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State-to-State Cooperation: New Jersey and Israel

New Jersey










Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2023)


      Percentage Change (2022-2023)


      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)


Israel’s Trade Partner Rank (2023)


New Jersey’s Rank as Exporter to Israel (2023) 6
Military Contracts with Israel (2015)


Jewish Population (2023)


      Jewish Percentage of Population



Binational Foundation Grants

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)


Science & Technology (1999-Present)


Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)


Total Binational Grants



Grant Recipients in New Jersey from U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations

Aqua Products Inc.
AT&T Labs
Ballantine Labor, Inc.
Becton Dickinson
Bell Laboratories
Chromis Fiberoptics
Bell Telephone Labs
Bogen Communications Inc.
Cantar / Polyair Corp.
Cosan Group LLC
Covanta Energy
Decision Systems Inc.
ECSI International
Educational Tech. Inc.
Education Testing Service
Electro­Catheter Corp.
Enforsys, Inc
Exxon Res & Eng Res Lab
Fairleigh Dickinson
FMC Corporation
General Instrument Corp.
Geotek Communications, Inc.
IDT Corp.
Institute for Advanced Study
Integrated Network Corp.
Integrated Photonics Comp. Rsch.
JDS Uniphase Corp.
Just Greens LLC
Lucent Technologies
NEC C&C Research Lab
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New Jersey Medical School
O.P.T. Industries Inc.
Orthofeet Orthotic Sys.
Pharmacopeia, Inc.
Prentice­Hall Software
Princeton Applied Research
Princeton Instruments
Princeton Video International Inc.
Quest Diagnostics, Inc.
RAD Data Commun. Inc.
Roche Institute of Molecular Biology
Rutgers University
Rutgers Medical School
Sharplan Lasers Inc.
Software Center Inc.
Syllogy Corp.
TASCO Electronic Inc.
Telenex Corp.
Teleos Communications Inc.
UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
University of Medicine & Dentistry
Universal Sonics
Vestcom International, Inc.



Bilateral Institutions

New Jersey-Israel Commission - Established in 1989 by a state Executive Order, the NJIC fosters and enhances the relationship between New Jersey and Israel regarding economic development and bilateral trade, education and culture, and tourism. It is comprised of 125 members appointed by the Governor and eight members appointed by the Legislature. The Commission was placed under the purview of the Department of State in July 2007.

New Jersey Department of Commerce and Economic Development Israel Office - In 1994, the New Jersey DCED officially opened a branch in the Israeli city of Ra’anana, a sister city of the New Jersey MetroWest community. The office has successfully negotiated tens of economic schemes between New Jersey and Israel, principally in the high-tech arena. Several American-based companies working with Israel have relocated to New Jersey to enjoy the benefits available through these offices.

Anti-Boycott Law

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed S-1923 into law on August 16, 2016, requiring the state’s public worker pension funds to divest from companies that engage in boycotts of Israel. The measure enjoyed wide bipartisan support in the State Senate and Assembly in May and June, where it passed with votes of 39-0, and 70-3, respectively.

Cooperative Agreements

Representatives from Rutgers University, Choose NJ, the New Jersey State Government, and Israel’s Tel-Hai College Economic Development Taskforce met in New Jersey on September 21, 2015, to discuss a joint program between Rutgers and Tel-Hai Universities. At the end of the meeting, the officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding, launching the New Jersey-Israel Health, Functional, Medical Foods Alliance. Director of the Rutgers food innovation center, Lou Cooperhouse, explained that the partnership is based on principles of scientific research and academic cooperation, public policy, entrepreneurship training, corporate research and development, student cooperation, and community health.

In October 2003, Governor James McGreevey and Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding officially declaring collaboration in the life sciences. This collaboration was enhanced a year later when a strategic partnership between the BIRD foundation and the New Jersey-Israel Commission was cemented in several key life sciences research and development sectors.

In November 1996, several memoranda were signed between the state of New Jersey and Israel:

  • Memorandum of Intent Concerning a Joint Israel-New Jersey Program to Promote the Establishment of Environmental Management Systems.
  • Memorandum of Understanding Between The Commission on Science and Technology of the State of New Jersey and The Ministry of Science of the State of Israel - The New Jersey-Israel Cultural Cooperation Committee Memorandum of Intent.
  • Declaration of Mutual Intent Concerning Cooperation for the Advancement of the Competitiveness of Their Industries and Industrial Research and Development.

