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State-to-State Cooperation: Washington, D.C. and Israel

Washington DC









Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2023)


      Percentage Change (2022-2023)


      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)


Israel’s Trade Partner Rank (2023)


Washington D.C.’s Rank as Exporter to Israel (2023) 50
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 Washington from U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations

Advanced Power Tech, Inc.
American College of Obstetricians & Obstetricians
American University
Brookings Institution
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Carnegie Institute of Washington
Catholic University
George Washington University
George Washington University Medical School  
Georgetown Medical School
Howard University
International Bank of Reconstruction
\Medlantic Research Foundation
National Academy of Sciences
National Bureau of Standards
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institutes of Health
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Naval Research Lab
Office of Management and Budget
Sitel/MedStar Health
Smithsonian Institution
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
USDA Agricultural Research Center
VA Medical Center
Washington Cardiology Center

Bilateral Institutions

US-Israel Business Initiative - The first District of Columbia-based effort to advance and strengthen US-Israel commercial relations, the UIBI was formed with the sponsorship of the Middle East Department at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This initiative is dedicated to the advancement of relations between American and Israeli commercial actors at all levels. Through the U.S.-Israel business initiative, the Chamber is creating a national forum for dialogue on innovation, entrepreneurship, and the key commercial and economic issues of interest to American and Israeli companies. 

Cooperative Agreements

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Washington, D.C. Government Missions to Israel

April 2012 - Deputy U.S. Park Police Chief Robert MacLean and assistant D.C. police chief Diane Groomes traveled to Israel on a homeland security-inspired trip where they got a first-hand look at how Israeli police and the public respond to security threats and disasters. Both officials were struck by the similar and familiar balance of the need to preserve civil liberties and, at the same time, maintain strict and effective security measures. Groomes was impressed by the speed with which the Israeli police and public seem to recover from tragedy: “I was struck by how they can handle a scene, process and clear it and plant within it,” she said. “If we had a bomb on a bus, it would take us maybe a day or two to handle. They said they just want life to go back to normal as soon as possible.” MacLean, who has worked with the Anti-Defamation League before, was particularly touched by his visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

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

In 2023, Washington, D.C., exported more than $2.7 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Washington, D.C.’s exports to Israel have totaled more than $157 million, and Israel now ranks as Washington’s 29th leading trade partner. Washington ranks 50th among all states in exports to Israel.

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 Washington, D.C.

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.

The District of Columbia has also received nearly $1 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 Washington, D.C. is limited only by the imagination.

Washington, D.C. 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.

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.

In 2011, the BIRD Foundation awarded the D.C.-based Sitel/MedStar Health Company a grant to collaborate with the Israeli-based company Semantic Medical Solutions to develop a semantic medical simulation platform.

D.C.-based companies have benefited from more than $600,000 in BIRD grants.

Scientific Innovations

District 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.

D.C. scientists have received 90 grants from BSF worth more than $250,000.

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.

Institutions in the District of Columbia have received nearly $70,000 in BARD grants.

Other Cooperative Programs

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington runs two highly successful programs to help at-risk and impoverished youth in Israel. “Youth Futures-Afula” provides such children with comprehensive, tailored programs, interventions, and community resources. This program has been used with over 150 Israeli children. 

Additionally, the JFGW also runs a program entitled “Parents and Children Together” (PACT) in Afula, which provides comprehensive enrichment and community services for Ethiopian-Israeli youngsters, their families, and the community. The support of this program helps to bring this “educational head start” to 800 children, from birth through 12 years of age. 

Sister Cities

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UJA Partnership 2000 Communities



Washington, D.C.

Bet Shemesh - Mateh Yehuda

State Contacts

Hillel Campus Profiles

America-Israel Chamber of Commerce of Washington
Ian Berkowitz, Director
1714 N St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel. 202-462-8994
Fax. 202-462-8995
Email. [email protected]

D.C. Jewish Community Center
1529 16th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel. 202­775­1765

Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Rd.
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel. 301­881­0100

UJA Federation of Greater Washington
6101 Montrose Rd.
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel. 301­230­7200

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington - Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum
701 Fourth Street, NW #200
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel. (202) 789-0900
Fax. (202) 789-0485

Historic 1876 synagogue
Corner of Third & G Streets, NW
Washington, D.C.

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
600 I Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Tel. 202.408.3100

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).