|Exports to Israel (2022)||
|Percentage Change (2021-2022)||
|Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)||
Israel’s Trade Partner Rank (2022)
|New York’s Rank as Exporter to Israel (2022)||1|
|Military Contracts with Israel (2015)||
|Jewish Population (2022)||
|Jewish Percentage of State Population||
|Agricultural Research & Development (BARD) (1979-Present)||
|Science & Technology (BSF) (1999-Present)||
|Industrial Research & Development (BIRD) (1977-Present)||
|Total Binational Grants||
Grant Recipients in New York From U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations
Accurate Chem & Sci Corp.
Jarvik Heart Inc.
Bilateral Institutions top
Israeli Business Forum of New York - The Israeli Business Forum of New York (IBF) is an apolitical, nonprofit organization established in October 2002. IBF’s mission is to facilitate quality business discussions among Israeli professionals in New York. Through our programs, we enable a group of professional Israelis to interact on a regular basis and exchange ideas about Israeli-related issues. The IBF encourages meaningful discussions and business interactions among our members in order to promote their contribution to Israeli society and the economy.
America-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New York Office - The America-Israel Chamber of Commerce has fostered the expansion of economic relations between the United States and Israel for over 56 years. As the only organization totally devoted to bringing U.S. and Israeli businesses together, our goals are to advance and protect free trade, advocate for policies that encourage investment, increase the flow of trade, investment, and transfer of technology, and encourage the U.S. and Israeli governments to adopt innovative and progressive economic programs and policies.
American-Israel Environmental Council/The Council for a Beautiful Israel - Originally established in 1973, the AIEC has changed its official name numerous times over the course of three decades yet its mission remains the same. In general, it is a support group for Israel whose activities include education, town planning, lobbying for legislation to protect and enhance the environment, preservation of historical sites, the improvement and beautification of industrial and commercial areas, and sponsoring the CBI Center for Environmental Studies located in Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
Anti-Boycott Law top
An anti-BDS resolution was passed with a near-unanimous vote in the New York State Assembly on June 22, 2015. The resolution denounced the BDS movement, stating, “this legislative body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.” The legislation also reaffirmed the close ties that New York shares with Israel.
On June 5, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring state agencies to divest from organizations and companies that participate in boycotts of Israel. Cuomo described BDS as an “economic attack” on Israel during a speech at Manhattan’s Harvard Club, and stated that “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.” The Governor chose to issue an executive order instead of bringing the issue to the state legislature because passing legislation can be “a tedious affair,” and he wanted to take “immediate action,” against the BDS movement. Under the order, the Commissioner of the Office of General Services of New York was commanded to put together a list of businesses and groups involved in the BDS movement, based on “credible information available to the public.” The executive order was signed just before the Governor marched in New York City’s 2016 Celebrate Israel Parade.
Cooperative Agreements top
The New York Power Authority has been working with Petah Tikvah-based mPrest to integrate its mission-critical technology for the Iron Dome anti-missile system in the New York power grid. The Authority is also working with Purchase College and Tel Aviv-based Brenmiller Energy to research and develop thermal energy storage to lower electricity prices and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2018, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Israel Innovation Authority to support bilateral collaboration on clean energy projects.
In 2017, I Love NY, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and El Al Airlines announced the Global Path through History Initiative to promote tourism between New York and Israel.
In September 2009, Governor David Patterson signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer on industrial cooperation in the area of research & development. In addition, the agreement seeks to assist companies in finding financing sources for R&D projects as well as initiate symposiums and seminars in the areas of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and public and internal security.
In 1989, Gov. Mario Cuomo created the International Partnership Program to promote exchanges with Israel in culture, tourism, and economic development. The New York-Israel Economic Development Partnership was established specifically to promote trade and strategic alliances.
New York Government Missions to Israel top
August 2023 – On his third trip to Israel, the first as mayor of New York City, Eric Adams met with the prime minister, president, and other officials and visited tourist sites. Writing in the Jerusalem Post from Israel, Adams said, “I am visiting Israel to strengthen our partnership and share best practices, both in terms of promoting goodwill among diverse people and keeping all our communities safe.”
