Philanthropy Spotlight

The Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM Endowment Fund

For Dr Lynne B Harrison, the importance of philanthropy and l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation) were instilled in her as a young girl by her father. Today, those values continue to guide her generous support of our community.

“I look back at the founders of Federation. They had no idea what our problems would be, who we would be, what we would want to do, need to do. But they started something, and funded something, for us,” Dr Harrison said. “I’m a grateful inheritor of that. There is no way I can escape the obligation to pay it forward. I can’t pay them back, but I can pay it forward.”

Dr Harrison recently made a historic gift of $7.5 million in honor of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s upcoming Centennial, with $5.5 million allocated to establish the Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM Endowment Fund. This ground-breaking fund will touch the lives of thousands of students in our Greater MetroWest day schools and help elevate STEM (science, technology, engineering, math, and robotics) education across our Jewish community, today and for generations to come. Dr Harrison’s Centennial commitment includes a $2 million Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE), through which she is endowing her Prime Minister level gift to the UJA Annual Campaign, of $100,000 each year in perpetuity.

For Dr Harrison, a grandmother of a day school alumnus and long-time leader on our Greater MetroWest Day School Council, Jewish day schools are vital to our community because “a moral compass, a real sense of what is right and wrong, a real sense of community obligation is something that everyone should have instilled in them.” As the founder and now retired president of Harrison Research Laboratories, Inc., her passion for STEM is both professional and personal. She is excited for her gift of STEM equipment to challenge students in our community’s four day schools: Golda Och Academy; Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School; the Jewish Educational Center, including Bruriah High School for girls; and the Gottesman RTW Academy. “I’ve seen what they can achieve when they are given the right equipment and the right instruction,” Dr Harrison shared.

Dr Harrison has been a steadfast leader and visionary supporter at both Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ (JCF) for decades. She is currently a member of the Federation Board of Trustees (having previously served as both vice president and secretary) and is a current JCF trustee. Dr Harrison is also a vice chair of the Greater MetroWest Centennial Campaign; a member of Greater MetroWest Day School Advisory Council; and a board member of Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy division. Dr Harrison has also been a pioneer in endowment development in our community, helping to inspire many others to make endowment gifts or leave a legacy to our Jewish community, specifically for the Lester Society and Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE). She was among the first to make a generous gift during her lifetime to build a PACE (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) and she coined the terms “Living LOJE” and “Living Lester,” honoring those who build these vital endowments today to support the UJA Annual Campaign in perpetuity.

For Dr Harrison, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s upcoming Centennial was the perfect time to make this historic gift “because one of the things I want to leave to my children, to my grandchildren, is a vibrant Jewish community.”

Dr Harrison is the proud matriarch of a close family, including two adult daughters and sons-in-law, Judi Harrison and Stephan Gross, and Debra Harrison and Mark Muller, and three grandchildren, Zachary, Rebecca, and Adam.

Learn more about the Greater MetroWest Day School Initiative.

For more information on the Centennial Campaign, contact Kim Hirsh, Executive Director, JCF, 973-929-3026.