America-Israel Cultural Foundation

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America Israel Cultural Foundation
Type501(c)3 nonprofit foundation

The America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) is a non-profit American foundation that supports cultural projects in Israel.


The America-Israel Cultural Foundation was established in 1939 to support the growth and development of a Jewish national home. It was originally known as the American Fund for Palestinian Institutions. After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the name was changed to the American Fund for Israeli Institutions, and subsequently re-incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation in the US as its current name, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

After initial years of funding the development of Israeli life through capital projects involving agriculture, archeology, culture, law, and numerous other categories, the organization shifted its focus entirely to culture and by 1954 was entirely focused on cultural support. As an early provider of seed money for nearly all of the notable cultural institutions in Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Museum, the Batsheva Dance Company and over 600 other institutions, AICF helped establish and maintain the long-standing excellence of Israeli culture throughout the world. In 1961, it gave entertainer Jack Benny an award for his support.[1][2] The organization was once housed in the William H. Moore House.[3]

In 1977, the AICF created a chapter in Washington, D.C..[4]

Early recipients included Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Daniel Libeskind (for accordion), Pinchas Zukerman, Miriam Fried, Rami Bar-Niv, Yefim Bronfman, and by 2015, over 17,000 young artists had been supported.[5]

The foundation was in danger of closing in the wake of losses caused by the Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff.[6][7]

Since 2008 AICF has rebuilt, increasing its investments to $2.7 million.[8] They have granted more than 2500 new scholarships and supported more than $8 million in direct support to Israeli culture. They promote Israeli culture internationally featuring Israel's cultural partnerships with more than 100 countries around the world, and are gaining support from a new generation of supporters who believe culture is the key to promoting understanding.

In 2019, in celebration of its 80th anniversary, AICF launched the ICA Awards (Israeli Culture & Arts Awards), to recognize "the most impactful Israeli artists... for their contributions to the global cultural landscape".[9] The inaugural recipients of the award, announced on October 28, 2019, are Hanna Azoulay Hasfari (theater), Ohad Naharin (dance), Ron Leshem (literature), Idan Raichel (music), and Vania Heymann (film).[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jack Benny Gets Award for Aid to Israel". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California: November 21, 1961. 21 November 1961. p. B1. Retrieved 29 April 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Dr. William F. Baker to Be Honored by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation with Its Prestigious King Solomon Award at November 11 Gala Concert". October 18, 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ ""Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)"". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original (Searchable database) on 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2015-12-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) Note: This includes Stephen S. Lash (July 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: William H. Moore House" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-12-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Michael Kernan (23 May 1977). "America-Israel Cultural Foundation". Retrieved 1 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "America-Israel Cultural Foundation celebrates its 75th". 11 January 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Noam Ben Ze'ev (13 January 2009). "America-Israel Cultural Foundation in danger of closing after Madoff losses". Haaretz. Retrieved 29 April 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Schweitzer, Vivien (January 13, 2010). "Cabaret Garnishes a Chamber Concert". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 April 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Henriques, Diana B. (7 December 2013). "Madoff Victims, Five Years the Wiser". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Foundation (AICF), America-Israel Cultural. "America-Israel Cultural Foundation Introduces Prestigious ICA Awards". Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  10. ^ "America-Israel Cultural Foundation". Retrieved 2019-10-29.

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