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Frederic Brenner’s “This Place” Launches Digital Initiative

Complex, diverse, captivating. These are words that come to mind when viewing the photographic collection that has resulted from This Place, a project exploring Israel through the eyes of twelve internationally acclaimed photographers. Convened by photographer Frederic Brenner, each artist was awarded a residence in Israel and, while there, created a major new body of work. Initially called Israel: A Work in Progress, the project sparks a new conversation about Israel and the West Bank as place and metaphor. The photographers’ highly individualized works combine to create not a single, monolithic vision, but rather a diverse and fragmented portrait, alive to all the rifts and paradoxes of this important and much contested space. Brenner’s project includes a traveling exhibition, digital initiatives, publications, and educational partnerships. The Illumination Fund was one of the project’s first supporters for the residency phase and is currently funding plans for the educational partnerships and New York exhibition. The Illumination Fund is proud to announce the launch of the project’s website: www.this-place.org. We hope that this digital initiative pushes new conversation and narrative about Israel, art, and ourselves—as individuals, communities, and global citizens.


Aspen Institute Leadership Series: Tom Coughlin and Bruce Beck

With two Super Bowl wins to his credit, New York Football Giants head coach Tom Coughlin knows a thing or two about leadership. On March 18, 2014, Coughlin joined Bruce Beck, the sports anchor for NBC 4 New York, for the Aspen Institute’s Leadership series in memory of Preston Robert Tisch. Tom and Bruce discussed a play-by-play account of the milestones leading up to the Giants’ victories in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI, emphasizing the importance of teamwork, sacrifice, and balancing family and work life. In addition, Coughlin discussed the value of philanthropy, highlighting the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, which helps families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional, and practical support. The event took place at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, and is part of the Leadership Series sponsored by Steve Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.


LMTIF Launches LISC NYC’s Communities for Healthy Food NYC

Denise Scott of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Rick Luftglass of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund co-authored “Improving Neighborhood Nutrition Requires More Than Food,” an op-ed piece for City Limits. The article announces the implementation of LISC NYC’s Communities for Healthy Food NYC program. This new initiative will integrate access to healthy and affordable food into LISC NYC’s comprehensive community development efforts, which include affordable housing, economic development, education, health, community safety and jobs. LISC NYC’s partners will include New Settlement Apartments in Mt. Eden, Bronx; Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn; and West Harlem Group Assistance in Harlem.  To read the full article, click here.


LMTIF and Grantees Take Part in Super Bowl Festivities

CMOM and the NFL’s You Make the Call: Learn to be an NFL Official Exhibit

Laurie Tisch kicked off Super Bowl festivities on January 9 doing the “Zebra Dance” at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM). The “Zebra Dance” is one of many activities enjoyed by children at CMOM’s You Make the Call: Learn to be an NFL Official exhibit. This is a multimedia and interactive exhibit that lets children and their families experience the world of NFL officials. View NY1’s coverage of the exhibit.

Boys & Girls Clubs Healthy Teaching Kitchens

On January 29, Laurie Tisch was joined by the New York Giants’ Zak DeOssie for the Wallbreaking Ceremony at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria, Queens. Zak DeOssie is a two-time Super Bowl winner with the NY Giants. His father Steve DeOssie also won a Super Bowl with the NY Giants, making them the only father-son duo to win a Super Bowl with the same team. Watch Fox5’s “Good Day New York” interview with Zak DeOssie and his father in which Zak mentions the event. 

The wallbreaking is the start of construction on a healthy teaching kitchen. This is one of three kitchens at Boys & Girls Clubs in Queens and the Bronx being renovated as part of a $250,000 contribution made by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund through the Snowflake Youth Foundation. The NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation was created by the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee as a philanthropic initiative to leave a significant and lasting legacy for the residents of the NY/NJ Region, host of Super Bowl XLVIII. Read the Wall Street Journal’s coverage on philanthropy and the Super Bowl featuring Laurie Tisch.

