- Trade & Population Statistics
- Binational Foundation Grants
- Bilateral Institutions
- Cooperative Agreements
- Arizona Formalizes Support for Israel
- Government Missions to Israel
- Partners for Change
- Other Cooperative Programs
- Sister Cities & State Contacts
Exports to Israel (2017)
Percentage Change (2016-2017)
Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2017)
Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
Jewish Population (2017)
Jewish Percentage of Population
Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)
Science & Technology (1996-Present)
Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)
Total Binational Grants
Grant recipients in Arizona from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Arizona State University
Fairchild Data Corp.
University of Arizona
US Water Conservation Lab
USDA Aridland Watershed Management
USDA Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
Arizona Israel Technology Alliance - The Arizona Israel Technology Alliance (AITA) serves as the premier resource for companies and organizations in Arizona and Israel on collaborative initiatives. AITA is dedicated to promoting and strengthening business, investment, entrepreneurship, technology and trade relations between the technology communities of Arizona and Israel. AITA’s purpose is to increase and support bilateral trade and investment between Arizona and Israel, with each offering resources and opportunities across the technology industry.
In October 2017, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), the University of Arizona (UA) and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) launched a program to engage in joint research projects focusing on six technology sectors: arid lands agriculture and water; alternative energy; defense and cyber security; intelligent transportation systems; health care information technologies; and sustainable mining. To read more click here.
In March 2012, the Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 2008, a resolution bill officially titled "Supporting the State of Israel." The bill begins by recognizing "the Jewish people...in their homeland." It later hails Arizona and Israel as eclectic "trade partners, a relationship we seek to enhance," according to the bill's authors. The bill ended with a call that the Members of the House of Representatives wholeheartedly support the Israeli government's call for peace and direct talks to lead us to that peace. Read the resolution, CLICK HERE.
October 2013 - A group of seven firefighters from the Tucson travelled to Israel to shadow and see how foreign firefighters deal with tragedies. "We train for those types of things but the Israeli firefighters are doing it day in and day out so again it's a comparison of best practices," Asst. Tucson Fire Chief Mike McKendrick said. Read more abou the trip, CLICK HERE.
September 2013 - A special Southwest Border bomb squad, the Pima Regional Bomb Squad, traveled to Israel to learn from their counterparts in the Israeli Police. Sgt. Chris Rogers and Deputy John Morris represented the Pima team during their time in Israel, which was funded by the Department of Defense. "[We went to Israel] so we could get first hand training and experiences from the Israeli who have been dealing with cross border Improvised Explosive Devices for some time now," Rogers said. The quad will apply lessons learned from Israeli officers to the cross border illegal activity the Pima squad encounters along the US-Mexican border. To read more, CLICK HERE.
January 2013 - Senator Jeff Flake [R] joined a delegation of senators in a visit to Afghanistan and Israel, where they met with military officials to discuss the political, economic and security issues affecting bilateral and regional relations. In Israel, the senators met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
August 2011 - Congressman David Schweikert accompanied the 81-member Congressional delegation to Israel to learn more about regional politics and the U.S.-Israel relationship.
March 2008 - Senator John McCain joined Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on an official congressional visit to Israel to learn more about regional threats in the Middle East and ways in which the United States and Israel can collaborate on responses. While in Israel, the trio of senators met with Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who stressed the importance of dealing with the rising tide of Islamic extremism. "It is impossible to achieve peace without dealing with the fundamental issues of terrorism and extreme Islamism. A change in Gaza is essential," said Minister Livni. Read more about this high level meeting, CLICK HERE.
October 2007 - Attorney General Terry Goddard traveled to Israel as part of a legal exchange program between the National Association of Attorneys General and the Israeli government to learn more about the Israeli legal system, discuss comparative legal systems and confer on mutual issues where cooperation is needed, such as anti-terrorism initiatives, cybercrime, civil rights, criminal law and juvenile crime. "This is an excellent opportunity to talk with some of the top legal scholars in Israel, as well as meet with government officials and hear their perspectives about the current political environment," Goddard said. Learn more, CLICK HERE
January 2005 - Attorney General Terry Goddard went to Israel to learn more about that nation's legal system and about preventing and responding to terrorist acts. Goddard joined a delegation that met with several top-ranking Israeli officials, including the country's attorney general, defense minister, supreme court chief justice and the head of internal security. Topics discussed included extradition, civil rights, youth violence and cyber crime. "This will be a unique opportunity to study first-hand the ways Israel responds to terrorism and how it protects its citizens," Goddard said. Learn more, CLICK HERE.
