Why a Prize?

Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah encourages and supports endeavors to help Jews (and others) apply Jewish wisdom to live better lives and shape a better world. We currently operate in four areas — grantmaking, convening, thought partnership, and communications — to pursue this objective.

In 2016 Lippman Kanfer Family Philanthropies celebrates its 50th Anniversary. In Jewish tradition, a 50 year cycle is uniquely special and is known as Jubilee (Yovel.) We have chosen to celebrate our Jubilee year by inaugurating a brand new prize, one that will recognize outstanding achievement in applied Jewish wisdom.

We hope this prize will show how applied Jewish wisdom is enhancing the lives of individuals and communities and inspire a variety of new ways in which organizations will use Jewish wisdom to improve their programs and strengthen their impact.

Learn more about our interest in applied Jewish wisdom. (And here)

Learn more about Jubilee (Yovel) in Jewish tradition and how we are applying this Jewish wisdom to our overall philanthropic work.


The Prize

The Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom has been created to encourage, recognize and reward programs that engage individuals and communities in applying Jewish wisdom in creative and impactful ways.

One winner and two runners-up will be recognized in two separate categories — Local/Regional and National/International (a significant US program is required for international programs). Winners will receive $18,000 toward their work, and runners-up will receive $6,000 each.

Finalists and Semi-finalists will be featured on this website to highlight the diversity of noteworthy programs that share an applied Jewish wisdom approach.

Learn more about eligibility and judging criteria here or begin your application.


Our Inspiration

Jerome and Goldie Lippman50 years ago, in 1966, Jerome Lippman (1913-2005) — known as Jerry to his friends, employees, and customers, and as “Grandpa Jerry” to the current generation of Kanfer family members — and Goldie Lippman (1911-1972) established the Jerome Lippman Family Foundation, later renamed Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation.

The children of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Goldie and Jerry Lippman embodied the American dream. Jerry’s parents came to the United States in 1892 to escape the Cossack pogroms against the Jews of Lithuania. Goldie, the second oldest of four children, was born in Cincinnati and moved with her family to Akron.

In 1946, Jerry and Goldie founded GOJO to solve the problem Goldie and her co-workers faced after a hard day’s work in the local rubber plants: how to safely remove carbon black from their hands. They invented the first easily rinsed off heavy-duty hand cleaner. Jerry made the hand cleaner at night in his garage and sold it out of the back of his car during the day. Goldie managed the office and was in charge of bookkeeping and purchasing. The company was originally called GoJer for Goldie and Jerry.

Jerry and Goldie were committed to Jewish life and social justice for all in Akron, the place where they had founded their business and were making their life together, and embodied a commitment to seeking out and applying Jewish wisdom throughout their lives, serving as powerful role models for all who knew them.

Jerry used the Yiddish phrase “an oremeh huckster’s, a zun” to describe himself. He was the “son of a poor peddler,” a self-made man without self-importance. He knew he was no more and no less special than anyone else. He often said, “You too can do what needs to be done. Go, do what needs to be done.”

We honor their memories and the core values they instilled throughout the generations of the Lippman Kanfer family, and commemorate the Jubilee anniversary of a philanthropic institution that has grown strong from the seeds they planted.

About the Foundation

Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah promotes and supports “Living Torah” — Judaism as a powerful, evolving wellspring of accumulating wisdom and sensibilities that enriches people’s lives and helps create a better world.

Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah encourages and supports endeavors to help Jews (and others) access and apply Jewish wisdom to live better lives and shape a better world. We currently operate in four areas — grantmaking, convening, thought partnership, and communications — to pursue this objective. We are also continuing the Lippman Kanfer family’s commitment to strengthening the ecosystem for innovation in the Jewish community and to the pursuit of justice.

By launching the Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom we hope to make a broad audience aware of the power of Jewish wisdom to improve lives – giving recognition to programs that are doing this already, and inspiring others to apply Jewish wisdom in their programs and activities.

Above all, we seek to be a good partner with others on the journey, learning and sharing our insights as we go.

Learn more about Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

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Judges & Reviewers

To give to the innocent, wisdom; to the one who has not yet learned anything, knowledge and counsel. – Proverbs 1:4

We are honored to have the sage counsel of the following Judges and Reviewers, all experts in Jewish philanthropy, applied Jewish wisdom, and organizational development. Prize decisions will be advised by our Reviewers and made by a committee of Judges and our Board.


[showjudge]215::::June 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm::September 20, 2016 at 8:33 am[/showjudge][showjudge]208::::June 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm::August 30, 2016 at 8:34 am[/showjudge][showjudge]210::::June 8, 2016 at 3:07 pm::August 30, 2016 at 8:31 am[/showjudge][showjudge]204::::June 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm::August 30, 2016 at 8:36 am[/showjudge][showjudge]207::::June 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm::August 30, 2016 at 8:38 am[/showjudge]



Josh Donner

Aaron Dorfman

Adina Dubin

Merav Fine

Ari Kelman

Shaul Kelner

Abby Levine

Jon Levisohn

Aliza Mazor

Lee Moore

Joe Reimer

Stefanie Rhodes

Will Schneider

Adam Simon

Dara Steinberg

Jeff Tiell

Jon Woocher

Meredith Woocher