Erasmus Hall Educational Campus Gym Renovations to Honor Preston Robert Tisch

Laurie Tisch along with Steve, Jon, Lizzie and Joan Tisch made a $1 million commitment to the Snowflake Youth Foundation. A portion of that gift will be used to finance the renovation of four gyms at Erasmus Hall Educational Campus in Brooklyn. This donation is in honor of her late father, Preston Robert Tisch, who is an alumnus of Erasmus Hall Educational Campus.


Hunter Appoints Thomas A. Farley as the 2014 Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health

On January 21, Hunter College announced the appointment of Thomas A. Farley, MD, MPH, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as the 2014 Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College of the City University of New York.  Dr. Farley led the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2009, and was an influential figure behind many of Mayor Michael Bloomberg administration’s health initiatives.  During his year-long fellowship at Hunter, Dr. Farley will lead a faculty seminar, work with both undergraduates and graduate students and continue his work in public health policy.  He also plans to work with Hunter’s College’s Food Policy Center.

The Fellowship, funded by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, is part of the Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project at Hunter College.  Past Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellows in Public Health were Richard Jackson, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Health at UCLA, author of Making Healthy Places and host of the public television series Designing Healthy Communities; Sue Atkinson, the first Director of Public Health for London and Health Advisor to the Mayor; American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin; and John McDonough, Chief Advisor on health care reform to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

For further information, read Hunter College’s announcement and Crain’s coverage.


LMTIF in the News with City Harvest, Teachers College and CMOM

LMTIF’s programs and strategies recently received coverage in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Crain’s and other media.

• According to the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) latest report, obesity rates for low-income preschoolers dropped in 19 of the 43 states examined, including New York.  But as Laurie M. Tisch outlined in her latest editorial for the Huffington Post, “Affording a Healthier Future,” now that we are making gains, we have to hone in on what works and redouble our efforts—especially via successful, public-private partnerships.

• Working closely with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM), LMTIF joined an impressive roster of partners for CMOM’s national launch of the EatPlayGrow™ Early Childhood Health Curriculum in New York City on November 8, including Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass, New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea.  The full curriculum (which can be downloaded here) represents the first of its kind to be approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC), combining the latest science and research from the NIH with CMOM’s holistic arts and literacy-based pedagogy to engage young children with creative programs and consistent health messages. More information can be found in The New York Times’ coverage, here.

• The following morning on November 9, LMTIF’s Rick Luftglass helped officially mark another milestone at the grand opening of City Harvest’s second Mobile Market in the South Bronx (as seen in NY1, NY1 Noticias and the Bronx Free Press). In collaboration with New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the Mobile Market aims to increase access to affordable, healthy food in this high-need community by putting fresh produce directly into the hands of hungry New Yorkers who need it most.

• Teachers College at Columbia University honored Laurie M. Tisch as a philanthropic leader and visionary at its 125th Anniversary Celebration Gala at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem on November 12. Recognized for her philanthropy and leadership in education, health, the arts and nutrition, Laurie joined four other honorees to celebrate the occasion, including Susan Benedetto '98 and Tony Bennett, for their contributions to arts education through their nonprofit, Exploring the Arts; James P. Comer, M.D., for his work in psychosocial development as a key factor in children’s educational success; and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, for support for and investment in education in Harlem.


Teachers College (TC) also announced a $300 million fundraising campaign to invest in the future of the school. In Crain’s New York Business, Suzanne Murphy, TC’s vice president of development and external affairs for the college, explained “We want to continue to support our faculty, our students and work in our neighborhoods.”  Putting the campaign in the context of TC’s 125-year “Legacy of Firsts” – the nation’s first programs in nursing education, nutrition education, special education, educational psychology, and comparative and international education – Ms. Murphy said “We want to build on our rich history.”  Coverage of the event and campaign included the Illumination Fund’s $10 million campaign gift and the newly-established Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy.


1/24 Deadline: Hunter College Seeks Nominations for 4th Annual Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize

The annual Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize at Hunter College recognizes one individual and one nonprofit organization in the New York metropolitan area for outstanding accomplishment in the field of urban public health. Each recipient receives a $10,000 award.  The deadline for nominating a prize candidate is January 24, 2014.