July 1999 - Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano joined eight other state attorneys general for a trip to Israel to explore U.S.-Israel cooperation in legal affairs. The attorney general also discussed issues including youth violence, the death penalty, and extradition laws.
The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on the twin pillars of shared values and mutual interests. Given this commonality of interests and beliefs, it should not be surprising that support for Israel is one of the most pronounced and consistent foreign policy values of the American people.
It is more difficult to devise programs that capitalize on the two nations' shared values than their security interests; nevertheless, such programs do exist. In fact, these SHARED VALUE INITIATIVES cover a broad range of areas, including the environment, science and technology, education and health.
As analyst David Pollock noted, Israel is an advanced country with a population that surpassed eight million people in 2013 and a robust, dynamic economy that allowed it to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Between 2005 and 2013, Israel has represented a larger market for U.S. exports than Saudi Arabia. Although Israel's citizenry make up just 3 percent of the total region's population, Israel accounts for 25 percent of American exports in the Middle East.
"It has also been one of the top 20 foreign direct investors in the United States since 2009," Pollock confirms. He adds that "$2.25 billion of the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel comes back via Israeli purchases of U.S. military equipment - and that is just 5 percent of the total bilateral trade each year."
Today's interdependent global economy requires that trade policy be developed at the national and state level.
Many states have recognized the opportunity for realizing significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. Arizona is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.
In 2016, Arizona exported over $223 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Arizona exports to Israel have totaled more than $2.7 billion and Israel now ranks as Arizona’s 21st leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, Arizona received more than $482 million in foreign military financing (FMF) for US military aid to Israel. Some of those companies that have received funding through FMF in 2012 or past years include: Aeromaritime America, Inc. in Mesa, Asfir Inc. in Scottsdale and International Turbine Engine in Phoenix.
Israel is certainly a place where potential business and trade partners can be found. It can also be a source, however, for innovative programs and ideas for addressing problems facing the citizens of Arizona.
Israel has developed a number of pioneering education programs. For example, AICE introduced an innovative Israeli peer tutoring program to North Carolina that educators adapted for use in the United States. Now known as Reading Together, the program is used in 28 states. The program is designed to help students achieve reading fluency and is mostly used for children in second grade. The hope is that with its implementation, increasing numbers of students will perform at grade level or above.
A range of other exciting approaches to social problems like unemployment, environmental protection and drug abuse have been successfully implemented in Israel and could be imported for the benefit of Americans.
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for the benefit of Arizona is limited only by the imagination.
As the only country with free trade agreements with both the United States and the European community, Israel can act as a bridge for international trade between the United States and Europe. Moreover, because of the deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology areas, Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of the nation’s largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and McDonald’s have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.
More than 90 Arizona companies have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel, including Gilbert Engineering, White Microelectronics, Burr Brown, Ace Aviation and Litton Systems.
Gilbert Engineering has had 10 years of good experience in selling cable television connectors to Israel. According to Alan Butter, director of international sales and marketing, Gilbert had a Jewish salesperson working for them who found the opportunity to do business with Israel, and they have been selling there ever since. He added that although “the market for cable T.V. is like a roller coaster in that it goes up and down” Gilbert Engineering has been successful and has had no problems dealing with Israel.
White Microelectronics is a manufacturer of memory and micro-processing products that are used in defense oriented programs and telecommunications. They were initially attracted to Israel more than 10 years ago because of the large market for defense items and have since found it easy to do business there. International Sales Support Manager, Kate Hopeman, said “we do business internationally and Israel is one of our most successful markets. Doing business with Israel is really good for American companies because Israel makes a lot of American defense products. A product may be made and produced in Israel but the final result comes back to the U.S.”
