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For three decades, the Helen Bader Foundation and now Bader Philanthropies has made major gifts in support of groundbreaking initiatives that have a deep meaningful connection to Dr. Alfred and Isabel Bader; Helen Daniels Bader and the family.

Photo Credit: Queen’s University

Alfred Bader enrolled as a student at Queen’s University in the fall of 1941. In six years, Dr. Bader earned three degrees that set him on a course to become a renowned chemist, art collector and philanthropist. In addition, he received an honorary degree in 1986.

Dr. Bader’s commitment to Queen’s University came in the form of an unprecedented donation of 17th century Dutch paintings and four Rembrandts; the Herstmonceux Castle in England, which is home to the University’s Bader International Study Centre; and philanthropy which totals over $44 million (USD) which does not include Alfred and Isabel’s personal philanthropy.

In 2020, Bader Philanthropies made its largest grant award – $40 million (USD) – to Queen’s University to revitalize and expand the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Agnes) and create a home for the Bader art collection.

The philanthropic investment will create one of the largest university art museums in Canada and will help Queen’s researchers and students play a fundamental role in enabling societies to better understand, protect and experience the world’s artistic and cultural treasures.

The revitalized Agnes will be the hub for the presentation, research, and study of visual arts on campus. The facility will include the Art Centre, as well as the homes for the graduate program in Art Conservation, and the Art History undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, the Foundation is supporting the creation of a dedicated outdoor gathering space modelled after an Ojibway round house and the endowing of a full-time permanent curator of Indigenous arts and culture at the Agnes.

Photo Credit: Milwaukee Jewish Day School

In 2020, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation created the Helen Daniels Bader Jewish Education Fund, the largest permanent endowment for Jewish education in Wisconsin. The $12 million endowment extends the Helen Bader Scholarship Fund, which had received $500,000 annual donations from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. since 1992. The endowment will make 30 percent more funds available for six Jewish schools; in the 2020-2021 school year, the amount distributed to schools exceeded $675,000.

The funds are no longer limited to tuition assistance, as previously required; schools may use the monies for other initiatives such as teacher benefits, updating facilities, materials for classes, and more. More than 660 students are currently enrolled across the six schools: Bader Hillel Academy, Bader Hillel High, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, Torah Academy of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study and Yeshiva Elementary School.

“Investment into Jewish education with this type of endowment is unique for a community our size,” said Miryam Rosenzweig, Milwaukee Jewish Federation president and CEO. “A child’s education is a long-term investment, and with the Helen Daniels Bader Jewish Education Fund, we can ensure cost is not a reason families have to turn away from our schools.”