Alabama and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2015)
| Percentage Change (2014-2015)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2015)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
|Jewish Population (2014)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by Alabama and Israel
Grant recipients in
Alabama from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Tennessee Valley Authority
University of Alabama
University of South Alabama
of Commerce Southeast Division -
based in Atlanta, the Southeast Division of the AICC was established
in 1992 to help Israeli businesses explore new markets and develop business
relationships with companies in Georgia as well as Alabama, Mississippi,
North and South Carolina and Tennessee. AICC-SD boasts over 450 members
today and has earned the reputation as one of the most successful and
effective bi-national business organizations in the United States. Since
its founding, AICC-SD has been involved in completed transactions valued
at over $700 million, thereby contributing to the economies of both
Israel and the Southeastern United States. To learn more about the AICC
Southeast Division, CLICK
Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"
On Governor Fob James, Jr.'s October 1997 trade
mission to Israel, he signed a formal "memorandum of intent"
agreement to improve trade relations, encourage investments and technology
transfers and promote the exchange of ideas and company representatives,
engineers, scientists and other specialists between Israel and Alabama. As of 1997, Alabama has a
trade representative in Israel. To read the text of this memorandum, CLICK
Alabama Government Missions to Israel
August 2011 - Congressman Mo Brooks
joined the policy-geared bipartisan trip to Israel to meet with top
officials. Their trip was funded by the American Israel Educational
Foundation. To learn more, CLICK
September 2005 - Alabama House Speaker Seth Hammett and Neal Wade, director of the
Alabama Development Office, led a trade and jobs mission to Israel that
had been originally scheduled for Governor Bob Riley, though Gov. Riley
could not attend due to outstanding circumstances regarding relief efforts
after Hurricane Katrina. The goal of the mission was help foster economic
development and trade between Israel and Alabama and, in that vein,
the mission toured commercial centers in Tel Aviv, an industrial park
in Rosh Ha'Ayin and a business incubator site in the Galilee. Though
Gov. Riley was unable to attend, he was excited about the possibilities
that this mission created. "This is a great opportunity to create
new jobs for Alabamians," Governor Riley said. "Our message
is that Alabama is open for business and can offer much to Israeli industries
and high-tech companies." To read the original press release, CLICK
October 1997 - Governor Fob James, Jr. led a trade
mission to Israel and signed a formal "memorandum of intent"
agreement to improve trade relations, encourage investments and technology
transfers and promote the exchange of ideas and company representatives,
engineers, scientists and other specialists. Alabama also now has a
trade representative in Israel. Read the text of this memorandum, CLICK
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
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. Alabama is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, Alabama exported over $242,202,918.00 worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Alabama exports to
Israel have totaled more than $828,932,041.00 and Israel now ranks as Alabama’s
9th leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, Alabama received more than
$4,950,041.41 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: Vector Hawk Aerospace, LLC in Daleville and A-P-T Research, Inc in Huntsville..
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
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
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for
the benefit of Alabama is limited only by the imagination.
Profit From Business With Israel
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 McDonalds
have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.
Alabama Governor Fob James led a week long 26-delegate
trade mission to Israel in October 1997 to join what he labeled a
handful of states that already recognize the best opportunities for trade
and economic development with Israel. Alabama, nicknamed the cotton
state, serves as the source of industrial equipment for Israeli cotton
gins. The state has also begun to provide various kinds of equipment in
railroad maintenance, material handling and industrial waste-removal
At least 45 Alabama companies have
discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel,
including Windustrial, EBSCO, VME Microsystems and
Guzzler Manufacturing, Inc.
Anniston Windustrial is another company with long
experience in Israel. For fifteen years Windustrial has been a large
supplier of military items to the Department of Defense. The DoD orders
supplies such as replacement parts, pumps, and water valves which they then
supply to allied countries, such as Israel. Windustrial has been supplying
Israel with these parts for five years.
Troy-based Lockheed-Martin is collaborating with Rafael Military
Industries to manufacture the Israeli-designed Popeye missiles. Rafael
now seeks to serve as a subcontractor for Lockheed-Martin, who in mid-April
won a $2 billion contract to manufacture American-designed JASSM cruise
missiles for the American military.
Intergraph Israel Software Development Center (IISDC),
provider of IT solutions for process control, instrumentation, and electrical
engineering, and Huntsville, Alabama-based Intergraph Corporation,
a supplier of interactive computer graphics systems, have jointly developed
SmartPlant Electrical, a new product that will provide its users with
an integrated relational database engineering tool. Using a client-server
environment, the software will enable engineers, technicians, and designers
from operating plants and engineering companies dealing with electrical
design to effectively and easily create, access, maintain and deliver
engineering documentation in a professional manner.
Guzzler Manufacturing Inc., a subsidiary of the Federal
Signal Corporation, is a world class producer of industrial solid and
liquid waste-removal vehicles. A year ago, Guzzler established a dealership
in Israel after becoming aware of Israelis' growing sensitivity to environmental
issues that created a market for their tankers. In addition, Signals
vehicle division succeeded in selling emergency vehicles from a sister
firm in Florida to Israeli fire fighting services as well as to civilian
and military airports. Guzzler is negotiating with a large number of
potential customers including Dead Sea Works, the Israel Electric Company
and regional water plants.
VME Microsystems International Inc. has been selling
printed circuit boards for computers for the past several years. They got
started in Israel through leads from trade shows. A spokesman from VME said
that business in Israel seems pretty good.