For more than eight years, Ace Aviation Service has supplied spare ordinance parts, such as those used in hydraulic or aircraft fittings, to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Ed Lujan, General Manager of Ace Aviation, said Israel has been “a good market” and the company’s experience dealing with Israel has been very positive when compared to other countries. “I want to reiterate that this relationship is a mutual agreement and dealing with the Ministry of Defense is very advantageous.” Lujan said Israel always pays its bills on time and, unlike the Pentagon, which can take weeks to answer a question, the Israeli government responds in only one day. “I very much like dealing with Israel because they are always very prompt and the questions we ask them are always answered.”
Bob Alexander, International Marketing Manager for Litton Systems, said the Israelis are very knowledgeable about the products they are requesting. Litton Systems has been supplying the Israeli military and law enforcement agencies night vision equipment for more than 20 years. After Litton sells a product to Israel, “they come back for spares, support equipment and service,” said Alexander. Litton Systems has a consultant in Israel who offers Litton products to Israeli agencies. Alexander added that “Israel has always been a good market and I enjoy working with them.”
One good way to break into the Israeli market is through a joint venture with an Israeli company. Funding for such projects is available from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD). BIRD funds projects in 36 states and the District of Columbia and hundreds of companies including AOL, GE, BP Solar, Texas Instruments and Johnson & Johnson have benefitted from BIRD grants.
The United States and Israel established BIRD in 1977 to fund joint U.S.-Israeli teams in the development and subsequent commercialization of innovative, nondefense technological products from which both the Israeli and American company can expect to derive benefits commensurate with the investments and risks. Most grant recipients are small businesses involved with software, instrumentation, communications, medical devices and semiconductors.
Since its inception, BIRD has funded more than 800 joint high-tech R&D projects through conditional grants totaling more than $210 million. Products developed from these ventures have generated more than $8 billion in direct and indirect revenues for both countries and has helped to create an estimated 20,000 American jobs. Dr. Eli Opper, the former Israeli chair of BIRD, has said that BIRD is a strong pillar of US-Israel industrial cooperation and that the extreme success of BIRD has led Israel to adopt similar models of R&D with other countries.
At present, Fairchild Data Corporation is one of a number of Arizona company that have taken advantage of the opportunity BIRD offers to reduce the risk of new ventures and tap into the deep pool of Israeli talent. Altogether, Arizona companies have shared nearly $1 million in BIRD grants with their colleagues in Israel.
Arizona researchers are making scientific breakthroughs and developing cutting-edge technologies in joint projects with Israeli scientists thanks to support from the Binational Science Foundation (BSF). BSF was established in 1972 to promote scientific relations and cooperation between scientists from the United States and Israel. The fund supports collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific field for peaceful and non-profit purposes. Since its inception, BSF has awarded some $480 million through more than 4,000 grants in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
BSF-sponsored studies are highly successful in achieving their two main goals: strengthening the US-Israel partnership through science and promoting world-class scientific research for the benefit of the two countries and all mankind. The BSF grants help extend research resources to achieve milestones that might not otherwise be attainable; introduce novel approaches and techniques to lead American researchers in new directions; confirm, clarify and intensify research projects; and provide unmatched access to Israeli equipment, facilities and research results that help speed American scientific advances. BSF has documented no less than 75 new discoveries made possible by its research grants and counts 37 Nobel Prize and 19 Lasker Medical Award laureates among its joint partners.
Arizona scientists have shared with their counterparts in Israel more than $3 million in BSF grants awarded since 1996 alone.
Peter Killeen, a professor of psychology at Arizona State and Richard Schuster of Haifa University knew each other in graduate school. Schuster asked Killeen to review a manuscript for a study on cooperation and after he did so, they decided the project could be improved if they worked together. Killeen does more of the mathematical evaluation part of the experiment while Schuster conducts the empirical research.
Together they are trying to gain a better understanding of cooperation and competition. Through experimentation they hope to learn how rewards affect the behavior of two dominant organisms or one dominant and one subordinate. For example, Schuster puts two rats in a box. To get fed they must cooperate. The scientists then look at what reinforcements work in the situation.
As of now, the team is “testing on nonhuman subjects but once we find out more, we will test on humans,” said Killeen. “Thousands of species cooperate, but, when dealing with humans, you have promises. Nonhumans are simpler to start with because they have no language or cultural expectations.” Killeen hopes the experiment will result in “publications, another grant request and fresh ideas for human interactive cooperation.
