Obermayer Foundation, Inc. is a small operating foundation which in addition to develping its own specific programs, prides itself in finding worthy projects that are currently receiving minimal support, often at early stage non-profits. It looks for situations where its contribution can make a major difference and where it has already established a relationship. The principals are Judith and Arthur Obermayer.
German Activities

In Germany, Obermayer Foundation provides annual awards to five non-Jewish Germans who have made extraordinary contributions to preserving Jewish history, culture, cemeteries and synagogues in their own local communities. The awards are co-sponsored by the Berlin Parliament and given in its elegant plenary chamber. They have received extensive international publicity. See http://www.obermayer.us/award.

Another German activity has been the initiation and support of the Creglingen Jewish Museum, which is housed in a small German community at the location to which Arthur Obermayer's ancestors first moved at the beginning of the 30 Years War in 1618. The museum focuses on the lives and contributions of the city's former Jewish residents, and has been a source of pride to the community. It has been a joint project, with major funding also coming from the city of Creglingen, the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, a German foundation, and individual Germans and Jews.

In September 2007 Arthur Obermayer received the Bundesverdienstkreuz award, the highest honor provide by the German Federal Republic.

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Genealogy

The Foundation has preserved and organized the Obermayer family records going back almost four centuries and published The Obermayers: A History of a Jewish Family in Germany and America, 1618-2009, a 262-page book on the historical context in which the family lived. An article published in Avotaynu takes the Obermayer branch much further.

The Foundation has been active in relevant American and international historical and genealogical organizations, and maintains the website of the German Jewish Special Interest Group (GerSIG) of JewishGen.org.

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Internet

Since 1995, the Foundation has helped nonprofits on a pro bono basis to devise strategies for using the Internet and has constructed websites to meet their organizational goals. Much of the consulting has been on community building and new media approaches for organizations such as WBUR (Boston's NPR station) and JewishGen.  The foundation set up original websites for American Jewish Historical Society, American Chemical Society (Northeastern Section), Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center, Charles River Museum of Industry, Temple Shalom of Newton, Eleanor Roosevelt ValKill Foundation, GerSIG, JewishGen and Center for Jewish History.

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U.S. Government Policy

More than 25 years ago, the Obermayers played a major role in supporting and promoting the legislation that eventually led to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Act and the Bayh-Dole Patent Act. Since then, support has continued for programs that will lead to more open and responsive government on a local, national and international level. Recent efforts have been directed toward encouraging the U.S. to change its focus from 20th century conventional warfare methods to winning the hearts and minds of people and thereby gaining the support of their leaders. This has resulted in a widely republished Baltimore Sun op-ed, as well as an essay for the American Security Project which was republished in the Las Vegas Sun and in the book entitled, Iraq Uncensored: Perspectives. These articles have dealt with a major expansion of the Peace Corps and the primary goal of almost all people worldwide to achieve a better life for themselves and their families based on security, health care, education and economic opportunity.

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U.S. Social Justice

Its U.S. work is largely concerned with social justice and expanding economic opportunity for all. Areas of focus include enabling economic self-sufficiency for Boston's disadvantaged population, creating expanded economic opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses, and promoting community economic development investing. Other American support has been related to Jewish history and genealogy, interfaith families, and access to alternative news media.

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Israel

Obermayer Foundation has focused on promoting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as achieving equality of rights for all Israelis, whether they be non-Orthodox Jews, women, or Arabs. It has maintained active roles in JStreet, New Israel Fund, and Partners for Progressive Israel, and for many years, published American Editorial Review to provide Israelis with a broad perspective on how the American media viewed Middle Eastern events.

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