“We will also learn about and form new connections with Israel’s dynamic social services network, and discuss ways in which the country was able to absorb and integrate thousands of immigrants,” Adams continued.
“Israel and New York City have so much in common, the country feels like a second home to me,” he concluded. “We share the same drive to always be better, and to fight for democracy, prosperity, and peace, and that is why Israel and New York City will always remain great partners.”
After returning home, Adams said, “We are all dependent on the survival of Israel because connected to the survival of Israel is the future of how are we going to survive some of the major challenges that we’re facing across the globe.”
June 2019 – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo led a solidarity and economic development mission to Israel organized by the New York – Israel Business Alliance. His three daughters Mariah, Cara, and Michaela Kennedy Cuomo joined him. The delegation also included Eric Gertler, Chairman of U.S. News & World Report, Veronique Hakim, MTA Managing Director, Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor, Robert Mujica, State Budget Director, Jill DesRosiers, Chief of Staff, and David Yassky, Director of State Policy. The itinerary included a tour of Holy Sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, meetings with President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu, an evening tour of Machane Yehuda, an economic development roundtable, and a meeting with Mobileye co-founder and CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua.
January 2018 - Hunter College President Jennifer Raab visited Israel in January 2018 to tour Israeli universities and learn from their curriculum, techniques, and procedures. She was joined by other University and College Presidents from California State University Northridge, Georgia State University, New College of Florida, San Jose State University, and Wake Forest University. The group held working meetings with administrators from Bar-Ilan University, Ono Academic College, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, the University of Haifa, and Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art.
December 2017 – As a follow-up to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s March 2017 mission to Israel, Empire State Development Commissioner Howard Zemsky led a trade delegation comprised of NYS companies. Commissioner Zemsky’s trip included visits to the Technion campus in Haifa, industry leaders in Tel Aviv, and senior government officials in Jerusalem.
March 2017 – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo led a mission to explore economic development strategies and to demonstrate unwavering friendship and support in the wake of attacks on the Jewish Community. The delegation included Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development CEO and Commissioner, Maj. Michael J. Cerretto, Director of the Office of Counter Terrorism, and Letizia Tagliafierro, Special Counsel for Public Safety, and Aaron Kaplowitz, Director of Global NY. During the mission, Linda Mirels, former Chairman of the UJA-Federation of New York, Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Zemsky were named co-chairs of the 22-member commission.
January 2009 - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Israel on an official government trip. During his visit to Sderot, two rockets were fired at the town and, although they landed outside the urban areas and no one was injured, Mayor Bloomberg was “given” a first-hand account of both the physical and emotional toll that every citizen there goes through.
November 2005 - Hillary Clinton visited Israel for the first time as a senator from New York. Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and senior military commanders and spoke with military officials about disaster preparedness and other topics relevant to both Israel and New York. The Clintons also visited the site of where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated ten years earlier and spoke to a large crowd about Rabin’s vision for peace.
March 2005 - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg accepted the request of President Bush to lead an American delegation to Israel to represent the United States at the official opening of the new Holocaust Museum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The mayor met with numerous Israeli officials and spoke about the relationship between Israel and New York and his desire to see it grow stronger.
May 1998 - Gov. George Pataki led a delegation to Israel and opened a new trade office in Jerusalem.
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 levels. Many states have recognized the opportunity to realize significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. New York is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.
In 2022, New York exported more than $4.1 billion worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, New York’s exports to Israel have totaled more than $101 billion, and Israel now ranks as New York’s 6th leading trade partner. New York ranks 1st among all states in exports to Israel.
Additionally, in 2015, New York companies received more than $74 million in foreign military financing (FMF) for contracts to provide materiel for the Israeli Defense Forces. Since 1986, the total is more than $1.3 billion.
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 York.
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.
New York has also received nearly $44 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, such as 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 York is limited only by the imagination.
New York Firms Profit From Business With Israel top
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.
