announced on Tuesday that crews…
WAMU American University Radio

Kojo Nnamdi on the role of a lifetime

For nearly 20 years, Kojo Nnamdi, 70, has been the host of “The…
The Urban Alliance

Investing in Youth Pathways to Success: Addressing the Skills-Gap

A recent Brookings report estimated that 3 million young…
Sixth and I Historic Synagogue

5 Questions for Esther Safran Foer

Esther Safran Foer, Sixth & I Synagogue’s executive director…
Sasha Bruce Youthwork

Local Professionals Talk Job Skills With Sasha Bruce Youth

More than 40 Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY) staff and youth, many…
S and R Foundation

S&R Foundation to offer free studio space for emerging D.C. artists

Recognizing the District’s need for studio space for artists,…
S and R Foundation

S&R Foundation launches Georgetown-based pilot for 'emerging artists'

The D.C.-based nonprofit, S&R Foundation, is launching a…
S and R Foundation

Washington Ballet’s departing director Septime Webre named to S&R Foundation

Septime Webre, who on June 30 steps down as artistic director…
2239 Metro Minyan

National Museum of Women in the Arts to host exhibition from Rubell Collection

Three dozen women artists explore images of the female body in…
Martha's Table

Women of Washington: Martha’s Table’s Ryan Palmer

Ryan Palmer admits the way she found success may be cliche,…
Jerusalem U
iCivics

Raising citizens: Tips to help parents teach their kids about the political process

When Kris and Rachael Lundeberg’s 9-year-old son comes to them…
iCivics

Bethesda’s CityDance receives arts program award at the White House

At the White House on Tuesday, first lady Michelle Obama doled…

Review: CityDance’s ‘DREAMscape’ at The Lincoln Theatre

Every so often, we witness a moment in time unabashedly good—good…

Trust for The National Mall Annual Benefit Luncheon

The Trust for the National Mall's Annual Benefit Luncheon has…
SHABOOM

BimBam Launches Second Episode of 'Shaboom'

Non-profit BimBam (formerly G-dcast) has released the second…
2239 Metro Minyan
Stanford Social Innovation Review

Fostering The Creative Economy

In this article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Epaminondas…

Jewish Giving Needs A Broader Definition

Sharna Goldseker is the managing director of 21/64 (www.2164.net),…

NCFP launches "Trends in Family Philanthropy" study

Family philanthropy’s role in the field of charitable giving…
Stanford Social Innovation Review

Developing Resilient Global Leaders

To create lifelong global leaders, organizations need to help…
Stanford Social Innovation Review

Disruption For Good

Rapid advances in technology are changing philanthropy in fundamental…
Sasha Bruce Youthwork

Sasha Bruce Unveils 3-year Strategic Plan

Sasha Bruce Youthwork Board and Staff recently completed their…

Experience Landmark Music Festival

The inaugural Landmark Music Festival in Washington, D.C. comes…
2239 Metro Minyan

2239's Metro Minyan Rosh Hashanah

Erev Rosh Hashanah: 2239 ServiceThis service, which…

Suggested Reading

Power Play: How Video Games Can Save The World

From Amazon:The phenomenal growth of gaming has inspired…

Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance Is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems

From Amazon:“Despite social and economic advances around…

The Philanthropy Reader

From Amazon:“Philanthropy is both timeless and timely.…
The Promise of a Pencil

We Are Sew Powerful: How A Global Community Of Seamstresses Is Changing Zambia One Girl At A Time

From Amazon:“Jason and Cinnamon Miles take you on a riveting…

Data Driven Non-Profits

From Amazon:“Big Data is completely transforming how companies…

The Changemaker Ripple Effect

How one person can transform the lives of thousands when driven…

The Art of Giving by Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon

An honest assessment for how to determine your individual relationship…

Do Good Well by Nina Vasan and Jennifer Przybylo

Practical, wise, and witty, Do Good Well is a groundbreaking…

Giving 2.0 by Laura Arrillaga Andreessen

Giving 2.0 is the ultimate resource for anyone navigating…
The Promise of a Pencil

The Promise of a Pencil by Alan Braun

The riveting New York Times bestseller about a young man who…

Leadership Showcase

Lisa Curtis

Her Favorite BookThe Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.It was…

Melinda Cooperman

What was your journey to becoming the Associate Director of Marshall…
Eshauna Smith

Eshauna Smith

What was your journey to becoming the CEO of Urban Alliance?How…
Jim Beck, Sasha Bruce

Jim Beck

What was your journey to becoming the Vice President of Planning,…
Sarah Lefton

Sarah Lefton

What was your journey to becoming the founder and executive director…

Jason Benkendorf

What was your journey to becoming the Executive Director of AU…

Rabbi Aaron Miller

What inspired you to create Metro Minyan - the flagship program…
Beyer, Megan Headshot

Megan Beyer

You recently became the Executive Director of the President’s…
Esther Safron Foer

Sixth & I Synagogue

Sixth & I has grown to become one of Washington’s most…

Kate Goodall

S&R Foundation embodies the embrace of ingenuity and creativity…

Andrea Gottlieb

Jerusalem U is yet another one of Bernstein’s grantees that…
Robin Bronk

Robin Bronk

This past year, Bernstein Family Foundation was proud to provide…
Patty Stonesifer

Patty Stonesifer

Martha’s Table has been a Washington institution for decades…
ShalomLearning

Josh Troderman

As a pioneer in the Jewish educational technology sphere, ShalomLearning…
From left to right: Stephanie Aboukasm, Kevin Snyder, and Diana Ezerins

Kennedy Center

Bernstein Family Foundation has supported the globally-revered…

Christopher Lewis

Bernstein Family Foundation is a proud supporter of WAMU 88.5-…

Louise Dube

Bernstein Family Foundation, a major proponent of American democracy,…

Rabbi Aaron Miller

Rabbi Aaron Miller, a rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation…

Eshauna Smith

Eshauna Smith joined Urban Alliance in March 2013 and was…