JNF Joint Institute gets matching gift from Boston-based foundation

The funding will support the Institute’s initial research phase, demonstrating sustainable methods of food production in an arid environment.

Palm trees grow at an R&D station in Israel's Arava region (photo credit: JNF USA)
Palm trees grow at an R&D station in Israel's Arava region
(photo credit: JNF USA)
The JNF Joint Institute for Global Food, Water and Energy Security, a partnership between The University of Arizona, Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA), and the Arava Region, has announced that a prominent Boston-based family foundation will match funding for the Institute’s initial research phase, that will focus on demonstrating sustainable methods of food production against the nexus of energy, land use, and water conservation in an arid environment.
During this first research phase, members of the Arava Region will work closely with representatives from the University of Arizona to adapt proven methods of sustainable food production to the Arava.  The refined methodology will then be introduced to other arid environments throughout the world.  Over the next 3 to 5 years, The Joint Institute plans to launch at least 3 multi-disciplinary programs in Africa to provide technology transfer, applied research, knowledge, training, on-going guidance, and education. The JNF Joint Institute was created to facilitate the integration of cutting-edge advancements in sustainable food, energy and water resource management and resiliency.  
The Boston-based Foundation has been a generous partner of Jewish National Fund-USA’s work in Israel, particularly in the development of the Central Arava.  Inspired to provide seed money for this novel collaboration, the Foundation hopes the research will consolidate innovative technological capacities vital to building food, water, and energy security not only for Israel but also for vulnerable communities throughout the world.  
“It was a natural fit for their passion,” said Jewish National Fund-USA National Campaign Director Sharon Joy. “This Foundation has always supported our work that focuses on infrastructure, water resources, and our vision to highlight the Positively Israel message and tikkun olam (making the world a better place).  We are so grateful for their generosity and dedication and hope to see many wonderful results and relationships come from The Joint Institute.” 
“This really is an unprecedented program for our region,” said JNF Joint Institute Project Co-Director Udi Gat. “However, the ultimate goal is to deepen the global impact of The Joint Institute, all of which is made possible by the philanthropy of others, like the Foundation, who support the mission.”  Added Joy, “This is a very special and important investment for the Central Arava, for Israel and for all the arid regions of the world.”