Approximately 1,300 New York companies have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel, including Bell Atlantic, Eastman Kodak, Circle Seal Cooperation, and Chase Manhattan Bank. A study by the New York-Israel Business Alliance found that there are 506 Israeli-founded companies operating in New York, directly employing 24,850 New Yorkers and indirectly creating an additional 27,502 jobs associated with servicing those companies. These Israeli-founded companies generated a total of $33.8 billion, accounting for 2.02% of the state’s GDP. In addition, from 2009-2018, 436 Israeli-founded companies established and maintained a presence in New York. The New York – Israel Business Alliance also identified six priority growth sectors: Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Drones, Life Sciences, and Renewables.
Israeli and New York-based companies also engage in a number of joint projects. For example, GE’s Corporate Research Center and Systel Development and Industries Ltd. are working on the development of a digital single-chip power controller and PLC communications for dimmable ballasts. Systel Development and Industries Ltd. focus on utilizing digital control techniques that provide innovative solutions to the power conversion and power management markets. GE Corporate Research and Development (GE-CRD) provides technical leadership to GE’s product centers. A corporate facility serving the entire company, it complements the work of many other GE laboratories associated with GE’s 12 global businesses. GE has lighting controls and ballast-fixture businesses that are primarily focused on commercial and industrial markets. The goal of this project is to develop the next-generation Integrated Digital Control: ASIC for Networked Lighting Applications. This ASIC will represent a ‘system on a chip’ for individually addressable dimmable electronic ballasts. This innovation will include both lamp-dimming controls and bi-directional PLC networking functions at the lowest cost.
Eastman Kodak has been doing business with Israel “probably as long as there’s been an Israel,” according to Director of International Trade Relations Chris Padilla. Kodak’s main products in Israel are photographic film and paper, but it also sells X-ray film to hospitals. Kodak’s revenue from Israel has been steadily growing. Padilla explained, “American brand names do well in Israel and Kodak is well known.” He added that Israel is a good market since it has a “stable economy compared to other markets in the region.”
Hawthorne-based J. Jamner Surgical Instruments has been selling surgical instruments to Israeli hospitals for 18 years. The company considers Israel a “good and stable customer,” said Director of International Sales, Mark Sherrard. He observed, “Health care appears to be a high priority in Israel. The hospitals there buy only high-quality products.”
The Circle Seal Corporation Aerodyne Control Division is based in Ronkonkoma and sells electromechanical motion switches to Israel. The company has been supplying the switches, which detect motion and are used for military purposes such as electronic circuits in bombs, to both the Israeli government and private Israeli companies for at least 15 years. Dick Graeb, Sales Manager, finds the Israelis to be “very confident and very ethical. I enjoy doing business with them.”
One company that took advantage of the FMF program is American Technical Ceramics in Huntington Station. The company sells electronic components called capacitors, which are used in radios, cellular systems, radar satellites, and other high-frequency communications devices. In the 15 years American Technical Ceramics has been doing business with Israel, it has found Israel to be “a strong market,” according to Steve Waldenburg, International Sales Manager. He added, “Israel has many hi-tech firms ideally suited to the products my company manufactures. Many design their own products and then choose my company’s components.”
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.
New York companies have received nearly $16 million in BIRD grants, making the state the second-highest recipient after California.
Globecomm Systems designs and builds satellite ground systems and mobile terminals used for video, television, and telephony transmission. Globecomm has received BIRD grants for two joint projects with the Israeli company Shiron in the past four years. In the first, they developed the ELBAN satellite terminal that takes data and converts it to a high radio frequency so it can be transmitted via an antenna. The second project is Intersky, a high-speed, two-way Internet connection via satellite. Both BIRD products are being used and offered to customers. Dov Cydulkin, Senior Director of Asia-Pacific Business, commented, “We got together and came up with ideas for satellite communications. They have the know-how and we brought some money. It was a good opportunity.” Globecomm has sold products to Israeli phone and TV companies and is currently working on various projects in Israel in addition to those sponsored by BIRD.
Delta 3, an Israeli company with an office in Monroe, is a web-based company that offers Internet telephony - the ability to hear voices and make telephone calls from the Internet. Director of Marketing and Communications Fara Hain finds an enormous advantage to having offices in both New York and Israel. “Israel is a center for technology and there’s an incredible talent pool there. New York is the center for public relations and promotions.” Delta 3 received a BIRD grant for a communications project with Internet Telecom Ltd.
