International development and the global Jewish community

Pears Foundation is dedicated to enabling a new generation of Jewish and Israeli activists to contribute their time, energy and expertise to make a meaningful impact in world.

I spent many years dreaming about the creation of a Jewish Peace Corps, whereby the global Jewish community could contribute its expertise and energy to some of the world’s most challenging problems and poorest countries. At some point along this journey I realised that there were a number of organisations already doing this work. Instead of establishing a new organisation, we decided to create something that would ‘lift the tide for all ships’, strengthening their efforts and amplifying their voices to show how the Jewish people can make a difference in the world.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG

Pears Foundation supports Jewish and Israeli organisations that work in the developing world. Some of them, such as Tevel b’Tzedek, IsraAid and NALA, bring Israeli expertise as well as volunteers to work in partnership with local communities. Others, like Tzedek, run education programmes in UK Jewish schools. We also support World Jewish Relief, the British Jewish community’s international humanitarian agency.

To bring this work together, the Foundation helped to establish two infrastructure organisations, SID-Israel and OLAM, to act as convenors and capacity builders and provide support to other organisations.

From delivering disaster relief in the Philippines and Nepal to educating young Jews about development projects in Rwanda and Ethiopia, SID-Israel and OLAM are working together to build the field of international development and raise the profile of this vital work.

Society of International Development – Israel

Israel has a history of reaching out to developing countries, particularly in Africa, but this work is little known within Israeli society.

Pears Foundation provided the funding to establish an Israeli branch of the Society for International Development (SID), a global forum of individuals and organisations in the field of sustainable economic and social development. SID-Israel brings together more than 140 member organisations from across all key sectors: civil society, business, academia and the Israeli government. It provides professional development, capacity building and local and international networking. Through its policy work it acts to create an enabling environment for all those working in the field of international development and aid work.

Partner since: 2013
Funding invested: £2.3m


In addition to Israeli organisations, there are numerous Jewish organisations around the world that seek to improve the lives of vulnerable people in the developing world.

In 2014 Pears Foundation co-founded OLAM with the Alliance for Global Good and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Since then, several other foundations and funders have joined in to build a global platform for all organisations in this field. The name OLAM, is an allusion to the Hebrew term tikkun olam (repairing the world), one of the central tenets of Jewish tradition.

OLAM brings together over sixty Jewish and Israeli organisations active in international development, humanitarian relief and promoting volunteering in the developing world. Its purpose is not to duplicate the efforts of its members or deliver on the ground, but rather to  shine a spotlight on the work that is happening, connect those who are doing it, promote ethical practice for the field, and convene a global Jewish network of organisations who are engaged in this crucial work.

OLAM provides structured opportunities for partner organisations to meet and share best practice as well as study trips and educational seminars for funders and influencers.

Partner since: 2015
Funding invested: £1,2million

Pears Foundation also supports the Pears Program for Global Innovation which is dedicated to harnessing the power of Israeli innovation to address the needs of the developing world.