Mrs. Ruth Cheshin headed the Jerusalem Foundation from its establishment over 45 years ago with the aim of strengthening Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, both spiritually and materially.
Over the course of her time as Director of the Foundation, and later as its International President, the Foundation raised over $1.5 billion, invested in thousands of programs and hundreds of sites and institutions for the enhancement of the quality of life of all the city’s residents, east and west, in the fields of education and culture, science and preservation, tolerance and coexistence, welfare and health. Jerusalem’s limited resources made the Jerusalem Foundation’s activities an existential requirement of the city’s development. Among other things, the Foundation established the following institutions: the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Cultural Center and Guest House, the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, the Goldman and Haas Promenades at Armon HaNatziv, the National Gardens surrounding the Old City, the Bloomfield Science Museum, the Cinematheque, the Merrill Hassenfeld Amphitheater at Sultan’s Pool, the Crown Halls at the Jerusalem Theater, the Khan Theater, Teddy Stadium, the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, the Sheikh Jarrah Medical Center in East Jerusalem, renovation of the Via Dolorosa in the Old City’s Christian Quarter, 22 community centers throughout the city, dozens of public libraries and hundreds of activities and programs in the area of community and social services, education, culture and tolerance.
Through her years of work at the Jerusalem Foundation, Mrs. Cheshin spearheaded the development of its seven branches worldwide, each with its own public board of directors chaired by leaders of the society and economy.
Parallel to her tenure as President of the Jerusalem Foundation, a role from which she retired in 2011, Ruth Cheshin served as a Director of the global corporation Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
Mrs. Cheshin currently serves as Chair of Mishkenot Sha’ananim and is a Board Member of the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, the Jerusalem Music Center and the Jerusalem Cinematheque. In addition, she is actively involved in the Etgarim Israel Association for the Disabled, promoting outdoor activities and educational programs for the empowerment and social integration of people with special needs, Shanti House, a warm and welcoming home for at-risk youth in Tel Aviv and in the Negev Desert, the human rights organization Yesh Din and the Breaking the Impasse Initiative (BTI). Ruth Cheshin is also active in the Israel Museum’s Acquisition Group.
Ruth Cheshin is married to Justice Mishael Cheshin, retired Vice President of Israel’s Supreme Court, and is a mother of three and grandmother of six.