Kansas and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2012)
| Percentage Change (2011-2012)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2012)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
|Jewish Population (2012)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by Kansas and Israel
Grant recipients in
Kansas from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Kansas State University
University of Kansas
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Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"
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Kansas Government Missions to Israel
August 2012 - Representative Kevin Yoder joined a group of 80 representatives led by Rep. Eric Cantor on an educational mission to Israel. It was considered the largest number of members of Congress to make a joint trip to Israel during a single recess.
August 2011 - Congressman Kevin Yoder
accompanied the 81-member Congressional delegation to Israel to learn
more about regional politics and the U.S.-Israel relationship.
February 2008 - Senator Sam Brownback led a delegation
and spoke at the annual Jerusalem Conference during which he advocated
a rethinking the idea of letting the PA administer itself. Instead,
he suggested a confederation between the PA and Jordan, with the Arabs
of Judea and Samaria enjoying limited self-rule. "The current path
to peace isn’t working, wasn’t working, and will never work,”
he said, drawing strong applause.
July 2004 - Senator Sam Brownback
delivered a speech before the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, in which
he reaffirmed both the United States' and his own committment to and
solidarity with Israel. Among other topics, Senator Brownback said that
the United States should move their official embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's
capital, at the earliest possible time. The speech, which visibly moved
a number of Israeli parliamentarians, drew a rousing ovation from the
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. Kansas is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, Kansas exported over $105,212,492.00 worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Kansas exports to
Israel have totaled more than $721,071,849.00 and Israel now ranks as Kansas’s
20th leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, Kansas received more than
$2,780,685.17 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:Aeuroflex Wichita, Inc. in Wichita, Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company in Wichita, and Garsite/Progress LLC in Kansas City.
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 Kansas 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 McDonald's
have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.
Roughly 60 Kansas companies have discovered the benefits
of doing business in Israel, including, Aerospace Controls Corporation,
Garmin Communications and Penny & Giles Aerospace.
Aerospace Controls Corporation sells aircraft actuators,
which move control surfaces on the aircraft to Israeli aircraft carriers.
Steve Keith, President of Aerospace Controls feels that business with
Israel has benefitted their company and that he enjoys doing work with
Sarah Bean, Media Relations Specialist for Garmin
Communications & Navigation, was also "pleased with their
relationship with Israel. It was very satisfying bringing technology to
Israel." Garmin is a manufacturer of navigation electronics equipment,
such as the GPS receiver, which uses satellites for small hand-held
navigator equipment used in hiking. Garmin sells aviation products, as well
as automotive, outdoor and cellular products to Israel.
Another Avionics company, Penny & Giles Aerospace,
has been busy with Israeli clients. They make avionics for aircrafts,
performance software (i.e., landing and take-off programs), flight data
recorders, computers. They mainly deal with Israeli airlines and larger
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
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.
Kansas companies have benefited from more than three hundred thousand
dollars in BIRD grants over the last three decades.
Kansas 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.
Institutions in Kansas have shared with their counterparts
in Israel nearly $700,000 in BSF grants awarded since
1996 alone. Both the University of Kansas and Kansas State University
are among the recepients of BSF grants.
UK entymologist Deborah Smith has been studying with
Israeli biologists the social behavior of spiders as solitary animals and
in social groups and systems. She is studying the dispersal behavior of
spiders and the role of genetics. Understanding spiders' social systems may
teach us how other organisms form a society. She describes her relationship
with her Israeli partners as "a great collaboration, the project would
be hard to do alone." Working with Israelis, she says, has provided a
more multidisciplinary approach to the research. Smith plans to continue
the collaboration and hopes to apply for another grant.
Another UK scientist, Mark Richter, a molecular biologist,
and his Israeli collaborators have been studying how enzymes work to
make ATP. This has been one of the central questions in biology for
many years. One major application is in nanotechnology, which relates
to substances at the atomic level that generate energy and help damaged
cells. Richter states that "there is a tremendous amount of possibilities
for the application of this research." Richter adds that "working
with Israel has had enormous benefits; we had a joint review from the
two groups." He hopes to continue the collaboration and to apply
for another BSF grant in the future.
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.
Kansas institutions have shared grants worth more than $500,000 since
BARD research done outside the state
of Kansas has benefited Kansas immensely. Research on pesticide breakdown,
will be useful for the Kansas sorghum crop, which is sensitive to common
agricultural herbicides. Another research project on virus-free fungus
gave 93% protection to wheat seedlings, which will be extremely beneficial
to Kansas, which produces more than $1 billion of wheat per year.
BARD researchers have developed a
computer program, which tells farmers how to use feed restriction and
compensation strategies to optimize profits. Producing less feed would
save U.S. and Israeli poultry farmers millions of dollars each year,
and Kansas is one the of the main producers of broilers in the U.S.
Another research project on making wheat storage more efficient will
benefit Kansas, one of the nations major wheat-producing states.
The Kansas City Art Institute maintains
a foreign study exchange program with the Bezalel Academy of Arts and
Design in Jerusalem.
Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City
5801 W. 115th St.
Overland Park, KS 66211-1824
Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation
400 North Woodlawn, #8
Wichita, KS 67208