The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was a profound event in world and Jewish history. Since then, Israelis have made enormous strides in building a vibrant, strong, and just society. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is committed to contributing to the continued development and security of Israel, both for the country's benefit and for humanity in general.

Since the Israel Program began in 2010, the Trust has committed over $68 million dollars to projects and organizations in Israel.

The Trust’s grantmaking in Israel will invest in the country’s leading institutions and critical initiatives toward the goal of strengthening Israel as a successful, secure and vital nation.  The Trust’s primary funding areas for the Israel Program are:

  • Strengthening Israel’s Leadership in Scientific, Technological, and Medical Research by:
    • Supporting scientific research programs that use charitable dollars to help scientists make significant gains in medicine, biology, energy, technology, and agriculture; and
    • Strengthening support for career paths for Israeli scientists to support the next generation of scientific programs, including postdoctoral research in the sciences and hospital-based research in medicine.
  • Strengthening Healthcare Services and Preparedness by:
    • Supporting construction and development of healthcare facilities in underserved areas of Israel;
    • Enhancing medical trauma and disaster relief services; and
    • Using e-health strategies to bring advanced health services to communities in Israel’s periphery communities.
  • Strengthening Israel’s Standing in the World by:
    • Increasing Israel’s ability to communicate its position and the realities of the Middle East to key audiences; and
    • Facilitating firsthand experience of Israeli life and culture by key audiences.
  • Rapid Response and Opportunities Fund to:
    • Meet unique needs and emergency situations.

The Trust is interested in opportunities that meet these strategic goals, and generally initiates the application process by invitation. Proposals are commissioned and developed with the help of Israel Program staff. Recommended grants are typically a mix of single and multi-year commitments, as appropriate to the project under consideration.