At the Institute of International Education's international awards dinner on October 4, 2011, IIE will present its IIE will present its Women’s Global Leadership Award to philanthropist Angelica Berrie, in recognition her commitment to supporting future leaders and advancing interfaith understanding worldwide.
She has been instrumental in establishing the Pope John Paul II Center for Interreligious Studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. This important interfaith initiative, implemented in partnership with IIE, provides the next generation of global religious leaders with a comprehensive understanding of and dedication to interfaith issues. It includes support for the Berrie Fellows Program, which provides graduate fellowships for interreligious study, the work of the Center’s director, interfaith leader Rabbi Jack Bemporad, and a visiting lectureship in interreligious studies. In addition, Ms. Berrie’s philanthropy supports an Israel Study Tour for the Fellows and facilitates an annual interfaith lecture by prestigious Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant leaders.
Angelica Berrie is President of The Russell Berrie Foundation, which has made transformational gifts to a wide range of causes and organizations. In addition to the Interfaith Fellowships to the Pope John Paul II Center for Inter-Religious Studies in St. Thomas Aquinas University at the Angelicum, Rome, the Foundation has funded the following work: Diabetes Care and Research at The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Columbia University; Nanotechnology Research at The Russ Berrie Nanotechnology Institute in Technion University, Israel; Ambulatory Care at the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Humanistic Care, Englewood Hospital in New Jersey; Cancer Care at the Sister Patricia Lynch Regional Cancer Care Center, Holy Name Hospital in New Jersey; Arts and Culture at the Russ Berrie Hall in the Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, New Jersey and the Angelica and Russ Berrie Performing Arts Center in Ramapo College, New Jersey; Salesmanship at the Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales in William Paterson University, New Jersey; The Russ Berrie Senior Home for Jewish Living at Rockleigh, New Jersey; Leadership Development with The Berrie Fellows Program through the UJA of Northern New Jersey.
Angelica currently serves as Board Chair of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, a pluralistic center of study in Jerusalem. She Chairs the Board of the Center for Inter-Religious Understanding in New Jersey.
She helped found Gilda's Club of Northern New Jersey and became Board Chair of Gilda's Club Worldwide, a free social and emotional support network of clubhouses for families living with cancer across North America.
She is on the Board of the Joint Distribution Committee and Vice-President of Ofanim, a nonprofit organization in Israel whose mission is to deliver high-quality supplemental education to children in the periphery using mobile classrooms.
After the death of her husband, New Jersey sales entrepreneur and philanthropist, Russell Berrie, Angelica assumed the role of Vice-Chair and C.E.O. of Russ Berrie & Co., a global gift company known for its Teddy bears and RUSS Trolls.
She is currently CEO of Kate's Paperie, an iconic New York paper specialty retailer; a partner in Boston International, a wholesale gift company specializing in paper party goods, and Chairman of Global Nomad, an experiential travel design company based in Hong Kong.
Other adventurous pursuits include skydiving and rappelling.
Angelica has been a featured speaker at philanthropy conferences, including the Jewish Funders Network West Coast Series: “Inside the Philanthropist’s Studio”; the University of Oklahoma’s Women’s Philanthropy Network Symposium on Friends, Family and Philanthropy in Tulsa, Oklahoma; The 2011 Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s 22nd Annual Symposium in Chicago on Women Worldwide: Leading through Philanthropy; Jewish Funders Network Conference in Philadelphia; The Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s New York Times Knowledge Network course on Women and Philanthropy-The Time is Now; The Philanthropic Network Forum in San Francisco; TPI’s 20th year Symposium for Donors and Corporate Leaders in Boston; and the CMS Philanthropy Conference in Florida.
Angelica lives in Edgewater, New Jersey.