U.S.-based Helmsley Trust awards Israeli institutions over $9 million


(JTA) — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is giving more than $9.6 million in new grants to four Israeli institutions.

The grants announced Monday are being awarded to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

A $1.5 million grant will allow the Technion and south China’s Shantou University to collaborate on field studies in China and train Chinese post-doctoral students studying pollution solutions at the Technion in Haifa, as well as support Technion collaborations with scientists in China. A $2.2 million grant will support the recruitment of science faculty at Hebrew University and provide laboratories for neurobiology and structural biology research.

Two grants to the Weizmann Institute will fund research in the Department of Biomedical Sciences on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and the purchase of a superconducting magnet for the Department of Biological Chemistry.

A $191,000 grant to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, in conjunction with the Center for Jewish Community Studies, will fund “an unbiased, educational report that accurately details what transpired before and during the 2014 Gaza war,” according to the trust. The report will be distributed widely.

The New York-based trust, which began awarding grants to Israel in 2009 and holds more than $4 billion in assets, has committed over $131 million to organizations in the Jewish state. It also funds a range of education, health care and environmental projects in the United States.

The grants, Helmsley trustee Sandor Frankel said, “strengthen Israel’s scientific, technological and medical research, benefiting the nation’s top tier institutions and academics. They also help to solve problems leading the global agenda. These grants will support Israeli innovation so it will continue to make Israel and the rest of the world a healthier and safer place for all.”

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