Community Development

Creating Thriving Communities

The Merage Foundations believe in social changes that result in families and communities improving the quality and circumstances of their lives. Community development partners are focused on strengthening and supporting communities that offer services and opportunities for individuals to thrive and prosper. These goals are achieved through community partners such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Colorado Family Services, and the Rotary Club of SE Denver Foundation, to name just a few.

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Other community efforts range from open lands conservation in the Front Range through Colorado Open Lands, to grant partnerships with organizations like the Denver Rescue Mission that provide food, shelter and clothing to the homeless. Through such partnerships, the Merage Foundation strives to develop stronger, more effective organizations that may then better serve our community.

Jewish Life

A large portion of our community development support is focused in the area of Jewish life. In this area, we support organizations that promote identity within the community and promote acceptance of cultural and religious differences in our society. This is accomplished through partnerships with organizations such as the Hebrew Education Alliance (HEA), the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Etta Israel Center, JConnect LA, and the American Friends of Tel-Aviv University.

New CSU Hillel SignAnother successful social investment partner is Hillel of Colorado.  Hillel is an integral part of college campus social, cultural, educational, political, and religious life. The David and Laura Merage Foundation and the Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation were the lead funders in Hillel’s capital campaign for the new Merage-Allon Hillel Center on the University of Denver campus.  They also contributed a capital gift for the purchase and renovation of the David and Laura Merage Hillel Center for the students attending Colorado State University.

The Merage Foundations’ partnerships with and support of these organizations since its inception has led to the successful execution of numerous programs benefiting the Jewish community and beyond.

 

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Ensuring Fairness in the Justice System for Mental Illness

The David & Laura Merage Foundation founded Equitas in December of 2013 to serve as a connection point for innovative solutions that impact system changes for those with mental disorders and brain challenges in the criminal justice system. Through a collaborative and exploratory approach, Equitas collects and shares best practices to ensure that law enforcement and the justice system are fully informed, empowered, and engaged to proactively address the needs of people with mental disorders and hidden brain challenges in the criminal justice system.