The Prize is a component of the Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project, a major, multidisciplinary initiative at Hunter College that addresses urban public health issues – from diseases such as HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diabetes to health disparities due to economic and environmental factors. The Project has been funded by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Steve Tisch Family Foundation and the Lizzie and Jonathan M. Tisch Foundation.

Past Joan H. Tisch Prize winners have included Turning Point for Women and Families, Independence Care System’s Breast Cancer Screening Project for Women with Physical Disabilities, LegalHealth, Union Settlement Association, Robert Cordero of CitiWide Harm Reduction, Mark Hannay of Metro NY Health Care for All Campaign, and Dr. Melony Samuels of Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger.  Read about the recipients.

Nomination guidelines and instructions can be viewed on Hunter’s Roosevelt House website.


Laurie M. Tisch Featured in the New York Times

Laurie M. Tisch, President of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, was featured in the New York Times article “These Donors Will Take Anything but Manhattan” by Robin Pogrebin. The article highlighted donors that have made it a priority to support art and cultural institutions in other boroughs. Ms. Pogrebin highlighted the impact of their contributions on smaller and more local organizations. Among gifts mentioned were the Illumination Fund’s support to underwrite the Bronx Museum’s installation at the Venice Biennale this year and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 150th anniversary programming in 2012. To read the full article, click here.


Rick Luftglass Featured On Heritage Radio Network

Rick Luftglass, Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, recently participated in two radio shows on the Heritage Radio Network to discuss timely issues in New York City and the role of philanthropy.

On September 24, Rick was a guest on HRN Community Sessions, along with a Trustee of an NYC-based family foundation and Karen Karp of Karp Resources, which is partnering with Heritage Radio to focus on small food business recovery efforts in the Rockaway community post-Sandy.   The episode, hosted by Erin Fairbanks, centered on the role of philanthropy in assessing needs in a post-disaster setting and providing appropriate support. To listen to the entire show, click here.

Rick was also a guest on the September 26th episode of Everything's on the Table: What's the Recipe for the Future of Food in NYC?, a series organized by Food Systems Network NYC to examine food policy issues that are important for New York City’s next administration to consider.  The episode, “Hunger in New York City,” focused on hunger and food access.  Hosted by Erin Fairbanks with Kate MacKenzie, Director of Policy and Government Relations at City Harvest and a member of the Leadership Committee of Food Systems Network NYC, the episode also included Jan Poppendieck, Policy Director of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College and a Professor Emerita in Sociology at Hunter College; Michael Hurwitz, Director of Greenmarket, a program of GrowNYC; and Cathy Nonas, Special Advisor at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  The participants discussed the current state of hunger in the City, as well as public policies and programs to combat hunger and promote access.  To listen to the entire show, click here.


Illumination Fund Launches Innovative Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program in NYC

On July 23, the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund came together with Wholesome Wave to announce the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) pilot in NYC.

Wholesome Wave's Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) is a nationally-recognized initiative that allows doctors to write prescriptions for fruits and vegetables for at-risk patients redeemable at local farmers markets.  FVRx is being expanded into New York City and introduced to hospitals for the first time at the Harlem Hospital Center and the Lincoln Medical Center. The new, public-private partnership has been made possible by a $250,000 grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.  The New York City expansion is one of the core programs of LMTIF’s Healthy Food and Community Change Initiative, which supports novel strategies to increase access, availability, affordability, and knowledge of healthy foods and promote healthy choices.

At the event, held at Lincoln Hospital’s farmers market in the South Bronx, Laurie M. Tisch provided remarks along with an impressive lineup of the “who’s who” in New York City health leadership, including:

  • Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs
  • Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner
  • Dr. Ross Wilson, HHC's Chief Medical Officer, HHC’s Chief Medical Officer
  • Gus Schumacher, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Policy, Wholesome Wave

Patients and doctors involved with the program were also onsite to provide additional details, speaking with several members of the media. Check out the latest coverage of the innovative pilot, including NPR’s “The Salt”, Associated Press, New York Daily NewsNY1, WABC, and CBS New York, among others.

For more information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/pressroom/press-release-20130724-fruit-vegetable-prescription.shtml.