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Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust (Deputy Director, Operations)

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The Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust was founded in 2006 by Newt Becker, entrepreneur (founder of the Becker CPA Review Course that has prepared half of America’s CPAs for the CPA Exam), visionary investor (lead investor and Chairman of the Board of Luz, the world’s largest developer of solar energy for many years, and investor in many other cutting edge investments) and involved, hands-on philanthropist. Dr. David Becker, Newt’s son, has led the trust as Executive Director since its inception, and has also served as Managing Trustee since Newt passed away in 2012.

Growing up as a teenager in a working class Jewish neighborhood in Cleveland during the Holocaust, at a time when anti-Semitism was a very real factor for the American Jewish community, Newt and his peers experienced a reality of vulnerability and powerlessness. They were very aware of the inability of their community to protect their fellow Jews in Europe. Newt vowed that if he ever had the means, he would do what he could to protect Jews around the world and to further American democratic values that lead to safety and security for all people.

The Becker Charitable Trust invests in research and educational efforts that provide relevant and reliable information to policy makers, opinion leaders and publics in the US, Europe and around the world. Much of the work is with organizations that focus on Israel and the Middle East and that counter misleading, exaggerated and, sometimes, outright false accusations that are made to defame Israel, and with organizations that aim to provide constructive, positive ways forward toward a more peaceful future in the Middle East. The Becker Charitable Trust has developed a strategic philanthropic model and takes an entrepreneurial approach, often being among the first funders of new projects and organizations.

Important Note: The Becker Charitable Trust is aware that a Google search of their name will turn up references to a “Fear, Inc.” report that lists the Becker Charitable Trust as a funder of Islamophobia. The foundation categorically rejects this characterization as a blatant smear. A small number of the foundation’s grantees do work to expose the dangers associated with extremism, but that work is not aimed at fearmongering. The Becker Charitable Trust categorically condemns xenophobia, racism, fearmongering and the encouragement of hatred toward Muslims or any group.