On October 7, 2014, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute lost one of its dearest friends and supporters, Ralph I. Goldman, who passed away at age 100 in Jerusalem. Ralph was a visionary whose guiding hand and unwavering passion served JDC, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel for many decades.
In 1974, Ralph was instrumental in establishing the JDC-Brookdale Institute as a center for applied social research serving Israel, the Jewish people, and the international community. (In 2004, the Institute became MJB.)
At the time, JDC was making a strategic shift from direct service delivery to innovative service development. Ralph identified the scarcity of relevant applied social policy and service research, and its vital importance as a guide for policy and service development.
Together with Herb Singer and other JDC leaders, Ralph helped JDC enter into a partnership with the Government of Israel to create the Institute. Their foresight in developing this government-JDC partnership established MJB as an institution uniquely positioned to conduct applied research while retaining independence and objectivity.
Ralph was a dedicated Board member of MJB from its founding. His insight, wisdom, and statesmanship contributed greatly to the development of MJB’s capacity to become a leading force in efforts to increase the effectiveness with which Israeli society addresses critical social challenges to enhance the well-being of, and expand opportunities for, its most vulnerable members.
To the end, Ralph expressed much pride in the Institute. Earlier this year, Ralph participated in MJB’s 40th anniversary film. “Looking back over forty years,” he said on the film, “our dream has been fulfilled beyond our expectations.”
From its inception, the Institute benefited greatly from Ralph’s guidance and support. He will be sorely missed.