|Katherine Merage is a woman of great vision and compassion. Through the Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation, Mrs. Merage and her family have launched several significant initiatives to support the future of Israel and enhance Jewish life in the United States.
The primary focus of her philanthropy in Israel is the betterment and development of communities in the Negev. In order to increase the population and quality of life in this region she supports health, education, and cultural projects. Her funding and leadership have significantly impacted the Negev, including the construction of Dimona’s first emergency medical treatment center, as well as the production of a cultural festival attracting several thousand tourists, and improvements to educational quality.
Mrs. Merage was an early supporter of Ayalim, a movement led by young adults to create villages in the Negev where college students can live and serve their communities. Her leadership has resulted in a multi-million dollar public-private venture with sustained impact. In addition to being a champion of the Negev region, Mrs. Merage is also dedicated to supporting Israeli immigrants. Through the Iranian Olim project, newcomers receive education and other assistance to adapt to Israeli society and help prepare them for a bright and productive future in their new homeland.
In 1972, Mrs. Merage, her husband Andre and their youngest daughter left their native Iran to join their other four children who were studying in the United States. This energetic mother of five children and grandmother of ten is passionate about young people and their future throughout the world.