(JTA) — The U.S.-based Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced that it is donating $11.3 million to three Israeli institutions and to eight organizations that arrange trips to Israel.
The grants, which were announced Thursday, will be directed to a range of causes, including agricultural research, medical research and infrastructure, and, for the first time, educational trips designed to improve Israel’s international standing.
A $3.2 million grant to the Center for Agriculture in Arid Lands at the Volcani Agricultural Research Institute will support a pair of research projects aimed at increasing agricultural production in Israel’s desert region.
The trust will also donate $3.4 million to fund research at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center into factors the contribute to the development of pouchitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease associated with Crohn’s Disease.
Another $3.4 million grant will help to establish an ambulatory wing of the Organ Transplantation Center at Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikvah.
The $1.3 million that the Helmsley Trust is committing to trips to Israel marks the first time that it has supported such trips. The organizations that will be sponsored for trips to Israel include Christians United for Israel, The David Project, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and Vibe Israel, among others.
Since the Helmsley Charitable Trust began awarding grants to Israel in 2009 it has committed more than $140 million to charitable organizations, including scientific research, health care and communications.