Brief History

The America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) was founded in 1939 by American Philanthropist Edward Norman. The legendary late violinist Isaac Stern and his wife Vera served as its Chairpersons and have been the living spirit of AICF since its founding. For over eighty years, AICF has continued to build Israel’s cultural infrastructure and its name has become synonymous with culture in Israel.

The remarkable artists touched by AICF’s programs have been represented globally in prominent orchestras, symphonies, ballet and modern dance companies, museums, galleries, opera companies, jazz clubs, and concert halls the world over.

Our Vision

America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) is the leader in supporting and promoting Israeli culture and artistic life. Over the last eight decades, AICF has provided life-changing support to over 18,000 outstanding young artists, building a movement of artistic ambassadors who share Israel’s rich culture at home, online, and worldwide.

AICF has empowered generations of Israel’s most gifted and distinguished artists through Sharett Grants, Creative Enrichment programs, Study Abroad, Instrument Loans, the Periphery Outreach program, the Israeli Artist Network, the Aviv Competitions, and its other fine programs. Since 1939, and throughout its illustrious history, AICF has contributed over $160M to Israeli artists and arts institutions.

AICF aims to provide crucial early, middle, and advanced career support to bolster the careers of the finest artists from across Israel in music, dance, theater, visual arts, and design. Its grant recipients have set the bar for artistic excellence and driven Israel’s high-profile reputation on stages, in theaters and galleries the world over.

Our Impact

AICF supports consecutive generations of great artists during each stage of their evolving career while ensuring Israel’s place as a global hub for the arts.

The Sharett Grants Program for Creative Excellence has been instrumental in developing the careers of generations of Israel’s greatest artists. Its other programs include Enrichment Programs, a Study Abroad Program, the Israeli Artist Network (IAN), the Aviv Competitions, an Instrument Loan Program, and its Periphery Outreach Program.

AICF grant recipients serve as professors and instructors at prestigious conservatories and universities around the world such as The Juilliard School, 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, Boston University, Parsons The New School of Design, Dresden Academy for Early Music, and The Banff Centre.

Grant recipients also perform in renowned festivals and competitions and are members of the world’s finest symphonies, orchestras, ensembles, dance, theater, and opera companies and appear in prestigious museums and galleries. AICF provides support to many of Israel’s finest cultural institutions, such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Museum, the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, and the Batsheva Dance Company. AICF also provides performance opportunities for artists at festivals, embassies, and private and national events.

Notable AICF Grant Recipients – Individuals and Institutions

“A nation’s support of its arts is a matter of both national pride and cultural survival.”
Theodore Bikel
Austrian-American actor, folk singer, musician, composer, unionist, and political activist. Chair of the Board of Directors of the Partners for Progressive Israel
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