Kobi Alexander set up Efrat, an Israeli company that used a BIRD grant to develop a product for multimedia communication processing. In 1983, Efrat started Long Island-based Comverse Technology and made that the parent company. Together, the companies now employ over 700 workers and develop products for voice mail, fax mail, integrated voice and fax messaging, and virtual telephone services targeted at developing countries. Alexander told Link magazine, “Contrary to what many people think, there’s little bureaucracy when it comes to doing business in Israel. It’s very easy.”
Decom (1994) Ltd. is an Israeli R&D company specializing in expert knowledge, methodology, and technical solutions in enterprise-wide information systems, database and metadata management, geospatial data processing, and industrial implementation of data processing. New York-based MapInfo Corporation is a worldwide leader in mapping solutions, particularly to the GIS community via the Internet. The goal of their MapInfo Metadata Administrator (MDA) project is to develop an Internet/Intranet family of products that deliver new information discovery, metadata management, and location-based technologies compliant with U.S. and industry standards. MDA is the first industrial implementation of the OGC (Open GIS Consortium) Catalog services, combining Decom’s unique metadata technology with MapInfo’s spatial competencies. With MDA, organizations holding a significant number of digital maps may provide their customers and employees with simple tools to rapidly find and use spatial data and accompanying documents without prior knowledge of where those resources may reside, how they are organized, or how they are usually accessed. The MapInfo Metadata Administrator is designed for spatial data consumers, clearinghouses, and spatial data providers. This is all being done through a BIRD grant.
The New York company Acoustiguide received a BIRD grant to join with Israel’s Espro to create an automated audio guide for museums that put voice-overs on chips rather than tapes. The new guide does not need jacks and plugs and feels like a cellular phone. It is used by New York’s three leading museums - the Metropolitan, the Guggenheim, and MOMA - among others. Acoustiguide’s Amos Melamed said in an interview with Link magazine that he worked with Espro because “they came up with some rather amazing new technology.”
General Microwave Corp. of Amityville, Long Island, received two BIRD grants to work with a subsidiary in Israel. The first was spent on developing microwave oscillators used in telecommunications and radar. The second is financing a fiber optics project. President Sherman Rinkel told Link magazine that BIRD “helped us judge the market, and this gave us added confidence.”
Dor Chemicals Ltd. (Israel) and New York-based Turbulent Energy LLC received a BIRD grant to develop and commercialize diesel/methanol hybrid fuels.
Recent BIRD grants include:
- Tel Aviv-based Pill Tracker and Target Health of New York City for tracking medication and drug compliance.
- AIO ME of Tel Aviv and Finastra Financial Technology Corporation of New York City to jointly develop a next-generation Loan-Origination-System to automatically collect and verify customer data while maintaining regulatory compliance.
- HackerU Ltd. of Ramat Gan and JustCode Inc. of New York City to develop a cyber security and coding assessment platform for measuring and enhancing cyber readiness and tech talent competency.
- Leviticus-Cardio Ltd. of Petach Tikva and New York City-based Jarvik Heart Inc. to develop the Wireless Jarvik 2000® LVAD.
- HiRiseTech of Petach Tikva and Bronx-based Allstate Sprinkler Corp. to develop a first responders emergency radio repeater system for high-rise buildings.
In October 2018, New York’s economic development agency chose two Israeli companies to help transform Manhattan into a leader in cybersecurity innovation. SOSA will operate the 15,000-square-foot Global Cyber Center co-working space, and Jerusalem Venture Partners will manage HUB. The Center will serve as an incubator for the next generation of cybersecurity start-ups.
Scientific Innovations top
New York 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 York have received more than $11 million in BSF grants. Cornell, NYU, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia University, and Mount Sinai Medical Center are among the recipients. New York ranks second to California in total BSF grants.
Mark Aronoff, professor of linguistics at SUNY Stony Brook, is using a grant to compare the structures of Israeli and American sign language. He has found that all sign languages are similar in that they are visual and “represent reality in a way you can’t with spoken language,” although they differ in grammatical structure. Due to his research, the Israeli deaf community “has become more aware of its language and its uniqueness.” Although Israeli sign language is a young language, “Educators have come to realize that it is a language of its own.” Aronoff found his Israeli colleagues to be “no-nonsense, and that makes them easier to work with.” He has since gotten involved in other work in Israel involving language disorders.
