Temple Beth El Kitchen Serving the Community

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is pleased to have awarded a grant to Temple Beth El, Huntington, NY, to help fund a new, state-of-the-art kitchen that will better meet the growing nutritional needs of the Huntington community.

Throughout the year, Temple Beth El provides sustenance and respite to those in need through various programs such as:
• Project HOPE (Helping Other People Eat)
• H.I.H.I. (Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative)
• Thanksgiving Dinner, Spaghetti Dinner and Summer Barbeque
• Community Food Pantry

Rabbi Jeffrey Clopper states, “we believe in the Jewish Tradition of Tikkun Olam, the moral obligation to help make the world a better place.” “We are very thankful to be recognized by The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation for their generous grant so we can continue to ‘feed the hungry’ and help make a positive difference in our community.”

To learn more about Temple Beth El, click here


Smile Farms Changing Lives

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is proud to support Smile Farms, the signature philanthropic partner of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. Created by Jim McCann, Founder and Chairman, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. and the McCann Family, Smile Farms is a leader in creating solutions for the problem of unemployment among young adults and adults with developmental disabilities. Smile Farms has grown from one campus employing 30 people to 8 campuses employing over 140 people. Plants, flowers and fresh produce from Smile Farms locations are sold in a variety of venues in the communities where campuses are located; are used in partner organizations’ kitchens; and are donated to local nonprofits serving people in need.

Peter J. Klein, President, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, says “by engaging young adults and adults with disabilities with an employment opportunity that not only offers them skills and a satisfying job, but ultimately, feeding those in need, Smile Farms has a created a winning formula. The Foundation is pleased to support their important mission.”

In collaboration with Northwell Health, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Skills Unlimited, and FREE, a Mobile Farmers Market also serves underserved populations across Long Island with Smile Farms produce. It is the only Mobile Market on Long Island enrolled in the NYS Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). For more information about Smile Farms, visit


2019 Friedlander Upstanders Announced

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation and The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) annually honor middle school, high school and college students on Long Island who confront intolerance, prejudice or other forms of social injustice. The 9th Annual Friedlander Upstander Award, presented by HMTC and the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, in conjunction with the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, is awarded to Nassau and Suffolk middle and high school students who have acted as Upstanders against bullying or intolerance in any of its forms. This year 115 applications were received from high school and middle school students from across Long Island – an all-time record. The winners of the $2,500 scholarships are featured in the photo below.

For more information, call (516) 571-8040, visit HMTC’s website,, or find them on social media at and


Meet The Imagine Awards Arts & Culture Finalists

One of the most exciting parts of the Long Island Imagine Awards nonprofit awards competition are the finalist videos that are debuted live at the event. Foundation President Peter J. Klein introduces the finalists in The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts & Culture Award category. Congratulations to Bay Street Theater who was awarded the $5,000 grant at the ceremony on April 30, 2019. Over 450 of Long Island’s top nonprofit and corporate leaders were in attendance.

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts & Culture Finalists

• Bay Street Theater – WINNER
• Gold Coast Arts Center
• Hofstra University Museum of Art
• Nassau County Museum of Art

Click here to view The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts & Culture finalist videos

Click here to view the winner’s videos for social impact, innovation, rising star and leadership excellence


Celebrating LI’s Nonprofits

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is proud to continue to support the 7th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 6-9:30pm at the Crest Hollow Country Club, Woodbury, NY.  Over 450 of the region’s top nonprofit executives, volunteers and corporate sponsors attended this gala event which was created to offer formal acknowledgement to some of Long Island’s most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations.

Over 170 nonprofit applications were submitted to win $5,000 grants in each of five categories: Innovation, Leadership Excellence, Rising Star, Social Impact and Arts and Culture. Of this pool of worthy applicants, 20 were selected as finalists and one in each category as well as a Fan Favorite was awarded the grant LIVE at the awards ceremony. The winners are:

Cerini & Associates Social Impact Award

  • Island Harvest Food Bank

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts & Culture Award

  • Bay Street Theater

Certilman Balin Leadership Excellence Award

  • Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman, Executive Director & CEO, Tiegerman

Empire National Bank Innovation Award

  • Paws of War

Vanguard Insurance Agency Rising Star Award

  • Helping Makes U Happy, Inc.

Nerds That Care Fan Favorite Award

  • Helping Makes U Happy, Inc.

Applications for the April 28, 2020 gala will open early September 2019. For more information on the winners visit


The W Connection

The W Connection was created by widows to equip other widows with the knowledge and skills they will need to rebuild their lives so they become and/or remain financially independent and lead fulfilling and productive lives after the loss of their spouses. The W Connection’s programs and services are based in the fact that widows can best help other widows navigate the many challenges they face while dealing with their grief by getting them Connected, Encouraged, Educated and Empowered to adapt to the new realities created by their loss.

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is proud to support The W Connection with a grant that has made possible the build out of their ONLINE PORTAL which offers informational resources to widows across the United States. There are over 11 million widows in the United States and the portal is a step to supporting every widow that needs our help. The ONLINE PORTAL allows widows to GET ENCOURAGED from other widows via shared stories of hope and coping strategies. It also allows widows to GET EDUCATED via sharing of resources important to widows like financial, legal, health and wellness and family support information. For more information visit


2018 Reflections

In 2018, the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation was able to provide over $900,000 to over 50 nonprofits. The scope of support we’ve offered spanned scholarship awards for student leaders, disability employment awareness, science and learning, tolerance, education and arts and culture. Each project we supported shared a common thread – the spirit of our grantor – with a mindfulness towards impact, effectiveness and sustainability.

