The Helena Rubinstein Foundation was established in 1953 by Ms. Rubinstein, who left Poland in 1889 and went on to build an international cosmetics empire that made her one of the world’s most successful businesswomen. The foundation, which is closing its doors after nearly 60 years of grant making, was dedicated to Ms. Rubinstein’s vision of improving the quality of life of women and their children. Convinced that education was vital to career development, Ms. Rubinstein made scholarship grants to encourage young women to undertake higher education and to pursue nontraditional careers. The foundation later broadened its giving to other areas including the arts, community service and health.
Since 2008, the Helena Rubinstein Foundation has supported scholarships for continuing education students at CUNY colleges who are seeking career advancement, and has signaled its ongoing support for these activities through yearly grants to the University. In 2011, the Foundation made a two million dollar gift to CUNY to endow this scholarship fund, making it possible for Continuing Education students at CUNY to access funding for their programs in perpetuity.