University of Arizona astronomer Hans Rix is collaborating with Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University to study the structure of galaxies. The two scientists were already working together and “the BSF grant allowed us to continue our study,” said Rix. Maoz and Rix visit each other once a year and Rix says their collaboration has been “very productive and good.” Although the research is basic science and will not result in a tangible product, their ultimate goal is to see how the galaxy was formed.
Researchers Zvika Abramsky at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba along with Michael Rosenzweig at the University of Arizona in Tucson developed a project that would enable them to find evidence for the accuracy of mathematical models and statistical graphs of the distribution and variety of species in nature. One particular theory to be tested was whether fitness declines as the population density rises. An experiment was performed with organisms, enclosures (used to control population density) and two different habitats.
Officials from Ben-Gurion University and Arizona State University signed a collaborative research agreement in March 2015. Citing common interests between the school's research departments and demographics, the agreement affords for collaboration in the areas of cyber security, homeland security, nanotechnology, robotics, and the development of medical equipment. This agreement provides for both professional joint research, and student exchanges.
BSF-sponsored studies benefit the United States by extending research resources to achieve milestones that might not otherwise be attainable; introducing novel approaches and techniques that can lead American researchers to move in new directions; confirming, clarifying and intensifying research projects; providing access to Israeli equipment and facilities and early access to Israeli research results that speed American scientific advances. BSF documented no less than 75 new discoveries that probably would not have been possible without foundation-supported collaboration.
In 1978 the United States and Israel jointly created the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to help fund programs between US and Israeli scientists for mutually beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research into agricultural problems. Since its inception, BARD has funded more than 1,000 projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia with a total investment of more than $250 million. In 2000, an independent and external economic review of 10 BARD projects conservatively projected more than $700 million in revenue by the end of 2010, a number which far outweighs the total investment in all BARD projects over its 33 year existence and helps to continually strengthen the foundation.
Most BARD projects focus on either increasing agricultural productivity, plant and animal health or food quality and safety and have been influential in creating new technologies in drip irrigation, pesticides, fish farming, livestock, poultry, disease control and farm equipment. BARD funds projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia and at present is beginning to administer collaborative efforts between Australia, Canada and Israel as well. It is difficult to break down the impact on a state-by-state basis, but overall, BARD-sponsored research has generated sales of more than $500 million, tax revenues of more than $100 million and created more than 5,000 American jobs.
Improving the growth of infected plants and potentially trying to make a bigger corn seed are two examples of joint research projects conducted under the auspices of BARD in Arizona, where institutions have recieved grants worth almost $2.5 million since 1979.
Plants infected by diseases attributable to nematodes cost U.S. agriculture $9 billion a year. Nematodes are round worms that can be microscopic, such as the type that attack plants, or larger, like those that attack animals (including humans). Although this is a global problem, Israel and Arizona share climatic and soil similarities that make for fruitful scientific collaboration. Michael McClure, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Arizona, is working with Itzchak Spiegel of the Agriculture Research Organization in Israel on a project focusing on what happens when these worms enter a plant.
Most nematodes attack the roots, which stunts their growth and prevents the development of a healthy plant. “We want to find out what we can do to the nematodes so they won’t injure the plant, or what we can do to the plant so the nematodes won’t injure the plant,” said McClure. The two scientists have known each other for years and have worked together in the past. McClure adds that the current project has resulted in “very good and fruitful collaboration which would not have been possible without the BARD grant. BARD provides the opportunity to conduct collaborative work in Israel and the U.S. By working on the same ideas we can pool our ideas and research.”
The University of Arizona’s Brian Larkins is collaborating with Gideon Grafi of the Department of Plant Genetics at the Weizmann Institute in Israel to study cell cycle regulation in the development of maize seeds. Their research focuses on how much protein and starch are made in the corn seed and how that affects crop yield. This grant was awarded in 1997, so the team is still in the early stages of their research. One of the first steps involves putting genes into single cells that will then grow into whole plants. This process alone takes one year. “We are trying to make bigger seeds,” said Larkins. Grafi had been a postdoctoral student of Larkins at Arizona and, according to Larkins, the BARD grant has helped Grafi get started in Israel and has afforded them the opportunity to continue working together.