New Jersey Government Missions to Israel

August 2022 - Gov. Phil Murphy visited cultural sites and met with political and business leaders, including U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. This was Murphy’s ninth trip to Israel since 2014.

“By taking trips like this one, we can expand Israeli investments in New Jersey and forge new, mutually beneficial connections,” Murphy told JewishInsider. “I look forward to further deepening the economic and cultural bond between New Jersey and Israel.”

April 2012 - Governor Chris Christie made his first official overseas trip to Israel in a four-day trade and diplomacy mission, accompanied by a delegation of 14 business and Jewish leaders. The mission is called “Jersey to Jerusalem: economic growth, diplomacy, observance.” Gov. Christie met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the recent changes across the Middle East, the threat from Iran, and the diplomatic and economic ties between the state of New Jersey and Israel. During the trip, Gov. Christie said, “This is my first visit abroad as governor, and there was never any question of where we would come first, so I’m glad we did.”

July 2008 - Governor Jon Corzine made his first official visit to Israel. On the mission, Gov. Corzine focused on identifying new opportunities to foster trade, investment, commercial, and cultural relationships between New Jersey and Israel. During the four-day trip, Corzine met with numerous high-ranking Israeli government officials and key business leaders to explore partnership opportunities in such industries as stem cell research, alternative energy, green technologies, and research and development in high-tech fields.

April 2000 - Governor Christine Whitman made a special visit to Ra’anana for the ceremony bestowing honorary citizenship of the City of Ra’anana on Shimon Peres, Minister for Regional Cooperation. As a result of that visit, during which Governor Whitman and Mayor Bielski discussed anti-violence initiatives, Ra’anana hosted a delegation in September 2000, headed by the Secretary of State for New Jersey, DeForest “Buster” Soaries.

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, technology, education, and health. States can benefit from Israeli innovations in these areas as well as through collaboration.

In addition, today’s interdependent global economy requires that trade policy be developed at the national and state level. Many states have recognized the opportunity to realize significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. New Jersey is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2023, New Jersey exported more than $403 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, New Jersey’s exports to Israel have totaled more than $18.1 billion, and Israel now ranks as New Jersey’s 26th leading trade partner. New Jersey ranks 6th among all states in exports to Israel.

Additionally, in 2015, New Jersey companies received more than $42 million in foreign military financing (FMF) to provide materiel for the Israeli Defense Forces. Since 1996, New Jersey companies have received more than $246 million in FMF. These include Diesel Engineering in Englewood Cliffs, Radbit Computers in Mahwah, and Marine Electric Systems in South Hackensack.

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 New Jersey.

Israel has developed several 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.

New Jersey has also received more than $15 million worth of grants from binational U.S.-Israel foundations for joint research in science, agriculture, and the promotion of commercial ventures.

A variety 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 New Jersey is limited only by the imagination.

New Jersey Firms 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.

More than 700 New Jersey companies have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel, including American Gas and Chemicals, Ace Locksmith, Johnson and Johnson, and Hewlett Packard.

American Gas and Chemicals has been doing business with Israel for more than 10 years. The company supplies private companies in Israel with oxygen leak detectors used in aircraft. American Gas and Chemicals also buys products from Israel used in leak testing. These leak detectors are primarily used to protect people and facilities. Thanks to inquiries made via the company’s website, more business is being generated than 10 years ago. “The Israeli market is a market that we should explore more,” says Jerry Anderson, President of American Gas & Chemicals. “We should also import more because there are a lot of products in Israel that we don’t take advantage of.” Anderson added, “Israel has been very easy to deal with, more so than other countries where English isn’t as widely used. That’s certainly an advantage.”

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). 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 companies 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 1977, the Foundation has approved investments of more than $125 million in more than 1,000 projects in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Hundreds of companies, including AOL, GE, BP Solar, Texas Instruments, and Johnson & Johnson, have benefited from BIRD grants.

Dr. Eli Opper, the former Israeli chair of BIRD, has said that BIRD is a strong pillar of U.S.-Israel industrial cooperation and that the extreme success of BIRD has led Israel to adopt similar models of R&D with other countries.