EBSCO has been doing business in Israel for about
thirty-five years, said Brenda Hamm of the international marketing and
special services department. EBSCO is a subscription agency and works with
libraries throughout Israel. The libraries order subscriptions through
EBSCO who then deals with the publisher and handles all of the customer
service problems for the publisher. EBSCO initially began selling magazines
door to door and when they realized that there was a desire to learn, they
branched out and became an international company. EBSCO is attracted to
libraries worldwide and based on their length of investment in Israel, they
have been doing great business.
Ralph E. Buntyn, vice president of marketing at Birmingham-based
Motion Industries Inc., the worlds largest distributor of bearings,
transmissions and hose products, went on the October 1997 trade mission
with the governor. He told Link Magazine that Israel is on the
cutting edge of technological development in many fields, however,
developing ties will take time. For his company, communication
with Israeli parties continues but a partnership has yet to be
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 benefited 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
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.
Over the last three decades, companies in Alabama have
taken advantage of close to $500,000 in BIRD grants
to reduce the risk of new ventures and tap into the deep pool of Israeli
Alabama researchers are making scientific breakthroughs
and developing cutting-edge technologies in joint projects with Israeli
scientists supported by 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.
Auburn and the University of Alabama have shared with counterparts in
Israel nearly $100,000 in BSF grants awarded since
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 laureates among its joint partners.
Alabama institutions have shared with their counterparts
in Israel nearly $500,000 in BSF grants since 1996
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
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.
Alabama institutions have received BARD grants worth more than $1.65 million since 1980.
Genetically improved farmed fish, advanced technology in cotton crops,
and lean chickens are just a few examples of the joint research projects
conducted by Alabama and Israel through BARD.
Professor Rex Dunham of the Department of Fisheries
at Auburn University has been an unofficial collaborator with Israel
since 1968 and has received several BARD grants since
1979. Dunham has been extremely successful in his study of aquaculture
genetics. The goal behind his project is to grow fish, such as catfish,
carp and Tilapia, faster to get them to market quicker. By studying
selective breeding, growth rates have increased by about 50 percent.
Neal Smitherman initiated the fish genetics program at Auburn and because
Israelis are the fathers of the field, and among the few aquaculture
geneticists, they were obvious partners. Since then, Dunham said their
friendship and collaboration has grown and solidified. Dunham added
that his counterpart at Tel Aviv University, Boaz Moav, is skilled
in molecular genetics. We use some of their constructs. Two hands are
better than one and discussing projects puts more heads and hands [together].
Fish farmers use the new technology now to grow fish
faster. The collaborators at Auburn University and Tel Aviv University are
now working on new growth hormone constructs to refine what weve done
in the past, said Professor Dunham.
Auburn's Joseph Kloepper received a BARD grant to do research in the area of biological control of plant diseases.
In cooperation with Israels Hebrew University in Jerusalem,Kloepper
and his Israeli counterpart tested bacteria to protect plants against
diseases and studied how bacteria moved within plants. Although no immediate
product resulted from this two-year study, their publications stimulated
interest in the general area of controlling plant bacterial diseases
and several companies expressed interest in using the findings of the
research. Kloepper had a very good experience dealing with Israelis,
noting they are extremely well trained and Israel is good place
to do agricultural research.
Alabama, 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 provide it, free of charge, to American farmers
and agricultural consultants. By advising growers, such as those in
Alabama, on optimal irrigation and fertilization strategies, the system
can save farmers an average of about $60 per acre, or about $48 per
Rift Valley Fever is a debilitating mosquito born virus
that infects cattle, sheep, and humans in many developing countries
and is fatal in young lambs and calves. BARD grantees from
the University of Alabama, Kimron Veterinary Institute in Israel and
the USAMRIID Lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland have developed an RVF vaccine.
The virus was harvested, grown, altered, regrown and mutated until the
virus was so genetically tailored that it was too weak to produce the
actual illness, but still potent enough to induce a protective immune
reaction. In addition to helping developing countries where RVF is common,
the results from these studies also protect the $28 billion U.S. cattle
raising industry by preparing the U.S. for random but lethal outbreaks
of this virus.
Crash diets are being found to be very
useful for turkeys and chickens. Through these crash diets
the broilers produce mostly lean meat and not fat. This was discovered
by BARD grantees in Israel and the U.S. In the end,
everyone wins. The consumer gets leaner, more nutritious chickens, and
may lower their risk of arteriosclerosis and the farmer gets a more
efficient, profitable crop, including savings of 4-8 percent on feed
alone. Alabama produces more than $500 million worth of broilers a year
so this new farming and feeding technique means enormous savings for
the states farmers.
A team of agricultural economists from the University
of Maryland and the University of California found that the economic
benefits of just five projectsrelated to cotton, pecans and solarizationexceeded
all U.S. investment in BARD. New projects promote increased
quantity and improved quality of agricultural produce.
McDonnell Douglas of Huntsville will share a $5.3 million
grant from the U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Commission with
three Israeli companies, Rotem, YEDA and Ormat, for a joint project
to develop a pilot solar power station that will produce electricity
at competitive prices.
Birmingham Jewish Federation
P.O. Box 130219
Birmingham, AL 35213
Jewish Federation of Montgomery
2421 Presidents Dr #16
Montgomery, AL 361161612
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One Office Park, #219
Mobile, AL 36609
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26 Usihshkin St.
Jerusalem, Israel 91077