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Helmsley Trust gives $22 million to Israeli institutions

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced almost $22 million in new grants to four Israeli institutions.

The four grants are being awarded to Magen David Adom, Barzilai Hospital, Haifa University and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. The grants are intended to strengthen and protect facilities in the event of natural disasters or regional conflict, expand Israel’s environmental research of the Mediterranean seabed and provide scholarships for disadvantaged soldiers to pursue higher education, according to the trust.

The New York-based trust, which began awarding grants to Israel in 2009 and holds more than $4 billion in assets, has committed over $110 million so far to various organizations in the Jewish state. It also funds a range of education, health care and environmental projects in the United States.

“These grants illustrate our basic philanthropic approach toward Israel,” said Helmsley trustee Sandor Frankel in a statement. “They will strengthen Israel’s scientific, technological and medical research, which will benefit not only Israel, but the rest of the world as well.”

The Helmsleys earned their fortune in the real estate and hotel businesses.

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