Many New Jersey companies, including Princeton Video International, IDT Corp., Bogen Communications, Telenex Corporation, and Universal Sonics, have taken advantage of this opportunity to reduce the risk of new ventures and tap into the deep pool of Israeli talent through the BIRD program. These companies and others in New Jersey have received more than $10.5 million worth of BIRD grants].

In the summer of 2008, the New Jersey-Israel Commission and BIRD renewed their partnership and representation agreement to promote collaboration between New Jersey and Israeli companies that jointly develop and commercialize products based on innovative, novel technologies. Under the collaborative agreement, the New Jersey-Israel Commission serves as the BIRD Foundation’s official representative for the state. This designation allows the commission to work toward creating strategic commercial ties between New Jersey and Israeli companies through financial support on behalf of the BIRD Foundation to those who qualify. Said then-Governor Corzine, “Since 2004, this collaboration has enhanced the state’s relationship with Israel as a significant global trading partner and places particular emphasis on New Jersey’s strength as a foremost leader in research and development. The agreement will continue to cultivate new opportunities to form strategic commercial ties to advance our strongest industry sectors.

Bogen Communications created a call interceptor with Artuv Communications and Software. Bogen was referred to Artuv through another Israeli company they did business with, and the collaboration has been extremely successful. The product, now on the market, gives the user the option to store a message or to bypass the unit by hitting any digit on the keypad. The call interceptor also gives the user the option to record both a day and a night message that can be used, for example, during the workday or after hours. The system catches a call as soon as it is entered, plays the greeting, and allows users to reach other lines by punching in the extension. “All in all, the collaboration worked out pretty good,” said John Veneziali, an application engineer at Bogen. “Artuv worked mainly on the software while Bogen tackled the hardware issues. If we found a bug, we would go to Artuv for feedback. Overall, this was very successful,” added Veneziali.

Telenex Corporation also had a very successful collaboration with TTI of Israel. Together they produced what is called an SS7 Surveillance System. Prior to the grant, both companies had products that were not marketable by themselves. TTI had a network management server application, and Telenex had the hardware that physically connected to the telephone. BIRD sponsored the production of the API Programming Interface that allowed both products to interact with each other. The result is the SS7 Surveillance System, which determines if the line being called is busy or answered. In addition, it allows the phone company to determine fraud, keep call data records, perform diagnostics, and control billing. “The product lends itself to any of these applications depending on what the customer wants,” said Dan Guzik, director of the 7-View Product.

This product, which has been on the market for the past three to four years, is sold to telephone companies throughout the world. The collaboration “worked fantastic and is still working. We are further developing the product, enhancing it, and creating new applications,” Guzik added. “[The collaboration] has been a very positive venture and rather unique. We had no contract together but worked as a team. I haven’t seen two U.S. companies do that to be honest with you.”

Two BIRD-sponsored products were combined to create a third stand-alone medical unit. ITS Sharplan Lasers, a distribution company for medical lasers, teamed up with I Sight Ltd., an Israeli manufacturer of digital video cameras, to create the I Sight™ medical video camera. This video camera is used mainly with endoscopes and laparoscopes in gynecology and urology.

Universal Sonics Corporation, an internationally recognized expert in the ultrasound market, saw the need for a high-performance, affordable product for the laparoscopic/minimal invasive surgery (MIS) market. Through a BIRD grant, they developed a platform for a family of low-cost, high-performance ultrasound scanners. The company was also seeking systems that could be mounted on this platform and teamed up with Laser Industries, a market leader in CO2 laser surgery systems, and the parent company of U.S. subsidiary Sharplan Lasers. The result of the collaboration was the combination of the Universal Sonics Platform and the I Sight™ Medical Video Camera, which resulted in the development of the U Sight System™.

With all these products mounted onto one big video cart, a doctor can do an ultrasound and ultrasonography at the same time. According to Tom Paulino, business applications manager for Sharplan, the item is sold out of Israel to the U.S. and worldwide. “There is a very competitive market for this product with major companies that work heavily in ultrasound. It is difficult to get a piece of the pie in this market. While a few have sold in the U.S., sales in the Far East and South America have been much better,” he said.

