Following Sam Israel’s directive and his passion for the State of Israel, the Foundation’s philanthropy centers on Israel’s people, its history and its land. We seek to support organizations and programs that are making meaningful change through their work, for example incubating new programs, testing new ideas, and/or leveraging other support to scale impact.
People…by promoting social mobility among those on the geographic and socio-economic peripheries, with an emphasis on:
- Providing access to higher education through needs-based scholarships and special preparatory programs (“mechinot”) especially, currently, for those in the Haredi community who are aspiring for greater self-sufficiency;
- Lowering the barriers immigrants face when integrating into Israeli society, including career counseling, job placement, networking opportunities, and college preparatory programs.
- Supporting the vulnerable, specifically shelters for abused women and their children, counseling services and early childhood education.
Land…by supporting organizations engaged in wildlife conservation and education about the importance of land conservation, including:
- Support for critical organizations that advance conservation work in Israel, for example the SPNI field school which provides educational opportunities for those interested in learning about the environment, and revenue streams for the organization;
- Funding for educational materials and experiences, for example the Hoopoe Foundation which provides educational programs about Israel’s significant migratory bird populations;
- Support for the application of science in conservation, for example support for the Samuel Israel Breeding and Veterinary Center of the Israel Aquarium.
History…through archaeology, especially scholarly and popular publications of significant archaeological excavations, including:
Funding to publish research of Professor Ehud Netzer, including
- Jericho and Herodium Volumes to ensure that the findings, life’s work and legacy of this world-renown archaeologist would be available for scholars and students of archaeology.
- Popular versions of Netzer’s work through the Israel Exploration Society
Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has granted approximately 9% of its funding, totaling more than $7,000,000, to Israeli organizations. Two of the current Samis Foundation trustees are Israelis, and recently the Samis Foundation has retained a local representative to oversee its projects in Israel, to reflect its increasing focus on its Israel philanthropy. The Foundation takes a group Seattle-based staff and board members to Israel annually.