We enjoy a partnership with our grantees, enabling us to track the progress of our support and to see the change made possible by investing in a cause. The needle doesn’t move on its own however, so therefore we want to acknowledge the hardworking staff of these nonprofit agencies, who, without fanfare or fluff, work tirelessly to bring their visions to reality and affect change for the communities they serve.

We hope you will be inspired to volunteer or donate to a worthy nonprofit in 2019 as what you get back is far greater than one can ever give.


National Disabilities Employment Awareness Champion Award

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, in partnership with The Corporate Source, a Garden City-based nonprofit that creates employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, honored James Denson, a paralegal with disabilities who helps disabled clients with their Social Security benefit appeals, with the 2nd Annual National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Champion Award.  Recognizing the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce, The Corporate Source invited prominent Long Island businesses to nominate an employee with a disability who they believed should be chosen as a NDEAM Champion among Long Island employers.

Denson, a Hempstead resident, who has cerebral palsy and overcame stuttering, was nominated for the distinction by Jeffrey Seigel, executive director of Nassau Suffolk Law Services, where Denson has worked for 27 years.  Seigel praised his devotion to the work he does with clients, some of whom have psychiatric impairments.

Judges selected Denson from a pool of 10 applicants as a testament to his accomplishments, tenure and tenacity. For more information click here

“The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation supports the work of the work of The Corporate Source for providing dignity through employment opportunities to those who might otherwise be marginalized for a disability,” said foundation President Peter J. Klein.


“The Claire Award” College Scholarships Presented to YMCA Camp Counselors

Foundation President Peter J. Klein recently presented “The Claire Award,”  $2,500 in college scholarships, to three Huntington YMCA camp counselors—Dan Miele, Shea Naughton and Mackenzie Maloney in recognition of their outstanding leadership qualities.  “The Claire Award” recognizes Long Islanders who have exemplified Claire Friedlander’s legacy of doing good deeds for others, showing kindness to all, and instilling hope in the midst of difficulty. “The foundation proudly partners with the YMCA on programming that focuses on mentorship and leadership skills to shape the leaders of tomorrow,” said Klein.  “It’s our pleasure to see them go off to higher education with this recognition and extra funding.”

“These outstanding young leaders continue embody Claire’s legacy by showering others with overwhelming compassion and putting the needs of campers before their own,” said Eileen Knauer, Chief Operating Officer at the YMCA of Long Island. “We cannot think of any three individuals more deserving for this award.”

The three counselors were chosen out of 106 personnel who were nominated by a review committee made up of YMCA leadership staff. Each nominee was judged on their efforts to go “above and beyond the call of duty” as camp counselors and for the transformational experience they create for fellow staff and campers alike.

The award ceremony was held at the Huntington YMCA in Huntington, N.Y. on Thursday, August 16, 2018, prior to the start of college. For more information click here.


Exciting Progress at Cold Spring Harbor Lab Genome Center

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation’s donation of $200,000 for a new Illumina NextSeq 500 at Cold Spring Harbor Lab’s Genome Center has helped advance many exciting research projects in recent months. Technological advances have made genomic approaches critical for understanding basic biological processes so that genomic research now impacts all areas of life science research.  One of the most widely used shared facilities is the CSHL Genome Center, home to the latest in both short and long read sequencing technology.  Some of the projects made possible are:

Data Fusion to Discover subtypes of Bipolar Neurons in the Retina and to Characterize Similarities between Human and Mouse Midbrain Development:  This collaborative project between CSHL labs led by CSHL Professors Jessie Gillis and Josh Huang aims to quantify the degree to which cell types replicate across datasets to enable rapid identification of clusters of high similarity.

Evaluating Racial Differences in Gastrointestinal Cancer Biology:  A collaboration between CSHL’s Richard McCombie, Stony Brook University’s Ellen Li and SUNY Downstate’s Laura Martello-Rooney is accessing clinical samples from disparate populations from both Stony Brook and Downstate to reveal genetic markers to pinpoint which individuals will develop colon cancer and, how they will respond to conventional and/or novel treatments.

Defining Changes in Gene Regulation in Pancreatic Cancer: This is a collaboration between CSHL’s Cancer Institute Director, David Tuveson and Dr. Gerardo MacKenzie’s lab at Stony Brook.  It uses the Tuveson lab’s innovative organoids (hollow spheres of cells cultured from tumors) testing system to quickly and accurately predict how patients with pancreatic cancer will respond to a variety of treatments.

Gene Regulatory Mechanisms Underlying Sex Differences in Brain Development and Psychiatric Disease:  Many psychiatric conditions display a sex bias in incidence, onset, or symptoms.  The underlying reasons for these sex differences are still obscure so CSHL’s Professor Jessica Tollkuhn is focused on discovering which mechanisms of gene regulation in sex‐specific processes may contribute to sexual dimorphisms in mental illness, particularly in Autism.

Discovery of a Peptide that shrinks mouse models of Leukemia by 80% Breast and Colon Cancers: Graduate student Yali Xu in Professor Chris Vakoc’s lab at CSHL screened thousands of leukemia and normal blood cells using the NextSeq 500 and discovered a way to attack a high-profile cancer target which is involved in numerous life functions (without it, organisms couldn’t survive).  They found that they could use a small peptide decoy to trick the target into believing it had attached to the Peptide when, in reality, it hit the equivalent of a molecular dead end.

Peter J. Klein, President, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, reflects on funding this project in 2016  when he and his wife Irene, Vice-President of the Foundation, first attended an event at the Lab, they knew “it was a special place with highly engaged, brilliant folks doing impassioned work,” and they wanted to help.  “Seeing the scientific progress this gene sequencer has made possible is thrilling.  The Foundation is pleased to support the life-changing research at CSHL.”

Click here for more information.