Telcordia Technologies Inc., of Piscataway, NJ, and Uniper, an Israeli-based company, received approval for a BIRD grant for cutting-edge telecommunications development. The $1 million grant was awarded to Telcordia and Uniper for the design of intelligent, policy-based hand-off (switching) between communications networks based on different technologies while maintaining session continuity.

“The partnership the New Jersey-Israel Commission has forged with the BIRD Foundation has proved extremely beneficial to both New Jersey and Israeli companies,” said Commerce Secretary Virginia S. Bauer.

“Telcordia is pleased to be working with Uniper to collaborate for the betterment of technology, benefiting not just the U.S. and Israel, but the global technology community as a whole,” said Dr. Adam Drobot, Telcordia CTO & President, Advanced Technology Solutions Group.

Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, agreed. “The State of New Jersey is home to many companies that are industry leaders, Telcordia being one of them. Partnering these companies with Israeli cutting-edge companies leads to the potential for great technological and commercial success.”

Enforsys, Inc., of Roseland and Svivot, an Israeli-based company, in 2006 received approval of a BIRD grant for the development of an information sharing and intelligence analysis system, according to Commerce Secretary Virginia Bauer. This collaborative effort will help public safety and homeland security agencies prevent and solve crimes and terrorist acts by making quicker and more accurate decisions.

“Enforsys is excited to be working with Svivot to further enhance and improve information sharing and build information management infrastructures that give law enforcement officers and criminal justice agencies access to vital information,” said George M. Lieberman, CEO of Enforsys. “We are honored that both the New Jersey-Israel Commission and the BIRD Foundation understands the impact of superior information sharing for improved Homeland Security initiatives and that Enforsys and Svivot are the right partners to deliver that functionality.”

Marlton-based OnPath was awarded funding to partner with the Israeli company QualiSystems to develop an advanced platform for network lab management. Additionally, Morristown-based company Covanta Energy will partner with Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd to develop a biomass-to-fuel mobile system. 

Recent grants include:

  • Israel Aerospace Industries and Honeywell of Morris Plains received a grant for the project: Sense and Avoid for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
  • Ra’anana-based MedAware and Becton Dickinson of Franklin Lakes to develop prescription error surveillance.
  • Mellanox of Yokneam and Chromis Fiberoptics of Warren to develop polymer optical fibers for data centers.
  • Tel Aviv-based Firedome and Cresskill-based Olibra to transform traditional consumer electronics devices into connected cybersecurity guardians for the home.
  • MyndYou of Tel Aviv and Cosan Group LLC of Cherry Hill to develop an innovative clinical network for optimized, in-home care with AI-based patient engagement.
  • NovelSat of Ra’anana and iGolgi of Rocky Hill to develop fusion-end-to-end, joint encoding-modulation techniques to improve satellite broadcast efficiency for carrying multi-channel audio-video programs carried over satellite.
  • Juganu of Rosh Ha’ayin and Just Greens LLC of Newark to develop a tunable white spectrum smart LED-based fixture for automated horticulture processes.
  • Holon-based ARTsys360 and Clifton-based ECSI International to develop a 3D-360 multi-sensor counter-UAV/drone system.
  • YonaLink of Jerusalem and Trialjectory of Closter to develop a platform to enroll diverse patients from diverse sites in clinical trials by automating the clinical trial process, from patient selection to data management.

Scientific Innovations

New Jersey 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 fields for peaceful and non-profit purposes.

Since its inception, and in today’s value, BSF has awarded over $700 million to more than 5,000 research projects involving thousands of scientists from more than 400 U.S. institutions located in 46 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Many of these projects have led to important scientific, medical, and technological breakthroughs with wide-ranging practical applications.

BSF-sponsored studies are highly successful in achieving their two main goals: strengthening the U.S.-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 New Jersey have received more than $3 million in BSF grants. Rutgers, Princeton, Bell Telephone Labs, and NEC Research Institute are among the recipients.

Dr. Yael Niv, of Princeton University, was awarded a large BSF grant in late 2009 to collaborate with Dr. Genela Morris of the University of Haifa in Israel on a project looking into how humans use our brains in learning. Though the actual research had not begun by the beginning of 2011, Dr. Niv is confident that the BSF-sponsored project will further revolutionize what scientists already know about the brain and how we can use this information to better facilitate multidimensional learning.

