Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation has made a grant to assist the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry provide food assistance to anyone in need. Established in March of 1984, the members of seven church congregations within Smithtown saw a need to provide food to residents who could not afford to feed their families. This is an ecumenical project that depends on the parishioners of all seven churches to work together as one in order to provide food and to staff the pantry on a rotating basis. Their motto is “to aid residents in an Emergency Food Crisis.”

The Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry continued to make an impact, even when they had to shut down at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  They reached out directly to their clients via phone, email and personal visits to distribute grocery gift cards until they could return to limited hours. They are currently reorganizing and upgrading the facility to enable clients to “shop” in a Covid-safe way rather than receiving prepacked bags.

“It’s important for the foundation to recognize and support the important efforts of the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry, especially during this time of crisis,” said foundation president Peter J. Klein.”  Food insecurity is a troubling by-product of the pandemic and we are proud to assist the pantry as upgrade their facilities to better distribute groceries to those in need,” said Klein.

For more information or to make a donation visit   


Dedication of new kitchen facility at Temple Beth El

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation was pleased to make a grant to assist Temple Beth El, located in Huntington, NY, with a long-planned kitchen renovation project that will enable them to provide meals for the food insecure in the Huntington Community.  Temple Beth El recently dedicated the new facility that will make a positive impact on their community outreach.

 “Temple Beth El’s commitment to aiding the poor and feeding our neighbors is a mission The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation will stand behind,” said foundation President Peter J. Klein.  “It was our pleasure to help them expand their good work within the community.”

On the day of the dedication, Temple Beth El volunteers were busy preparing meals for seniors living in Paumanok Village as well as families associated with Tri-CYA.

For more information visit


Food Insecurity Grant

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is pleased to have provided funding for a Food Insecurity Grant to Baruch College to assist students experiencing food insecurity issues. This grant enabled Baruch to increase the food services it currently provided and created new opportunities for students in need of food.  The plan included providing additional vouchers for existing program participants as well as outreach to students who are either unaware that help exists, or have been reluctant to come forward to seek food help they need.   

“This additional support to Baruch’s Food Insecurity program will make a difference in their students’ ability to remain in school and achieve their academic and professional goals,” said foundation president Peter J. Klein.  “We are proud to help Baruch students have the ability to nourish their bodies and their minds, which is key for educational success.”

Baruch College provides an inclusive, transformational education in the arts and sciences, business, and public and international affairs to students from New York and around the world and creates new knowledge through scholarship and research. A Baruch education is a financially accessible and powerful catalyst for the social, cultural, and economic mobility of students and a strong foundation for lifelong learning and community impact. Their distinguished undergraduate and graduate academic programs offer extraordinary value.  Their diverse and outstanding faculty and staff are themselves lifelong learners, who continue to develop their expertise as teachers and administrators, augment their success as scholars and practitioners and exercise their talent as creators of art and facilitators of student success. 

For more information visit


11th Annual Upstander Award Applications Open

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, in partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Tolerance Center (HMTC,) annually award $5,000 education scholarships to Nassau and Suffolk County students who have shown themselves to be Upstanders against intolerance in all of its forms. The student’s action as an Upstander could be one of intervention or prevention, great or small.

“We are proud to sponsor the Upstander Award which honors the life of our founder Claire Friedlander and embodies her legacy of recognizing those who make the often-difficult decision to take a stand against intolerance and hatred,” said foundation President Peter J. Klein.

HMTC defines an Upstander as a person who stands up for others, and does not allow bigotry, hatred or intolerance to happen without intercession.

To Apply:

• Teachers: Must Write a brief nomination letter about what makes your student/students Upstanders.

• Students: Must Write a 500-word essay on what makes you an Upstander using the essay prompt: I have demonstrated the actions of an Upstander by…

The ideal student nominated for this award:

  • Is committed to making our world a better place by demonstrating that they are not bystanders, but Upstanders who have taken action on behalf of another against prejudice, hatred or indifference;
  • Knows the importance of guarding the rights and safety of others, and exemplifies this through their daily actions;
  • Believes in HMTC’s underlying message that every individual can make a difference in their schools and communities, and knows that no act is too small to inspire change.
  • Is currently in middle school or high school (6th-12th grade), and lives in Nassau or Suffolk County, Long Island, NY.

Application MUST include a nominating letter from any teacher, guidance counselor, community member, community leader, or peer who has knowledge of a student who has acted as an Upstander may nominate that student for the Friedlander Upstander Award.

The deadline for applications for the 2021 Friedlander Upstander Awards is April 14, 2021. Click here for a link to apply and for more information.


The Vanderbilt Museum – A Local Treasure

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is pleased to provide a grant to The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum located in Centerport, NY. The Museum is a unique combination of mansion, marine and natural history museum, planetarium, and park that is dedicated to the education and enjoyment of the people of Long Island and beyond.

They achieve their mission through the thoughtful preservation, interpretation, and enhancement of the Eagle’s Nest estate as an informal educational facility. Many exhibition and program themes focus upon Long Island’s Gold Coast era. Programs also concentrate on William K. Vanderbilt II’s desire that his marine, natural history, and ethnographic collections promote appreciation and understanding of the marvelous diversity of life, other cultures, and scientific knowledge. Planetarium programming, more specifically, focuses on scientific knowledge and seeks to capture Mr. Vanderbilt’s sense of adventure and exploration through state-of-the-art entertainment.