Using the intense X-ray produced at the National Synchrotron Light Source, Dr. Benjamin Ocko, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, is studying ultra-thin organic films. Normally organic films are grown layer-by-layer, but using a novel “self-replicative” technique discovered by Israeli chemists Rivka Maoz and Jacob Sagiv, films can now be grown much faster. The X-ray studies reveal that these films exhibit a very high degree of internal structure on atomic and molecular scales. This research could lead to future advances in microelectronics. Ocko added that “the new nanostructured materials being developed today often benefit from the cooperation of scientists with different backgrounds, and our success illustrates this new paradigm.”
Professor of Neuroscience Robert Shapley of NYU received a grant to work with a Hebrew University scientist to study how neurons in the visual cortex respond to visual stimuli. They research how the circuits in the brain work and how the cortex in the brain changes responses that come from the eye. Studying visual function in healthy people and characterizing how the eye and neural paths work can lead to finding how the functions are changed due to diseases such as those of the eye or nervous system. As a result of the research, scientists have discovered how neurons change the selectivity of cells in the cortex. They better understand the function of the connections between the cells and the cortex and how the circuits change the signal seen in the eye to the signal seen in the cortex. “My Israeli partner is interested in modeling the cortex, its modifiability, and plasticity. I’m more analytical. We complement each other quite a lot,” said Shapley. He called the joint effort “mutually beneficial,” adding that his Israeli colleague is “more analytical than the average collaborator. He’s a first-class scientist.”
Agriculture Benefits top
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.
New York institutions have received grants worth more than $15.5 million.
Martin Schreibman, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Director of Aquatic Research at Brooklyn College, has developed a way to control a species of fish thanks in large part to funding given to her research team through a BARD grant.
Professor Schreibman has received BARD grants for 12 years to research fish reproduction. Schreibman and his Israeli colleagues are working to accelerate the reproductive process, make fish reproduce outside of their natural spawning cycle, and control the reproduction of valuable fish for farming. They are characterizing the hormones of striped bass, their gene expression, and the timing of their release. They have cultivated a new species of fish and helped create a prosperous fish-farming industry in Israel. In the U.S., their research has led to the development of an evaluation kit to determine the optimal time for breeding striped bass. Schreibman called the collaboration a “valuable experience,” commenting that Israel has some “outstanding scientists who, besides being my colleagues, have become my friends.” He added that the Israelis he knows are “bright, hardworking and have goals in mind that they strive to achieve.”
Another BARD grant recipient is David Stern, a scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and adjunct professor of biology at Cornell. Stern and his Israeli colleagues try to discover how the chloroplast cells in plants use light as a signal to change their metabolism. They study how genes function in chloroplast cells, knowledge that can be applied to engineering plants and giving them genes for new traits. Based on research done with funding from his two grants, Stern has published articles contributing to the general knowledge base in this field. He said that on an individual level, “There’s a real synergy in this project. [My Israeli colleague and I] are good friends.” More globally, “Scientific and cultural ties with Israel are important. The Israeli scientific community could be isolated because of its geographic location. This grant brings the countries together.”
Spanning more than two decades, another BARD-sponsored project put a group of scientists from the Boyce Thompson Institute including Jim Giovanni, together with a large group from both North Carolina State University and the Volcani Center in Israel to research ways to make melon taste sweeter. Through help from the BARD foundation, the group researched and found the complete characterization of the metabolic pathway responsible for the melon’s sweet taste. The scientists then showed that almost twenty enzymatic reactions are involved in this process and have further identified the key enzymes that determine the level of sucrose in the fruit. The group published a number of articles in various academic and scientific journals, including Physiologia Plantarum.
Vitaly Citovsky of SUNY Stony Brook used a BARD grant to study the molecular aspects of how viruses and bacteria infect plants. This research can lead to finding new strains of plants that are resistant to diseases. Citovsky has already identified several key components of host cells that are important for infection. He recognizes that “international collaboration is an essential part of research,” particularly in Israel, where “the science system is close to ours, unlike the European system.”