Gene Grossman is a professor of economics at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He has received several BSF grants to collaborate with Professor Yohanan Helpman of Tel Aviv University on trade issues and political economy. They have studied two different topics — the relationship between trade and growth, and the political economy of trade policy. Specifically, they are studying the links between special interest groups, mainly industry groups, and trade policy outcomes. Their goal is to design better rules for the international trade system. A book has been written on trade and growth, and one is currently being written on the political economy of trade policy. Grossman said, “I’ve been working with my Israeli collaborator for 10 or 11 years and we have received many other grants that didn’t provide for travel costs. The BSF grant was a way to fund travel so we could visit each other. It has been a very positive experience.”

Frederic Cosandey specializes in ceramic and material engineering at Rutgers. Along with his Israeli collaborator Yigal Komen of the Technion, he is studying materials used for gas sensors, such as the semiconductor material used for detecting pollution and other toxic gases. So far, the researchers have presented their findings at conferences and have prepared papers. Although this is basic scientific research, practical applications might include environmental control devices and emission control for cars.

Cosandey already knew his Israeli colleague and shared an interest in developing a research program. “BSF requires the two investigators to meet face to face at least once a year to see each other’s labs and see how things progress. I’ve been to Israel twice and he [Komen] has been to New Jersey. This is not only a successful mechanism for having interaction between different countries, but also a mechanism for interaction to happen,” said Cosandey.

Princeton’s Shivaji Sondhi, and the University of Haifa’s Efrat Shimshoni, are studying the theory of condensed matter the quantum hole effect. The two scientists are looking at the nonlinear transport of electrons that live in a plane as opposed to a 3-dimensional area. “Fascinating things happen to 2-dimension electron gases when put in an electronic field,” said Sondhi. Although this project is related to semiconductor technology, practical applications are far down the line. The most technological advancement that could result from using information gained from this grant would be in making the smallest possible transistor using only one electron.

Noamie Benczer-Koller of Rutgers and Michael Hass of the Weizmann Institute are doing research on the forces binding nucleons in the atomic nucleus. This work has possible long-term applications in the development of nuclear technology. Benczer-Koller said the collaboration has been “very productive and resulted in good scientific interactions. BSF is an excellent program for both sides. It is a very good influence on young Americans who are working with Israelis and vice versa.”

The joint American-Israeli team of Professor Reshef Tenne at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, David Srolovitz of Princeton University, Lev Repoport of Holon Academic Institute of Technology, and Samuel Safran of the Weizmann Institute of Science have been recognized for their achievement in nanotechnology. These particles are especially useful because they are not susceptible to extreme temperatures of heat and cold. As well as providing a better lubricant for cars, instead of the old method of lubrication by oil, this new nanotechnology can be used for trains, factories, competitive sports equipment, and military tanks. In the future, Tenne has already started to apply the use of nanoparticles to microelectronics and hopes to apply it in the future to the semiconductor industry.

Although most of the research being done by BSF grantees is just basic science, much of the work will one day have very practical applications. This is the case for research being done by Chung Law, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton. He and his Israeli counterpart are studying combustion in terms of flame structure and dynamics. Ultimately, this research could have applications related to improved combustion in internal combustion engines.

One BSF project that should result in a commercial product was conducted by Lisa Klein, of the Ceramics Department at Rutgers. Along with David Avnir of Hebrew University, she created new materials for use as sensors. An example of this is a small sensor that can be inserted into a blood sample to measure its oxygen level. Although this device is still in the development stage, Avnir has several others that are in production. “This [device] is just one more in a list of things he’s working on,” said Klein. Although the Israeli side of this collaboration is working on the commercialization of the product, New Jersey will also benefit. Hebrew University has an agreement with Johnson and Johnson that allows the company to use some of its technology in the future. One of the most positive aspects of the BSF program is that it provides for travel between the U.S. and Israel.

Agriculture Benefits

In 1978, the United States and Israel jointly created the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to help fund programs between U.S. and Israeli scientists for mutually beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic, and applied research into agricultural problems. Since its inception, BARD has awarded more than $130 million to U.S. institutions for 1,352 joint projects. A 40-year review in 2019 involving 20 case studies estimated the foundation’s contribution to the U.S. economy at $2.7 billion. BARD research has resulted in the adoption of approximately 200 new agricultural practices, around 40 commercial engagements, and approximately 100 patents and breeding rights licenses.

