Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation



Wilmington, DE

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Assets: $4,899,702


Grantmaking Organization

Anti-Nuclear and Holocaust Education



Program Director(s):

Michelle Otterman-Emmett

Michael Otterman

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Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation (BSOF) is an anti-nuclear proliferation and Holocaust education grantmaking foundation. It partners with Hibakusha Stories, a group which presents testimonials from survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. 1

Founded by the late real estate manager Bernard Otterman and his wife Sandra, BSOF is directed by their children, Michael Otterman and Michelle Otterman-Emmett. 2


Education to Action

“Education to Action: Understanding Hiroshima & Nagasaki Today” was an event hosted and moderated by BSOF in September 2016. The conference, presented in collaboration with Hibakusha Stories, contained a series of presentations and speeches by a panel including Bernard Otterman and University of the Middle East president Ray Mastumiya. The conference focused on education about the effect of the bombing of Japan during World War II, and strategies to prevent nuclear war and nuclear proliferation in the modern world. 3

Oleander Initiative

BSOF partners with the anti-war group University of the Middle East Project on the Oleander Initiative. Named after the red oleander flowers that later bloomed in the bombing site of Hiroshima, this anti-nuclear proliferation project seeks to educate students about the dangers of nuclear war. In addition to speaking events and cultural events like calligraphy instruction and tea ceremonies, the curriculum includes visits to Nagasaki, Tokyo, and attendance at the annual bombing memorial ceremony Hiroshima. 4

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation also provides funding for the “speaker’s bureau” of Physicians for Social Responsibility. This group, which collaborates with BSOF to raise awareness of the physical effects of nuclear war, uses its funding to host workshops for legislators, influencers, and faith-based groups. Physicians for Social Responsibility also works in environmentalist advocacy, opposing natural gas extraction, carbon capture (which it linked to an increase in sex trafficking), and the use of gas stoves. 5 6

The Last Hurdle

BSOF is also a supporter of the Rashi Foundation and Gilbert Foundation’s “The Last Hurdle” program. Also known as the “Yeholot for Matriculation,” this program is a study intensive aimed at Israeli grade 10-12 students who are expected to fail one or two subjects that would prevent them from passing exams to move on to the next grade level. BSOF’s contribution focused especially on work with Bedouin students in the Negev desert region. The program serves around 1,500 students a year, and enables teacher training to implement an independent version of the same curriculum after training. 7

One Act of Courage

“One Act of Courage” is a program facilitated through the Nassau Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center aimed at students in grades 8-12. This project, which is totally funded by BSOF, is an educational workshop that aims to inspire students to acts of heroism by presenting testimony survivors of the Holocaust. 8

Treat the Pain: Rwanda

BSOF also sponsored the expansion of the international Treat the Pain program into the nation of Rwanda. This initiative is an offshoot of the American Cancer Society which seeks to expand access to pain medication in poorer countries, especially for patients suffering from cancer or HIV. In 2015, a similar program, Pain Free Hospital Initiative, was launched by Treat the Pain in Nigeria. 9


The late Bernard Otterman was co-founder of the Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation. Otterman, who died in 2017, was a Polish-born survivor of the Holocaust. He later became president of New York-based real estate company NorCor Management, and was the author of several books including Self-Deliverance: The Death and Life of Arthur Koestler. Sandra Otterman, co-founder of BSOF, is a former educator and volunteer in Massachusetts and New York. 10

Michael Otterman is the U.S. program coordinator for Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation, and a partner at NorCor Management. He is also the former communications director for the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, and a former program manager for women’s workplace rights group Catalyst. Otterman is also the author of American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond. 11 12

Michelle Otterman-Emmett is the global programs director of BSOF, and a policy officer for the Office of Digital Government in Perth, Western Australia. Prior to this she worked in research development for the University of West Australia, and was a senior program officer for the humanitarian organization CARE Australia. 13 14


  1.  “News.” BSOF. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  2. “About.” BSOF. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  3. “News.” BSOF. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  4. “Oleander Initiative.” University of the Middle East Project. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  5. “Issues.” Physicians for Social Responsibility. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  6. Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Examining Carbon Capture Through a Public Health & Environmental Justice Lens.” Youtube. April 8, 2022. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  7. Adar, A. “Yeholot for Matriculation…” Yeholot. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  8. “High School.” HMTC. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  9. “Federal Ministry of Health and American Cancer Society Launch Pain Free Hospital Initiative.” American Cancer Society. July 16, 2015. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  10. “About.” BSOF. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  11. “Michael Otterman.” Linkedin. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  12. “American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond.” Amazon. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  13. “Michelle Otterman-Emmett.” Linkedin. Accessed November 20, 2023.
  14. “About.” BSOF. Accessed November 20, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: July - June
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 2007

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $4,899,702 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2019 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $4,963,861 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $508,866 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $336,770 $2 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $206,226 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $206,454 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $197,992 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation

    Wilmington, DE 19809-0000