Our History


The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, originally called The Beth Israel Foundation, was established in 1996, when Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) was sold to the Saint Barnabas Corporation after a proud history of providing quality care and a humanistic environment to people of all backgrounds in greater Newark who came to the hospital for treatment or for employment.

The hospital was founded in 1901 by the Jewish community to give Jewish physicians, denied access to practice medicine in other hospitals because of their religion, an institution in which to provide medical care. From its beginning, the hospital was an institution that welcomed all people and all healthcare professionals with the same quality of care. The qualities of tzedakah (charity and righteousness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) have guided both the hospital and the Foundation since our beginnings.

The Foundation attempts to enhance and provide a new perspective on healthcare and health-related problems and, where appropriate, seeks to provide leadership in identifying problems and in seeing that such problems are studied. We seek collaborations with organizations and institutions in both the Jewish and general communities to study problems, develop solutions, and provide funding to make those solutions a reality.

To achieve these ends, and to ensure that Foundation funds are used as effectively as possible, the Foundation has developed and from time to time refines standards for the consideration of proposals and the evaluation of results. Flexibility is key: not only to respond to developments in healthcare with appropriate grants, but to identify new areas of concern and different approaches to improving the health of vulnerable populations and create funding initiatives to meet those new concerns.


The Newark Beth Israel Hospital founded


Healthcare Foundation of NJ established with proceeds from sale of Newark Beth Israel hospital


Provided seed money to Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ to establish The Rachel Coalition, a coordinated response to domestic violence in the Jewish community

Established partnership with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to present Humanism in Medicine Awards to students and faculty at medical schools throughout the country; provided funding for APGF website, including an on-line humanism in medicine bibliography


Funded the creation of Alzheimer’s Special Care Unit at Daughters of Israel Geriatric Center

School-based health clinics established in partnership with Children’s Hospital of NJ at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.


First of a series of grants to Kids Corp to construct and staff an on-site health clinic for Newark children at Kids Camp in Blairstown NJ and to provide health, dental and vision screenings throughout the year

In partnership with Arnold P. Gold Foundation, sponsored focus groups for medical residents to identify barriers to sustaining humanism in residency years; began the Annual Humanism in Medicine Lecture at Association of American Medical Colleges


Funded Project SHIN, a JCC of MetroWest project to integrate health screenings and education with spiritual well-being at MetroWest area synagogues


School-based Health Clinics established in partnership with Children’s Hospital of NJ Beth Israel Medical Center

Awarded seed funding to JFS of MetroWest to establish Café Europa, a program of social and emotional support for aging Holocaust survivors

Provided seed money to Newark’s North Ward Center to establish Casa Israel Adult Medical Day Care Center

Established HFNJ Humanism in Healthcare Awards to include recognition of employees at hospitals and nursing schools who demonstrate outstanding compassion in their provision of healthcare

Funded “Whole Person Care” at Broadway House, a model program for providing holistic treatment – substance abuse, pain management, and psycho-social support – for people living with HIV, and end-of-life care for those with AIDS


In the aftermath of 9/11, provided funding to St. Barnabas Medical Center for “Domestic Disaster Preparedness Initiative” – the design and implementation of a ground-breaking program to prepare for natural disasters, public health emergencies, terrorist events

Research grant to The Public Health Research Institute to support the development of DNA-based molecular beacon technology for rapid testing to identify methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureaus (MRSA), which served as the basis for the development of a commercial kit for MRSA testing in a clinical setting

First of a series of grants to JFS of MetroWest NJ for House Calls, an innovative project providing in-home social work and health care services to frail, isolated seniors


Established Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanistic Medicine within New Jersey Medical School

Seed funding to UMDNJ Foundation to support Dr. Sidney Pestkas’ human papilloma virus study to develop a more effective interferon treatment for cervical dysplasia, a precursor to cervical cancer

Metro Transport at Daughters of Israel established with seed money from HFNJ to provide appropriate, affordable transportation for the disabled and frail elderly


Provided $1 million in capital funding to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center to renovate and expand its Fredrick B. Cohen Comprehensive Cancer & Blood Disorders Center

Provided funding to Jewish Service for Developmentally Disabled of MetroWest to establish the WAE Center – a day center of therapeutic fitness, life skills, and cultural programs serving severely developmentally disabled adults in the West Essex area

Partnered with JVS of MetroWest for “Caregiving Companions,” providing non-medical assistance and support to the frail elderly and disabled living at home, enabling them to continue to live independently


Launched Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative


Launched HFNJ Early Childhood Mental Health Promotion & Access Initiative at one Irvington and two Newark pre-school centers