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 administers 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.

Rutgers has received BARD grants worth more than $1.6 million.

In 2008, a three-year BARD grant was awarded to a team of researchers that included James Simon, a professor of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Professor Simon collaborated with fellow Americans Natalia Doudareva at Purdue University and Eric Pichersky at the University of Michigan, and together they worked with an Israeli team made up of researchers and scientists from Ben-Gurion University and the Volcani Center.

This BARD-supported project revolved around finding a way to produce better-tasting fruits such as tomatoes. In recent years, farmers and growers have sacrificed flavor in their fruits and vegetables to produce ones that are more attractive to the eye and have a longer shelf life. Professor Simon and his colleagues from Purdue and Rutgers have found a way to genetically enhance the aroma and taste of these fruits without harming their look or shelf life.

Thanks to the support from BARD, these researchers from the United States and Israel also believe that these genetically enhanced fruits and vegetables will also be marked by improved quality. Their achievements so far have been widely praised in print media and television, and they hope this research will lead to improved crop yields and better produce at your local grocer. 

In another BARD-supported research project, two professors at Rutgers are both working on different aspects of food preservation.

Thomas Montville, Chair of the Department of Food Science at Rutgers, and Ronny Shapira of Hebrew University are researching natural preservatives that might make foods safer from microbial pathogens. They are studying naturally occurring proteins found in fermenting foods to gain a better understanding of how they work so they can be used more intelligently, for example, to extend the shelf life of refrigerated foods. The results from this BARD grant provided scientific knowledge that has become the foundation for further research for both the New Jersey and Israeli labs.

Montville said what attracted him to the BARD program was the “interest and capability of my Israeli colleagues. He [Shapira] had genetic expertise and molecular modeling facilities that we didn’t have, and we had biochemical facilities that he didn’t have. It was a mutually advantageous relationship. I thought the collaboration was very useful on several levels. He came to my lab and worked with my students and I was also able to go to Israel to spend time with his students. For the students at Rutgers, these visits made them more aware of the international arena of scientists and of other international facilities. It helps foster the growth of the scientific community.”

The benefits of these binational relationships often transcend science. “On a personal level,” Montville added, “no one can understand the politics of the Middle East without having been there. On my visit I had one day to spend in Jerusalem, and it made a world of a difference. The BARD program builds ties.”

Rutgers entomologist Randy Gaugler has also had a very positive experience with the BARD program. He and Mark Glazer of the Volcani Institute are developing biological insecticides as an alternative to chemical ones. Chemical insecticides have a longer shelf life but also have numerous harmful side effects. For example, they are often toxic and contaminate groundwater, kill wildlife, and create residue problems. These insecticides also create the problem of chemical trespassing, currently a hot topic in New Jersey. This grant provides for mainly “exploratory research. It will probably be three years before we know if our research is successful,” said Gaugler. “Research money is a scarce resource and any scientist is always looking for new venues. Nowadays to be a scientist also means to be an entrepreneur to fund your lab. My lab probably costs several hundred thousand dollars a year. BARD is very competitive and a good venue. It has been very supportive of my research.”

New Jersey also benefits from research done outside the state. For example, certain fruits and vegetables are very profitable in New Jersey, such as apricots and peaches. Once they are picked and sorted, they often face the problem of over-ripening and decay. During harvest season, overloaded processing plants need to store fresh apricots and peaches without losing their firmness, fresh taste, and attractive appearance. Thanks to BARD grantees, this is now possible. Researchers have found that modified atmospheres containing 5 percent CO2 and 2 percent oxygen help preserve color, taste, and texture for subsequent canning.

Other Cooperative Programs

June 2008 - The New Jersey Legislature expressed the state’s strong friendship with the State of Israel by passing Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 71. The Senate resolution congratulated Israel on its 60th anniversary of independence. The resolution states, “Since its establishment, the modern State of Israel has rebuilt a nation, forged a new and dynamic society, and created a unique and vital economic, political, cultural and intellectual life,” and also adds that, “The New Jersey- Israel relationship has blossomed in the area of economic, cultural, technological and people to people exchanges through the agencies of mutual cooperation such as the New Jersey- Israel Commission to the benefit of the citizens of each sovereign entity.” Israel is also one of New Jersey’s top trading partners. Since 1996, Israel has purchased over $11 billion in goods and services from the Garden State. The two have also shared millions of dollars in binational grants, supporting their respective universities as they strive to make new technological and medical advances. This resolution joined similar resolutions also passed in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Mississippi.

