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State-to-State Cooperation: Nevada and Israel

Nevada Jewish History





Trade and Population Statistics

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



Binational foundation grants shared by Nevada and Israel

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)


Science & Technology (1999-Present)


Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)


Total Binational Grants



Grant recipients in Nevada from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:

University of Nevada


Bilateral Institutions

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Cooperative Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"

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Nevada Government Missions to Israel

2013 - Governor Brian Sandoval announced in January 2013 that he will travel to Israel during the upcoming year to drum up more business for a state climbing out of economic doldrums. Gov. Sandoval, who cancelled a trade trip to Israel in May 2012 to deal with economic issues in Nevada, said that Israel is seeking business ties in Nevada to expand its information technology sector and both states have a common interest in seeking potential business partnerships focused on ways to use water more efficiently in an arid environment. Read more about the Governors upcoming trip, CLICK HERE.


Partners For Change

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. Nevada is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2012, Nevada exported over $129,057,991.00 worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Nevada exports to Israel have totaled more than $1,079,244,074.00 and Israel now ranks as Nevada’s 17th leading trade partner.

Additionally in 2012, Nevada received more than $997,664.00 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: Aldec, Inc. in Henderson and Ormat Nevada, Inc. in Reno.

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 Nevada.

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 Nevada is limited only by the imagination.


Nevada Firms Profit From Business With Israel

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.

To date, no Nevada companies have taken advantage of the opportunities presented by BIRD to lower risks and raise rewards in research.


Scientific Innovations

Nevada 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 Nevada have shared with their counterparts in Israel nearly $120,000 in BSF grants awarded since 1996 alone.


Agriculture Benefits

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.

Nevada institutions have shared BARD grants worth more than three hundred thousand dollars since 1979.

Grant Cramer, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Nevada, received a 3-year BARD grant in 2010 to collaborate with scientists at Ben Gurion University in Israel as well as at the Israel Ministry of Agriculture to research ways of protecting grape vines from periods of prolonged drought. Grapevine, grown extensively throughout California, Nevada and the Mediterranean coast, is the most valuable horticultural crop worldwide but it is currently very susceptible to abiotic stresses, such as drought and global warming, that can reduce its yield by up to 50%.

Supported by BARD, Professor Cramer and his colleagues have begun researching the regulatory mechanisms that modulate grape metabolism with the hope of reaching an understanding of the regulators that control plant performance, metabolism and biosynthesis in response to drought conditions. The research is only at the begining stages as 2011 started, but Professor Cramer was sure that the project would go a long way in helping to improve the quality and yield of the grape crop worldwide. The basis for this research project can be found in a paper published by Dr. Cramer- CLICK HERE to view this paper.


Other Cooperative Programs

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Sister Cities

None to date.


UJA Partnership 2000 Communities



Las Vegas

Kiryat Malachi - Hof Ashkelon

State Contacts:

Hillel Campus Profiles

Jewish Federation Of Las Vegas
3909 S Maryland Pkwy #-400
Las Vegas, NV 89119-7520
Tel. 702-732-0556