Following a comprehensive review of the status of disabled adults in the Arab Community conducted by JDC, Yad Hanadiv funded a large-scale intervention designed to improve the response to the needs of this population and create a professional organisational infrastructure to support this. The project strengthens NGOs working in the Arab Community for the disabled and their families, provides access to information in Arabic, works to eliminate prejudice and alter public attitudes within the Arab Community towards the disabled. Masira ultimately established an Arab Philanthropic Fund relying on donations from within the Community – the first of its kind in Israel.
Yad Hanadiv’s focus on Head Teachers is founded on the premise that Head Teachers who systematically address the improvement of student learning, who possess the knowledge and are acquainted with effective work methods, influence the culture of schools, teachers and teaching practices, thereby improving student learning. In 2007 Yad Hanadiv and the Ministry of Education established Avney Rosha – The National Institute for School Leadership.
Avney Rosha was entrusted with the authority to identify, train and provide professional development for all Head Teachers throughout the country. It emphasizes pedagogical leadership, building practical knowledge resources, developing learning systems and hands-on training, early career professional development, and fuller use of knowledge and experience in decision making.
Over more than a decade, Avney Rosha has provided intensive training for 2,000 new Head Teachers (half of the Head Teachers in Israel). An evaluation carried out by the National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education in 2012 found that: 80% of Head Teachers saw improving teaching and learning as their main mission (vs a 5% initial benchmark when Avney Rosha was established). The rate at which graduates of preparatory programmes take up positions as Head Teachers has doubled from 25% to 50% and is on a par with international standards.
Yad Hanadiv has supported Avney Rosha in setting and maintaining high standards, primarily through emphasis on the development of verified practical knowledge and its integration into all activities, and by backing Avney Rosha’s efforts to maintain a long-term strategic focus. In the context of Yad Hanadiv’s overarching strategy on the quality of teaching and learning, Avney Rosha has been pivotal in providing clear standards for Head Teachers and the professional support to attain them.
Avney Rosha Website
HEMDA was established in January 1988 by Yad Hanadiv and the Tel Aviv Municipality as a regional centre for high school science education in Tel Aviv. The initiative followed up on conclusions of an expert Committee chaired by Professor Haim Harari. The centre offers advanced level physics and chemistry, drawing on teaching and laboratories at a higher standard than is available in schools. Most of its outstanding teaching staff hold PhDs in chemistry and physics. HEMDA attracts a broad range of students from diverse backgrounds and communities.
Yad Hanadiv’s grant making has included multi-year efforts to improve literacy among Arab schoolchildren. Difficulties in acquiring reading skills have detrimental effects on learning and can severely hinder development. Arabic speakers are especially challenged by differences between spoken and written Arabic. On the basis of linguistic studies of preschoolers commissioned by Yad Hanadiv, the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) was given support to develop a set of innovative curricular materials for young children, including an Arabic–Arabic children’s dictionary (the first of its kind), games and aids to prepare Arabic-speaking children for first grade. CET text books, digital content and teaching guides for Arabic language study by native speakers in elementary and middle schools are in use in hundreds of schools around the country.
The last 50 years have witnessed a revolution in the way archaeology is practiced. In the late 1990s Yad Hanadiv began providing support to the Kimmel Centre for Archaeological Science at the Weizmann Institute. The Institute is devoted to training a new generation of archaeologists in methods that incorporate scientific techniques and to promoting inter-university collaboration. The Foundation has supported cooperative efforts among scientists and archaeologists to develop unique methods of examining archaeological finds using 3D scanning and digital processing.
Yad Hanadiv began its support for Archaeology In the 1950s and 1960s with the James de Rothschild Archaeological Expedition to Hazor. It was followed by restoration work at Masada and Caesarea, in the Old City of Jerusalem, at Ramat Hanadiv, Hirbet Hamam and Huqoq among others. Throughout the years Yad Hanadiv has also promoted the publication and dissemination of excavation reports. In 2009 it set up the Yizhar Hirschfeld Memorial Fellowship in Archaeology to encourage younger Israeli archaeologists to innovate and pursue their scientific agendas.
The Centre for Educational Technology (CET) was established by Yad Hanadiv in 1971, in partnership with the State of Israel, to develop innovative and effective methods of teaching and learning using modern technologies and instructional materials. In 1977, far in advance of personal computers, CET introduced individualized computer-aided learning systems into the Israeli school system. By 2018 CET had published 1,400 printed and 1,000 digital titles, developed hundreds of websites and trained tens of thousands of teachers. Over the years, development projects supported by Yad Hanadiv have included: an online ‘virtual campus’ for teachers’ professional learning and interaction; distance tutoring; projects to advance literacy of native Arabic speakers, online digital books, MindCET Edtech Innovation Centre and an adaptive learning platform.
