In The Sun's section on Israel Sunday, the person in a photograph overlooking the site of the Isaac H. Taylor Forest was incorrectly identified as philanthropist Isaac H. Taylor. The identity of the person in the photo is not known.
The Sun regrets the error.
If you think Meyerhoff is a prominent name in Baltimore, you should go to Israel.
Baltimoreans have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in building Israel's housing, hospitals, and cultural and educational institutions and programs. Spanning the country are wings, floors, rooms or entire buildings that bear familiar names such as Blaustein, Hoffberger and Meyerhoff.
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
"Joseph Meyerhoff was a strong believer that if Jews didn't help themselves, they weren't going to be helped," said George B. Hess Jr., vice president of the Joseph Meyerhoff Fund, which concentrates its giving on projects in Israel and Jewish projects throughout the world.
Meyerhoff, a Baltimore developer who died in 1985, was an ardent Zionist whose interest in Israel started through his involvement with United Jewish Appeal. He was also one of the first investors in Israel Bonds.
Meyerhoff is appropriately associated with helping to build in Israel. Contributions from him and the foundation that was formed after his death are responsible for the construction of 11 libraries, nine day care centers, several community centers, cultural arts centers, the emergency wing at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and several buildings at universities throughout the country. Hess says 45 to 50 buildings in Israel bear the Meyerhoff name.
The Meyerhoff projects extend from Israel's northernmost tip, in the town of Metulla on the border with Lebanon, where classrooms bear the family name, to Eilat in the south, where the foundation has built a cultural center.
Other Baltimore philanthropies, such as the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, have concentrated more on funding programs than on building infrastructure.
"We have not been brick and mortar people," said David Hirschhorn, president of the Blaustein Foundation. "Our philanthropy has been more programmatic. We think that can have more impact than bricks and mortar."
The foundation's best-known project is the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, an arm of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "It was to be the principal institution concerned with the subject of living in the desert," Hirschhorn said. "Its mission has since been expanded to combating desertification, halting the creation of new deserts."
The Blaustein Foundation also promotes better relations between Jews and Arabs, particularly in Jerusalem, and funds several programs to achieve that, including joint cultural facilities and extracurricular activities that bring together Jewish and Arab schoolchildren. It pays for a kindergarten for Arab children in East Jerusalem, Hirschhorn said.
The Blaustein Foundation has also become involved in the controversy over religious pluralism in Israel and the fight being waged by Reform and Conservative Jews for a religious role in the country that's controlled by the Orthodox.
"We've become very concerned about the fact that Israel, as it has evolved, has become a theocracy" controlled by the Orthodox, Hirschhorn said.
The efforts of the Hoffberger Foundation have also been directed toward programs that work to improve relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. It recently gave a $100,000 grant to the Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development, which funds start-ups of business deals between Jews and Arabs. It has also funded several projects in Jerusalem, including a visual arts center, and after-school and summer programs for Jewish and Arab children.
"It is the foundation's feeling that fostering a better relationship between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews is important to the future of that country," said LeRoy E. Hoffberger, president of the Hoffberger Foundation. "One of the good ways to get people together and have them working together is through business."
Isaac H. Taylor, an Ellicott City furniture dealer, was another important Baltimore philanthropist. Taylor's donations paid for the Maryland windows in the Kennedy Memorial in Jerusalem, a youth hostel in Masada and a community center in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood in Jerusalem, among other projects.
Much of Taylor's philanthropy came as the result of his friendship with longtime Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek.
"Teddy Kollek would call him and ask for something every now and then, and my grandfather would say, 'Let me see what I can do,' " said his grandson, Dr. Bruce T. Taylor, who runs the Taylor Foundation. "It was wonderful because they enjoyed each other and knew they were working together to do something for Israel."