In June 2004, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Richard Fuentes sponsored a homeland security conference at Princeton University where Israeli security professionals shared their experiences and expertise with more than 400 American law enforcement officers, including police, FBI, Secret Service, and the U.S. Marshalls Service. The conference was precipitated by Superintendent Fuentes’ trip to Israel, during which he studied the Israeli security apparatus.

In 1998, New Jersey made plans to create a not-for-profit corporation to support the development of Israeli companies hoping to establish operations in the United States. The New Jersey-Israel Technology Marketing Corporation (NJITMC) will provide opportunities for emerging high-tech companies to achieve strategic marketing and investment relationships in the United States. The NJITMC will also provide services to non-technology companies that demonstrate potential business opportunities in New Jersey.

Natan Linial and Gil Kalai of Hebrew University worked together with Jeff Kahn and Michael Sacks from Rutgers University in New Jersey and Stanely Richard at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge to attempt to ensure that computerized elections are fair and accurate. Using a mathematical theory called influence theory, they constructed computerized models, assigning each method of government a certain probability of vote outcome. Researchers of the BSF project may be able to predict election results that could have surprising results.

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Atlantic County

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Southern New Jersey


State Contacts

Hillel Campus Profiles

The America-Israel Chamber of Commerce
Central Atlantic Region
200 South Broad St., #700
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tel. 215-790-3722
Fax. 215-790-3600
Email. [email protected]

Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties
3393 Bargaintown Rd., P.O. Box 617
Atlantic & Cape May Cnty, NJ 08232-0617
Tel. 609-653-3030

Jewish Federation Central New Jersey
1391 Martine Avenue
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
Tel. 908-889-5335

Jewish Federation of Cumberland County
629 Wood St., #204
Vineland, NJ 08360
Tel. 609-696-4445

Jewish Federation Greater Clifton
199 Scoles Ave
Clifton, NJ 07012-1125
Tel. 201-777-7031

Jewish Federation Greater Monmouth
100 Grant Ave
Deal, NJ 07723-1506
Tel. 908-531-6200

Jewish Federation Greater Middlesex
100 Metroplex Dr #-101
Edison, NJ 08817-2684
Tel. 908-985-1234

Jewish Federation Greater Middlesex
230 Old Brige Turnpike
South River, NJ 08882-2000
Tel. 908-432-7711

Jewish Federation of Greater Monmouth County
100 Grant Ave.
Deal, NJ 07723-0210
Tel. 732-531-6200
Fax. 732-531-9518
Email. [email protected]

Jewish Federation of Mercer County
999 Lower Ferry Rd.
Trenton, NJ 08628
Tel. 609-883-5000

Jewish Federation of MetroWest
901 Route 10
Whippany, NJ 07981
Tel. 973-929.3000
Fax. 973-884.7361

UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey
111 Kinderkamack Rd.
River Edge, NJ 07661
Tel. (201) 488-6800

Jewish Federation of Ocean County
301 Madison Ave.
Lakewood, NJ 08701
Tel. 908-363-0530

Jewish Federation of Princeton
15 Roszel Rd.
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel. 609-243-9440

Jewish Federation Somerset
1011 Rt. 22 West, P.O. Box 6455
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Tel. 908-725-2231

Jewish Federation Somerset
Talamini Rd
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Tel. 908-725-5850

Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey
1301 Springdale Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Tel. 856-751-9500

New Jersey Department of Commerce & Economic Development
Israel Office
3 Tel Hai St.
Raanana, Israel 43405
Tel. 9­748­0883
Fax. 9­760-2245
Email: [email protected]

Andrew Gross
Executive Director
New Jersey-Israel Commission
20 West State St., CN 820
Trenton, NJ 08625-0820
Tel. 609-633-8600
Fax. 609-633-3675
Email. [email protected]

Sources: World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.
Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD).
United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD).
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF).
“NJ Governor shrugs off BDS, pushes to expand $1.5b trade with Israel,” Jerusalem Post, (August 18, 2022).