Funded Children’s RESPIRA Program at UMDNJ, a unique partnership of Newark community agencies to reduce the incidence of asthma in children, primarily in the Hispanic community

Funded pilot research project at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center to help reduce the risk of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in pregnant women and prevent newborn illness or death


Newark Museum Fire Safety Center established to reduce incidence of injury and death resulting from residential fires in Newark and surrounding communities

Seeded Palliative Care Program at NBIMC to identify options, enhance quality of life, and alleviate pain and suffering for patients and families dealing with end-of-life issues


Seeded Pharmacist in the Emergency Department at NBIMC, significantly reducing patient waiting time for administration of critically-needed medications and improving patient safety

Provided funding through Rutgers University Foundation to create soap opera videos aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS among women in greater Newark’s Hispanic community.


Launched “Promoting an Informed Public: The Future of Community Healthcare” in cooperation with Caucus Education Corp.

Funded MetroWest ABLE, a UJC program to promote inclusion for persons with special needs and their families in the MetroWest community.

Provided seed money to Partners For Women & Justice to establish Essex County Family Justice Center in Newark to co-locate services for victims of domestic violence.
Funded expansion of St. Barnabas Medical Center Emergency Department to enhance Fast Track care.

Equipped 32 UMDNJ emergency vans with wireless EMS technology, enabling the transmission of real time, high-resolution data about incoming patients to receiving hospitals throughout the State of NJ.

Provided seed money to the Hetrick Martin Institute to establish safety, wellness and educational after school programs for LGBTQ youth in Newark.


Funded Generation Fit, an interactive, multi-media exhibit about fitness and good nutrition at The Newark Museum slated to open in late Fall, 2011, and a coordinated Healthy Living Electronic Field Trip project from The Liberty Science Center

Provided support to launch a Patient Literacy Initiative & Resource Center at University Hospital in Newark to improve healthcare for its widely diverse patient population

Awarded seed funding for The Center for Autism, a project of the North Ward Center that aims to provide day programs and after-school initiatives for individuals with ASD
Provided funding to establish Mom2Mom, a program of UMDNJ’s Behavioral Health Center that will provide 24/7 peer support to mothers of children with special needs.


Launched the HFNJ Hospital Acquired Delirium Prevention & Treatment Initiative at four local hospitals (Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and UMDNJ/University Hospital)

Provided funding to establish the only pediatric cardiothoracic surgery program in the State of New Jersey at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

Provided funding for a Community Health Workers Pilot Project from UMDNJ to train and embed community health workers in a new nurse-managed health home in a low-income housing project in Newark


Funded the upgrade of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

Providing funding to renovate and enlarge the Child Life Playroom at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston

Awarded additional funding to the Hetrick-Martin Institute for its afterschool safety and wellness program for LGBTQ youth in Newark that was seeded with HFNJ support in 2010

Added three area hospitals to the HFNJ Hospital Acquired Delirium Prevention & Treatment Initiative, bringing the total number of participating hospitals to seven


Awarded a grant to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center to establish the first Adult Congenital Heart Defect Program in New Jersey

Granted funding to Main Street Counseling Center to provide counseling services to students and their families at West Side High School in Newark

Supported the Community Food Bank’s project to establish a Pediatric Pantry at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

Provided funding to The Boys & Girls Club of Newark to establish a Children’s Dental Clinic at its Central Ward Clubhouse

In the Fall of 2013, HFNJ issued a Request for Proposals to agencies in the great Newark region to support education, outreach, and enrollment activities under the Affordable Care Act and NJ’s expansion of Medicaid.  The goal:  To bring quality, affordable healthcare to the most vulnerable and underserved people in the region.  Four major grants totaling approx. $400,000 and twelve mini grants of $10,000 or less were awarded to achieve this end.  Funding began in the winter of 2013-2014.


Launched the HFNJ Veterans’ Mental Health Initiative, awarding $736,000 in grants to nine local organizations to improve mental health services for veterans and their families.

Established the Lester Z. Lieberman Fellowship in Oncology & Hematology at the Frederick B. Cohen Cancer Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Supported the expansion of Zufall Health Centers into West Orange, NJ.

Provided support to programs that address trauma in young children and their caretakers through support to FAMILYConnections, Children’s Aid & Family Services, and Essex County CASA.


Celebrated the opening of The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Breast Wellness Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, which provides state-of-the-art screenings, diagnoses, and treatment planning for women from greater Newark in a spa-like, patient-centered setting.

Approved funding for The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Private Room & Isolation Suite for the most fragile babies treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s new Cooperman West Wing, which is scheduled to open in 2017.

Provided seed funding to the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition for its Healthy Newark Medicaid ACO.