NYU professor Andrew Spielman received a grant to study bitter compounds with Israelis in Rehovot. The researchers successfully discovered the cell biology of how the bitter taste works in orange and lemon peels. This research can lead to finding simple ways of modifying or masking bitterness to improve food products. Spielman used the BARD grant to go to Israel for a week of seminars and interaction with Israeli scientists. He called his collaboration “culturally and scientifically wonderful. The quality of scientists [in Israel] is exceptional, and the interaction within this group has been particularly good.”
Cornell Professor Gary Harman worked with Ilan Chet of Israel to control plant diseases without pesticides. They have invented and registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a process that changes fungus cells to protect crops such as corn, beans, and tomatoes. In trials done with beans, the yields are doubled with the new process, and the yield increased by 70% with sweet corn. Harman and Chet have formed a new company called TGT Inc. to market their product.
One team of scientists from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and Hebrew University discovered that the Trichoderma fungus species in soil can prevent diseases in emerging seeds and young plants. They produced new “super-strains” that are effective on a wide range of crops. One has already been registered with the EPA.
Another successful BARD project concluded with the development of the Rift Valley Fever vaccine. The vaccine was created through collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plum Island (NY) Animal Diseases Center and Israel’s Kimron Veterinary Institute. It will protect cattle, sheep, and even humans in developing countries from the mosquito-borne virus.
Two Cornell University professors are collaborating with a colleague at the Technion to develop a method of early detection and identification of faults in greenhouse operations. They focus on detecting crop stress and other major faults in the categories of sensors, control, structure, and crops. Early detection of problems could potentially increase production, improve the quality and timing of crops, reduce required inputs per unit of production, and protect the environment.
One Cornell University-Volcani Center team is researching which gene combinations are most effective at creating a fungus that will fight powdery mildew in grapevines. This can also lead to finding a cure for fruit rot in grapes. The research can improve the yields of the grape industries in both the U.S. and Israel.
Cornell University and BARD have established a framework for collaborative agricultural research between Cornell and Israeli scientists – the Cornell University/BARD Program (Cornell/BARD fund).
New York-Israel Education Partnerships top
On December 19, 2011, NYC Mayor Bloomberg, Cornell University President David J. Skorton, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President Peretz Lavie announced a historic partnership to build a two-million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. The NYCTech Campus project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2013, and groundbreaking on the first phase of the campus is expected by 2015. Before then, an off-site campus will be open in 2012.
“Thanks to this outstanding partnership and groundbreaking proposal from Cornell and the Technion, New York City’s goal of becoming the global leader in technological innovation is now within sight,” Mayor Bloomberg said. The campus will be structured around the three interdisciplinary hubs of Connective Media, Healthier Life, and the Built Environment. Cornell will immediately offer master’s and doctoral degrees in fields such as Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Information Science and Engineering. After the accreditation process is complete, the campus will also offer unique Technion-Cornell dual Master of Applied Sciences degrees.
Furthermore, the NYCTech campus will host entrepreneurs-in-residence, host business competitions, provide legal support for start-ups, form research partnerships with existing companies, sponsor research, and start a pre-seed financing program to support excellent research proposals. Cornell and the Technion are both global leaders of applied science, engineering, technology and research, and development and entrepreneurship. The Technion’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments are considered among the best worldwide, and its faculty members include a handful of Nobel laureates, the most recent of which is Professor Dan Shechtman for Chemistry.
Billionaire media tycoon Mortimer Zuckerman launched the $100 million Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program to promote scientific collaboration between the U.S. and Israel in New York on January 24, 2016. The program began in the 2016-2017 academic year and will foster cooperation between Israeli experts and researchers and American post-doctoral researchers and graduate students. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a statement about the program, claiming “the Zuckerman Scholars Program is a prime example of how we can keep [the New York/Israel relationship] strong today and in the future.” Zuckerman has supported a number of Jewish medical and scientific institutions through his foundation, which has pledged to fund the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program until 2036.
Other Cooperative Programs top
The United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF), Syracuse University, and the Union of Local Authorities in Israel (ULA) offer two joint grants to Israeli local authority officials, undertaking the executive education Master of Arts in Public Administration degree program of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University.
