Mission & Impact


“The contribution of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation to the lives of so many artists is unique. In the most fragile times of our lives as young artists, we found support, understanding, and caring that made a huge difference in our careers.”

– Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director, Batsheva Dance Company

Our Mission

The mission of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation is to support and develop artistic life in Israel by awarding grants. By encouraging Israeli artists and supporting institutions and programs, AICF makes a vital contribution to the cultural foundation of Israel and strengthens her relationship with the United States.

Our Impact

  • Awarding grants to Israeli students of the arts in the disciplines of music, art & design, dance, film & television, and theatre
  • Supplying grants to partner institutions in Israel to help them maintain the highest standard of excellence in arts education
  • Serving as a resource to connect Israeli artists around the world with each other and with appreciative audiences
  • Inspiring partner organizations to join our cause and support Israeli artists in their communities

For more information on current opportunities, see Sharett Creative Excellence Grants Program and Aviv Competitions.

Our History

Since 1939, AICF has played a leading role in the development of Israel’s arts and culture. Due to its early support for nearly all of Israel’s largest institutions and its reputation for nourishing the finest artists, the name AICF has become synonymous with culture in Israel. With nearly 18,000 artists impacted by our efforts over our 76-year history, the results are nothing short of remarkable:

  • Over $150 million has been disbursed by AICF to benefit Israeli culture since 1939
  • Over 500 young artists receive support each year
  • Nearly every notable AICF recipient credits AICF’s recognition as a significant factor in their success
  • AICF alumni are represented globally in nearly every top ballet and modern dance company; museum and gallery; operatic, theatrical, and symphonic stage; and film festival.

Notable AICF Support Recipients - Individuals and Institutions

Some of AICF’s Recipients Include:

Itzhak Perlman, violin, 1956-1964
Pinchas Zukerman, violin, 1957-1967
Joseph Kalichstein, piano, 1958-1963
Yefim Bronfman, piano, 1973-1977
Miriam Fried, violin, 1956-1968
Gil Shaham, violin, 1980-1983
Sharon Kam, clarinet, 1984-1993
Daniel Barenboim, conducting, 1954
Anat Cohen, Latin music and jazz, 1992-1994
Avishai Cohen, jazz, 1992-2003
Rita Yahan-Farouz, singer, 1985-1986
David Broza, jazz, 1980
Jerusalem Quartet: Alexander Pavlovsky, violin, 1992-1999; Sergei Bresler, violin, 1991-1999; Ori Kam, viola, 1991-1999; Kyril Zlotnikov, cello, 1991-1999
Johnny Gandelsman, violin, 1991-1999
Itamar Zorman, violin, 1999-2009
Roman Rabinovitch, piano, 1996-2010
Sharon Kam, clarinet, 1984-1993
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, 1943-1999
Haifa Symphony Orchestra, 1953-1996
Rubin Academy, 1963-2000
Culture to the People (Omanut La’am), 1980-1998
Jerusalem Music Centre’s Young Musicians Unit, 1991-2005

Art & Design
Menashe Kadishman, painting/sculpture, 1960-1962
Boaz Vaadia, painting/sculpture, 1968-1972
Michal Rovner, 1987-1993
Zigi Ben-Haim, painting, 1967-1971
Joshua Neustein, abroad fellowship
Sigalit Landau, multimedia, 1994-1996
Uri Tzaig, painting/sculpture, 1992-1996
Michal Heiman, photography, 1989-1990
Pavel Woldberg, photography, 1994-1996
Yehudit Sasportas, painting/sculpture, 1994-2000
Israel Museum, 1959-1986
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 1965-1992
Haifa Museum of Ancient Art, 1953-1974
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, 1960-2000
Acquisition of Israeli art for various museums, 1987-2005

Ohad Naharin, 1975-1977
Rami Be’er, 1977-1978
Yehudit Arnon, abroad fellowship
Ido Tadmor, 1982-1985
Zvi Gotheiner, 1971-1975
Idan Sharabi, 2000-2006
Batsheva Dance Company, 1960-2000
Bat-Dor Be’er Sheva Dance Studio, 1953-2000
Inbal Dance Theatre, 1965-1987
Kibbutz Dance Company, 1984-2000
Israel Ballet, 1984-1995

Film & Television
Nir Bergman, 1994-1999
Dover Kosashvili, 1995-1997
Eytan Fox, 1990-1991
Jerusalem Film and TV School, 1989-2000
Jerusalem Cinemateque, 1989-1994
Tel Aviv Cinemateque, 1989-1993
Young Filmmakers Group, 1995-2003

Hanna Azulai-Hasfari, acting, 1981-1982
Roni Pinkovitz, directing, 1986-1989
Mark Ivanir, acting, 1988-1990
Moshe Naor, directing, 1996-1997
Oded Teomi, acting, 1958-1959
Itay Tiran, theatre, 2000-2002
Cameri Theatre, 1943-1985
Habimah National Theatre, 1948-1974
Haifa Municipal Theatre, 1949-1987
Jerusalem Theatre, 1951-1974
Studio Nissan Nativ, 1983-1999

AICF alumni serve as professors and instructors at the most prestigious institutions in the world, including the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, the Israel School of Music, the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, The Juilliard School, Boston University, Parsons The New School of Design, Dresden Academy for Early Music, and The Banff Centre.

Our Goals and Benchmarks

Year after year, our staff continues to exceed fundraising expectations and expand our impact. Our current major focus is on Board development, expanding our artist network, and creating a new coalition of sustainable funders of culture.

Since 2008, we have tripled our donor base, doubled our Board membership, and built an international network bringing Israeli culture to hundreds of thousands of people. We have rebuilt our endowment to $5 million to secure funding for Israel in perpetuity. We are continually in dialogue with top fundraising experts in Israel to continue to grow our donor base, and we serve as a resource for those looking to discover new artists in all disciplines. Our programs and goals are reviewed by the leading artists and guiding cultural groups in Israel and the types and number of grants and range of programs are constantly reevaluated and updated.

Detailed descriptions of our strategic plan and programmatic review are available upon request to David Homan, Executive Director.

“A nation’s support of its arts is a matter of both national pride and cultural survival.”

– Theodore Bikel