Yad Hanadiv assisted Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz to complete his Hebrew translation of the Babylonian Talmud with Commentaries and to place it online. The Foundation promoted the Friedberg Genizah Project in cooperation with the National Library of Israel and the Israel Antiquities Authority’s project to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls. Support has also been given to advance the work of Sefaria – a non-profit organisation which is assembling a free online library of digital texts in Hebrew and in translation.
Dorothy de Rothschild
The Instructional Television Centre, launched in 1966, was a ground-breaking effort to use television as a tool to enhance the school curriculum in Israel. Yad Hanadiv established the Instructional Television Trust, built its premises in Ramat Aviv and operated the project. Educational objectives were defined in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The first broadcast, which included mathematics, biology and English classes, inaugurated television transmission in Israel, and 60 television sets were distributed to 32 schools around the country to enable them to receive the first broadcasts. In 1969 Yad Hanadiv handed over the entire project to the State.
The Environment and Health Fund (EHF) was established by Yad Hanadiv in 2007 as a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation. EHF is committed to improving expertise in, and expanding knowledge about, the impact of environmental hazards on public health in Israel, with the ultimate goal of improving human health and well-being. EHF builds capacity by supporting inter-disciplinary research, providing fellowships for advanced degrees, sponsoring in-service professional training, and organising workshops and conferences. It provides unbiased, evidence-based, authoritative information to policy-makers, professionals and the public-at-large, in an effort to improve the decision-making process concerning dangers to health caused by environmental factors. Since 2016 EHF has focused on reducing exposure of the public, especially children, to harmful chemicals.
Investing in green building has been a natural outcome of the Foundation’s commitment to promoting environmental health and awareness. The Visitors Pavilion at Ramat Hanadiv, completed in 2008, was the first public building in Israel to be granted a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the US Green Building Council for sustainable construction. Yad Hanadiv’s offices in Jerusalem, completed in 2013, received Silver LEED Certification. The new National Library building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and scheduled to open in 2021, is being planned for highest-level compliance with environmental building standards and LEED Certification.
GuideStar Israel is an online comprehensive database of information about Israeli non-profit organisations. Launched in August 2010, it includes information from the organisations as well as official filings required under Israeli law. It serves as an extensive source of data on the Third Sector and facilitates decision making on issues relating to Civil Society in Israel. Israel was the third country to establish a GuideStar database, after the US and UK. The project was a joint venture of the Ministry of Justice, JDC-Israel and Yad Hanadiv. As of 2017, GuideStar is fully funded and operated by the Ministry of Justice, with the cooperation and guidance of a public committee.
The Israel Initiative for Applied Education Research was founded in 2003 as a joint venture of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Ministry of Education and Yad Hanadiv. Modelled on the US National Research Council, its aim is to provide decision makers with evidence-based, critically reviewed scientific research to decision makers, in order to boost their efforts to improve achievement in Israeli education. Since the beginning of 2010 the Initiative has operated under the auspices of the Academy. The Steering Committee, headed by the former President of the Academy, consults with the Ministry of Education’s Chief Scientist, leading officials and other stakeholders in selecting its areas of activity.
Initiative for Applied Education Research Website
Yad Hanadiv has a long tradition of support for cutting-edge ideas and entrepreneurship in the education system and efforts to utilize technology to address real-life pedagogical challenges. This tradition reaches back to the introduction of Educational Television in 1966, and establishment of the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) in 1970. CET has become the leading organisation in Israel in the planning and development of technological products for the education system. MindCET, a CET spinoff founded in 2012, received support for a ‘start-up’ environment in which teachers and entrepreneurs work together to design technological aids that address practical challenges.
Yad Hanadiv has backed a highly ambitious initiative to personalize learning through the development of an Adaptive Learning System developed by CET. In sharp contrast with the 'one size fits all' approach that predominates in schools and classrooms, adaptive learning aims to: match students’ capabilities with validated exercises and assignments (referred to as learning items); analyse pupils’ responses through diagnostics of progress; and employ ‘big data’ to build personalized sequences of learning items, clues, demonstrations and feedback. The aim is to reach large numbers of pupils across all grade levels and core school subjects within seven years and to measurably improve academic gains, with a particular emphasis on underachieving pupils.
Beyond the direct benefits for students and teachers, the data systematically gathered has potential to provide vital information on how pupils actually learn and to inform the continued development of learning materials and teachers’ professional development.
The Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS) is a national scientific institution designed to serve as a catalyst for high quality, innovative research in diverse fields. Founded in 1975 and housed on the Givat Ram Campus of The Hebrew University, the Institute was inspired by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. It has provided scholars of the highest calibre with an opportunity to combine independent inquiry with fruitful interaction among colleagues. The IIAS organises Collaborative Research Groups focused on shared topics and enables Israeli researchers to be mentored by eminent scholars in their fields. It holds workshops and conferences to encourage sharing of scientific knowledge with the broader academic community and the public at large.
Israel Institute for Advanced Studies Website
The introduction of modern agricultural technology has led to the decline and loss of many cultivated, genetically heterogeneous plants indigenous to Israel. To combat this, the Israel Gene Bank was established to gather existing collections of genetic materials of traditional crops into a single, comprehensive seed bank. Yad Hanadiv funded the visit to Israel in 1995 of an international committee of experts, whose report in May 1996 recommended construction of a new bank and storage facility. The Plant Gene Bank, inaugurated on 1 January 2008, was built within the Agricultural Research Organisation of the Volcani Institute and its ongoing operation is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Science.
The Jerusalem Music Centre (JMC) was established in 1973 at the initiative of violinist Isaac Stern and Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, as a partnership between Yad Hanadiv and the Jerusalem Foundation. Over the years it has nurtured outstanding young musical talent and provided opportunities for Israeli musicians and music students to study with internationally renowned artists, such as Leonard Bernstein, Pablo Casals, Arthur Rubinstein and Murray Perahia, who has served as JMC President since 2009. The JMC provides Jerusalem with a vibrant cultural centre offering top-quality chamber music concerts, master classes and workshops.
Jerusalem Music Centre Website
The Jerusalem Seminar in Architecture was initiated in 1992 by Yad Hanadiv as an international conference series dedicated to discussing contemporary topics in Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. It was created as a platform to share and expand on the knowledge accumulated by the Foundation during the construction of the Supreme Court Building. The seven conferences held between 1992 and 2009 attracted some 1,200 professionals, researchers, students and the public, and provided a lively forum for dialogue and exchange of both theoretical and practical ideas. In addition to lectures, the seminar featured master classes and a design competition for Israeli architecture and design students.
In July 2009 Yad Hanadiv hosted five experts versed in models of linking science and environmental policy in the US, UK, Europe, and Australia. Drawing on their recommendations to build capacity in science, public policy, and communicating science to the public, we launched an initiative to improve the interface between science and policy regarding management of biodiversity and open spaces. The aim was to create high quality relevant data and research on biodiversity to inform the policy, practice and management that would preserve and restore Israel’s unique ecosystems. Major emphases were placed on biodiversity monitoring and reporting, research, and opening effective channels of communication between the science and policy communities.
Over the years our activity has included support for HaMaarag (now under the auspices of the Steinhart Natural Collection Museum at Tel Aviv University) to develop national monitoring that advances science-based management of Israel’s ecosystems; for the Israel Taxonomy Initiative operated by Tel Aviv University to revive taxonomic studies and improve identification and knowledge of biodiversity; for Mimshak – a programme of the Israeli Society of Ecology and Environmental Sciences to integrate postdoctoral level fellows in the public sector in order to advance science-based environmental policy; and for workshops and practical tools to broaden the perspectives of decision makers in the business sector.
MANOF is a residential youth village situated north of Acco. It was founded in 1975 at the initiative of Yad Hanadiv and in partnership with the Ministries of Education and Welfare, based on a recommendation of Professor Haim Adler. Since then, some 1,600 youth-at-risk have studied and lived at MANOF, gaining high school education and vocational training. Yearly enrolment is about 180. MANOF accepts students aged 15 to 17 who have been unable to integrate successfully into other educational frameworks. Their experience in the youth village restores their self-esteem, provides an opportunity of acquiring a profession and fosters their reintegration into society.
In 2008, Yad Hanadiv provided support towards the NanoMed programme at the Technion, led by Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Aharon Ciechanover. The programme aims to develop large-scale activity at the interface between Nanotechnology and Life Sciences by breaking down the boundaries separating scientists in Engineering, Life Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Medicine. It emphasizes biomedical imaging, novel disease biomarkers and targeted drug delivery. Support included a PhD programme, faculty positions and infrastructure investments.
Nekudat Hen was established by Yad Hanadiv in 1999, and has been operating in conjunction with the Israel Society of Ecology and Environmental Sciences since 2017. Advancing projects at the intersection between agriculture and environmental concerns, the programme aims to build professional and interdisciplinary knowledge infrastructure for multi-functional agriculture in Israel, based on the premise that intelligently managed agriculture can be an important source of food and livelihood, while protecting the environment and preserving human culture and heritage.