In September 2012, the New York Police Department (NYPD) opened its Israeli branch in the Sharon District Police headquarters in Kfar Saba to work more closely and maintain daily contact with the Israeli police, whom NYPD recognizes as one of the major police forces in the world. Charlie Ben-Naim, an Israeli-born veteran NYPD detective, traveled to Israel to open the branch, which will not operate out of the U.S. Embassy.
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv received separate Bloomberg Philanthropy grants from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in December 2014. The Israeli cities were chosen along with twelve American cities to be recipients of the grants, which provide $400,000 to $1 million annually to projects formulating new approaches to poverty, hunger, public safety, and job growth. Over 30 cities of all sizes applied for the grants, from small cities in Colorado to large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, California. Other cities selected as recipients of these Bloomberg Philanthropy grants in 2014 were Albuquerque, New Mexico; Boston, Massachusetts; Centennial, Colorado; Jersey City, New Jersey; Long Beach, California; Los Angeles, California; Mobile, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Peoria, Illinois; Rochester, New York; Seattle, Washington, and Syracuse, New York.
New York’s Cornell University and Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology inaugurated their newly built high-tech learning and research center on New York’s Roosevelt Island in September 2017. The campus, to be known as the Cornell Tech campus, is a $2 billion project that will offer master’s and doctoral programs in science and technology fields.
Fifteen New York Army National Guard engineers, five members of the New York City fire department, five members of the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and two soldiers from the Missouri National Guard got hands-on training from four members of Israel’s Home Front Command on Israeli techniques for locating and rescuing people from destroyed buildings during three days of training from July 17 to 19, 2023, at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. The Israeli techniques were eye-opening, said Spc. Jerome Griffin. “I think from a soldier’s perspective we have a tendency to want to jump in and just start saving people as fast as we can, but the engineers from Israel really stressed patience,” Griffin said. “They said to take a step back and really calculate how to operate safely and smoothly without causing more damage, and that really resonated with me,” he added.
In 2023, Columbia announced it would open a center in Tel Aviv, which will serve as a research hub for professors and graduate students but will not host undergraduate study programs. It will join the university’s ten other global centers in cities including Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, and Nairobi. Columbia’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, said the global center program was “foundational to Columbia’s mission to engage with the world.”
Columbia students can already obtain a dual degree with Tel Aviv University and study abroad in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Sister Cities: top
UJA Partnership 2000 Communities:
State Contacts top
American-Israel Chamber of Commerce
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Jewish World Service
American Joint Distribution Committee
American Zionist Movement
B'nai B'rith International
Conference of Presidents
Dept. of Economic Development
Economic Mission of the Government of Israel
Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York
Government of Israel Trade Center
JCC of Rockaway Peninsula
The Jerusalem Foundation
Jewish Federation Broome County
Jewish Federation Dutchess County
Jewish Federation of Elmira-Corning
Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo
Jewish Federation Greater Orange County
Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
Jewish Federation of Mohawk Valley
Jewish Federation Niagara Falls
Jewish Federation of Syracuse
Jewish Federation Ulster County
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish National Fund
Jewish National Fund
Lights in Action
National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel
National Conference on Soviet Jewry
National Council of Jewish Women
New York-Israel Economic Development Partnership
Gerry Stoch, Director
New York State Trade office
United Jewish Communities (UJC)
UJA Young Leadership
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
United Israel Appeal
United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York
Women's American ORT
World Jewish Congress
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).
Liam Stack, “Columbia University’s Tel Aviv Plans Draw Strong Faculty Rebuke,” New York Times, (April 5, 2023).
Staff Sgt. Matthew Gunther, “NY National Guard Soldiers learn urban search and rescue skills from Israeli experts,” dvids, (July 21, 2023).
Eric Adams, “New York City Mayor: Israel is my second home,” Jerusalem Post, (August 23, 2023).
Ben Sales, “Visiting Israel, Eric Adams meets with anti-government protesters,” JTA, (August 23, 2023).
Jacob Kornbluh, “NYC Mayor Eric Adams, refusing to pick a side, says Netanyahu and protesters both ‘love Israel,’” Forward, (September 5, 2023).