Foundation President Peter J. Klein said “by supporting the Vanderbilt Museum, we are able to assist them with their operations, creation of virtual education programs, and the distribution of digital content in the form of significant pieces from the Museum’s collections. It’s important to us to provide funding during this most challenging time because the museum does so much for the local community. It really is an important piece of local history.”

For more information visit


Sustaining History: Walt Whitman Birthplace Association

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation recognizes the importance of local cultural landmarks and is pleased to support the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA.) Their mission is to preserve and promote the life and legacy of Walt Whitman, 1819-1891, author of the acclaimed book of poetry, “Leaves of Grass,” published in 1855.   The Whitman Birthplace attracts international scholars, historians, poets, authors, students, and individuals that feel a connection to Whitman and his writing.  WWBA 2020 Poet in Residence Juan Felipe Herrera Reads “Social Distancing” Circle Poem 

The 2020 Friedlander grant, assisted the WWBA in remaining sustainable during the Covid-19 pandemic and ultimately enabled the WWBA to achieve an important goal of expanding their global presence for the historic site in Huntington, Long Island, where Walt was born in 1819, 201 years ago.  By affording the WWBA to have the resources to provide their poetic and scholarly events in a virtual setting, they were able to engage talented poets from around the world.  In addition, this program will move forward into 2021 featuring readings from poets currently living in England and Ireland as part of their signature series Walking With Whitman. This series has always brought both local and international poets to the Birthplace Interpretive Center stage, however now they will connect with a diverse community of poets directly in their homes. 

“The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is pleased to support the educational and cultural efforts of the WWBA,” said Foundation President Peter J. Klein. “Assisting them in sustaining their international programming is very rewarding but it is especially significant to help them generate and expand their educational content for students.”

The Foundation support was also a catalyst for their 2020 fundraising endeavor, “The Giving Campaign,” based on Walt’s words, “When I give, I give myself.”   Due to Covid challenges, the WWBA lost one third of their operating budget. The Foundation’s support inspired the Trustees to achieve new fundraising goals to fill this gap.  To learn more about the WWBA or to make a donation visit   the WWBA website.


Huntington Hospital Covid Support

Claire Friedlander Family Foundation’s most recent grant to Huntington Hospital supported the work of their courageous frontline caregivers and aggressive COVID-19 response.

Huntington Hospital is an essential resource for the community as they utilize grants to expand telemedicine programs to treat seniors and immunocompromised individuals who are homebound and provide gravely ill isolated patients a way to connect with loved ones through technology. In addition, funding aids their ability to purchase PPE, ventilators, HEPA filters, dialysis machines, as well as expanding their capability to create negative pressure rooms and increase access to oxygen farms. Funding is also provided for novel research at the Feinstein Institute that provides critical knowledge of disease and benefits patients and thought leaders around the globe.

“It is important to the foundation to continue to provide financial support to Huntington Hospital that make lasting and meaningful impacts on their ability to sustain momentum during the pandemic,” said Claire Friedlander Family Foundation President Peter J. Klein.”

For more information visit Huntington Hospital Northwell Health


Retinal Imaging At The Dolan Family Health Center

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation recognizes and appreciates the significant efforts of the Northwell Health Dolan Family Health Center, Greenlawn, NY, which provides comprehensive medical care for thousands of men, women and children each year. For more than 25 years, the Dolan Family Health Center has been at the intersection of innovation, excellence and community commitment.

The Dolan Center endeavors to provide comprehensive diabetes care as part of their goal to protect, promote, and maintain the health and general well-being of all of their patients. One of the many complications individuals experience from this chronic disease is diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can cause vision loss and blindness. The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation’s support enabled the Dolan Family Health Center to purchase a Topcon tabletop retinal camera to serve their patients who suffer with diabetes.

“Upon learning that historically the Dolan Center has seen poor compliance with completion of ophthalmology referrals, leaving diabetic patients at risk for eye disease, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation proudly provided a grant to make it possible for Dolan Center patients to have access to the diabetic retinal screening process,” said Foundation President Peter J. Klein. “It’s important to us to work with Northwell Health Huntington Hospital and the Dolan Center to stay at the forefront of technology and innovation when it comes to patient care.”

Click here to learn more about the Dolan Family Health Center


A Legacy Agent

Claire Friedlander Family Foundation President Peter J. Klein’s interview with Worth explains what it means to be “a legacy agent” and how his work with Claire Friedlander evolved into the foundation we have today.

Click here to view the article


“Wearing is Caring” Public Health Initiative

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is pleased to support the “Wearing is Caring” public health awareness campaign designed to raise awareness of health care disparities in underserved communities, the need for social distancing, and the importance of wearing face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. A project of the Henry Schein Cares Foundation (HSCF), in partnership with The UPS Foundation, the campaign is aligned with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that encourages the use of cotton or cloth face coverings in public spaces to reduce community spread.

Through the “Wearing is Caring” campaign, Henry Schein and its partners will continue to identify and work with additional organizations to further expand public awareness around health care disparities in underserved communities, the importance of oral health care, and the need for social distancing and wearing of face coverings.

“It’s important to the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation that we continue our support of HSCF commitment to the betterment and advocacy of public health, wellness and health equality,” said Peter J. Klein, Foundation President.

To learn more about “Wearing is Caring” please visit