Supported Rutgers School of Nursing’s Community Health Worker Maternal/Child Health Project with funding to the Rutgers University Foundation.

Funded the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Sensory Playground at Lifetown, Inc., a therapeutic and recreational environment for children with special needs and their families.  The project is scheduled to open in 2016.


Launched the HFNJ Integrated Pediatric Primary Care Initiative, awarding $828,000 in grants to five Newark-based institutions and organizations to improve the behavioral and physical health of children.

Awarded $142,127 to Equal Justice USA for a ground-breaking project providing trauma-informed training to the Newark Police Department, other first responders, and community members, to lessen violent confrontations and improve mutual understanding.

Awarded $100,000 to the National Center for Civic Innovation to provide enhanced mental health counseling to non-violent offenders in an effort to prevent incarceration and improve the lives of people charged in Newark’s Municipal Court.

Continued HFNJ’s ACA Outreach, Education, and Enrollment Initiative, providing $143,120 to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan NJ, $116,320 to Planned Parenthood of Central & Greater Northern NJ, and $50,000 to the NJ Citizen Action Education Fund to continue connecting uninsured, low-income residents to coverage and care.

Supported the establishment of the KinderSmile Oral Health Center in Bloomfield, providing free dental care to low-income children and to mothers.  Funding of $96,813 was directed to the HFNJ Oral Health Education Room at the Center.


Awarded $1,000,000 to Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled to support the development of new administrative and WAE Center offices and program space in Livingston NJ.

Awarded $348,467 to the Trinitas Health Foundation for the purchase of a new Hologic Selenia 3D Mammography system for Trinitas Regional MC’s new Connie Dwyer Breast Center, bringing top flight testing and diagnosis to low income, vulnerable women served by the hospital.

Supported the expansion of the work of the new Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center in Newark’s South Ward with a grant in the amount of $101,000 to provide resources and counseling to women in crisis.

With a grant of $275,000, enabled the Newark Museum to make its front entrance welcoming to people with mobility challenges, including the disabled, the elderly, and moms with strollers, by installing a ramp bringing people into the main foyer of the museum.

Helped University Hospital launch its new Violence Prevention Program with a grant of $83,807, supporting care teams comprised of hospital social work and medical staff and members of Newark’s Community Street Teams, who will work with patients suffering from penetrating wounds and their loved ones during their hospital stay and for a year post-discharge to interrupt the cycle of violence.


Worked to improve maternal/child health outcomes and encourage breast feeding with a grant of $1,137,453 to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for the enlargement and creation of private rooms in the Hospital’s Maternity Unit.

Continued work to improve care for individuals with mental health issues with a $1 million grant to renovate Trinitas Medical Center’s New Point Campus, which provides in-patient services for children and adults and those with special needs.

Helped to improve care for burn patients treated at Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s Burn Unit – New Jersey’s only certified burn treatment facility, with a grant of $180,171 to enlarge and outfit the Unit’s Rehabilitation Gym.

Recognized the long term issues/effects suffered by victims of childhood cancers with a grant of $76,050 to the Valerie Fund for the hire of a social worker to help former patients deal with emotional and physical consequences as they arise.


Supported state-of-the-art medical care for patients at local hospitals and FQHCs with grants to Saint Barnabas Medical Center ($1,000,000) for the expansion and outfitting of the Observation Unit in the hospital’s new and expanded Emergency Department; Zufall Health Center ($350,000) to construct a Prenatal Suite at its new West Orange facility; and Clara Maass Medical Center ($198,476) to outfit its new Hybrid OR.

Continued work to address violence as a public health issue with grants to University Hospital ($83,350) for its Violence Intervention Program, providing support to victims of violence at the bedside and after discharge; All Stars Cops & Kids Newark ($50,000) to continue the use of the arts to foster dialogue and break down barriers to understanding; Ironbound Community Corp. ($80,000) to combat domestic violence in the Latino community; Family Service League ($42,568) to place a rape crisis counsellor at the Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center in Newark; Jewish Family Service of Central NJ ($41,223) to identify and prevent elder abuse/neglect; and Caucus Educational Corporation ($100,000) to create on-air programming and PSAs to educate lawmakers and the public about violence and its effects on us all.

Tackled the significant and difficult issue of substance abuse with grants to The Bridge ($110,000) to provide counseling and support to at-risk students at Irvington High School; NorthWest Essex Community Healthcare Network ($95,000) to provide support for patients with chronic mental illness who also struggle with addiction; Rutgers University Foundation ($63,300) to train emergency physicians to increase the use of life-saving buprenorphine in the ED at University Hospital; and NJCRI ($24,418) for continued support of its needle exchange and drug counseling program.

Last modified: August 30, 2021