Arizona, one of the country’s largest producers of cotton (total U.S. production exceeds $5 billion a year), also benefits from BARD research done outside of the state. Joint research resulting from a BARD grant has shaped the way cotton is grown today. BARD grantees from Israel and Mississippi developed and tested a computer model that would reduce the amount of water and fertilizer cotton farmers need to produce their crops. Their research resulted in an invention called COTMOD, which describes how water, soil, fertilizer and farming practices affect cotton production. The model can also be expanded to predict the fate of pesticides and environmental contaminations as well. The USDA combined this model with two others and provides it, free of charge, to American farmers and agricultural consultants. By advising growers, such as those in Arizona, on optimal irrigation and fertilization strategies, the system can save farmers an average of about $60 per acre, or about $48 per bale.
Other BARD grantees have helped pecan growers all over the American Southwest. Once farmers were plagued by the premature death, stunted growth and low yields of pecan trees, but researchers from Texas A&M and the Israeli Agricultural Research Organization found that the problem was that soil permeability aggravated the effects of salinity. They developed a series of computerized models, irrigation schedules and recommendations that will prevent such problems in the future. They also developed methods to save the 68,000 acres of pecan trees already planted on inappropriate soils in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
BARD-supported scientists have also developed a more effective technique for packaging fresh fruits — wrapping each fruit in thin, high-density plastic films. This seal prolongs the marketability of the fruit, prevents weight loss and shrinkage 5 to 10 times better than wax, virtually eliminates the need for expensive refrigeration and controls many disfiguring blemishes such as red-blotch in lemons and stem-end rind breakdown in oranges, all without toxic additives. Plastic wrap also reduces water loss, injury and decay in sweet corn, peaches, nectarines and melon. This system is highly useful and attractive for exports as the film can easily be printed with brand name advertising. Studies have shown that this technique could drop the per carton cost of shipping perishable fruits drastically. Commercial plants are already operating in Arizona, California, Israel and elsewhere.
A team of agricultural economists from the University of Maryland and the University of California found that the economic benefits of just five projects — related to cotton, pecans and solarization — exceeded all U.S. investment in BARD. New projects promote increased quantity and improved quality of agricultural produce.
In 1998, the Negev Foundation met with the Hopi Indian Nation in Arizona to investigate ways to apply desert farming techniques developed at the Ramat Negev AgroResearch Center, a regional government facility in Israel. The foundation facilitated between the Hopi leadership, University of Arizona Faculty of Agriculture and representatives of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Today, more than a decade later, Hopi farmers continue to implement new desert agricultural methods and work directly with extension service professionals from the University of Arizona in Tuscon who specialize in desert/arid lands agricultural methods. For more information, CLICK HERE.
In September 2009, the University of Arizona's Water Resources Research Center and Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy joined to host a panel discussion as part of their "Arizona-Israel-Palestinian Water Management & Policy Workshop". The three day event brought together experts and researchers from all three regions to help identify water management challenges in semi-arad climates and to come up with possible solutions. The goal of the workshop was to focus on the common problems that affect these areas and how scientists from Arizona, Israel and Palestine can work together to bridge their problems. Read more about the workshop, CLICK HERE.
The University of Arizona is a member of the International Arid Lands Consortium, a Congress-funded independent, nonprofit organization established in 1989 that conducts research, develops applications in arid and semiarid land technologies, and applies its projects in countries around the world including the U.S. and Israel.
In October 2017, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), the University of Arizona (UA) and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) launched a program to engage in joint research projects focusing on six technology sectors: arid lands agriculture and water; alternative energy; defense and cyber security; intelligent transportation systems; health care information technologies; and sustainable mining.
UJA Partnership 2000 Communities
Jewish Community Relations Council
32 West Coolidge
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Jewish Federation Greater Phoenix
12701 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 201
Scottsdale, AZ 85254-5453
Tel. 480-634 4900
Jewish Federation Of South Arizona
3822 E River Rd #100
Tucson, AZ 857186665
Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona
3822 East River Rd., #100
Tucson, AZ 85718