Nekudat Hen provides opportunities for researchers in agriculture, biology, and environmental studies; agronomists; farmers; activists in environmental protection organisations and policy makers in relevant fields to meet, study and exchange ideas. The projects it advances contribute to the creation of a common language and stimulate knowledge-based dialogue among stakeholders and practitioners in the agricultural arena.
Nekudat Hen Website
In 1971 Yad Hanadiv invited a commission of experts to Israel to examine the establishment of an ‘Everyman’s’ university based on international models. In August 1973, the government adopted the commission's recommendations and Yad Hanadiv undertook to set up and finance the University for its first five years. The OU opened its doors in 1976 and today has an enrolment of 46,000 students. Yad Hanadiv supported the construction of The Dorothy de Rothschild Campus in Ra'anana, inaugurated in 2004. Since then, the Foundation has helped to fund numerous OU initiatives, including the Centre for Information Technology in Distance Education (Shoham), the Peer Open Books project, translation of texts and course materials into Arabic and MindCET.
Dorothy de Rothschild, the widow of James, who endowed the construction of the Knesset, believed that a building for the Supreme Court would fully realize her husband's visionary emphasis on Israel's fundamental commitment to both Justice and Democracy. Yad Hanadiv's Trustees committed to fund a new home for the Supreme Court, including infrastructure and furnishings. The competition for the design was won by Israeli architects Ada Karmi-Melamede and Ram Karmi. At the time of the building's inauguration in 1992, the New York Times called it ‘Israel's finest public building’, achieving ‘a remarkable and exhilarating balance between the concerns of daily life and the symbolism of the ages’.
As early as 1966, less than one year after the opening of The Israel Museum, Yad Hanadiv donated a group of outstanding paintings by Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin. It has continued to enhance the Museum’s collections through gifts such as Nicolas Poussin’s Destruction and Sack of the Temple of Jerusalem, acquired in 1998 in memory of Sir Isaiah Berlin. Yad Hanadiv also provided ongoing support for the Tamar and Teddy Kollek Chief Curatorship of Archaeology and in 2005 joined other funders in contributing to the capital renewal plan for the Museum.
The Israel Museum Website
Upon his death in 1957, James de Rothschild bequeathed a sum of money for a Knesset building in Jerusalem, expressing the hope in a letter addressed to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion that the new building would become ‘a symbol in the eyes of all men of the permanence of the State of Israel’. The widow of James, Dorothy de Rothschild, undertook to carry out the project. A decade later, on 30 August 1966, the new Knesset building was dedicated in a ceremony in Jerusalem.
The Water Research Institute was established in 1993 by the American Technion Society and Yad Hanadiv to address critical issues surrounding the supply and quality of Israel’s water and to advance the science, technology, engineering and management of water resources. The Institute operates from a broad national perspective, fostering interdisciplinary work and encouraging cooperation among diverse researchers in Israel, as well as promoting projects with neighbouring countries.
Yad Hanadiv initiated a competition in December 2019 to select a River Rehabilitation Project that could provide social and ecological benefits and serve as an inspiring model for similar initiatives.
The project goals are:
- to bring the streams to good ecological status, eliminating hazards of pollution and waste
- to provide local communities with an inclusive, shared public space for recreation, education and economic development
- to demonstrate the social potential of river rehabilitation
- to create a model of shared governance to regulate interests and activities for the common good.
The Kishon Drainage and River Authority (DRA) won the competition with a proposal to rehabilitate the Zipori Stream that flows for 32 km from the Nazareth Hills to the Kishon River and Haifa Bay. The project was selected from a shortlist that included the Kinneret Drainage and River Authority and the Kiryat Shmona Municipality for Ein Zahav and the Ayun Streams; the South Jordan DRA for the Tabor Basin; and the Soreq Lachish DRA for sections of the Soreq Stream near Beit Shemesh and the Tzora Valley.
The vision is to develop the entire river basin and to allow restoration of the entire stream, transforming it into a clean, flowing, continuous entity. The basin is a mosaic of agriculture, natural landscapes and human settlement. The Zipori project will address water quality, social development, environmental awareness and preservation of natural assets. When completed, the stream will form the backbone of an ecological corridor linking Haifa and Nazareth, and hopefully becoming a source of pride for local communities. The project holds the potential to become a model for coastal stream rehabilitation and knowledge sharing in Israel and possibly even abroad. The distinguished committee, including experts from the UK and France that helped select the finalists, concluded that the project could produce a ‘breakthrough in the field of river rehabilitation in Israel and inspiration at an international level.’