BSF-US-Israel Binational Science Foundation

Funding Profiles

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The U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) promotes scientific relations between the U.S. and Israel by supporting collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific fields, for peaceful and non-profit purposes.

Founded in 1972 by an agreement between the United States and Israel, the BSF is an independent body, directed by a board of governors consisting of five American and five Israeli members. Its base of operation is in Israel.

Funding for research derives from the annual interest on an endowment contributed in equal parts by the two countries. Grants are made on a competitive, peer reviewed basis, juried by leading scientists from the U.S., Israel and around the world. Eligible projects must demonstrate outstanding scientific merit and clear collaboration between Israeli and American researchers from institutions throughout the two countries.

Since its inception, the BSF has awarded some $480 million to over 4,000 research projects of the highest quality. Many of these have led to important scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs with wide-ranging practical applications.

The BSF is a highly regarded funding source among researchers in both countries. Numerous scientists participating in BSF programs have won prestigious awards such as the Nobel , Lasker ,and Wolf prizes. For example, six out of the eight 2004 Nobel Prize Laureates in science were recipients of at least one BSF grant, and several of them have received extensive support from the BSF - most notably Profs. Avram Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover (Technion) and Irwin Rose (UC Irvine), who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their joint discovery of the ubiquitin system for protein degradation. The cooperation between the Israeli and U.S. research groups that led to this discovery was made possible by continuous support by the BSF over more than two decades.

Throughout the years, the BSF has had a very important impact on science in Israel. BSF grants have been a major source of funding for Israeli scientists, and have facilitated access to leading U.S. investigators and to the unrivaled infrastructure of American science. BSF-sponsored visits to Israel by top U.S. researchers benefit the entire Israeli scientific community. Moreover, cooperation with top Israeli scientists has greatly benefitted many U.S. participants, who are typically from the most prestigious American universities and government research institutes.

The BSF makes a great effort to minimize administrative expenses. A small and efficient staff distributes some $15 million per year in grant monies, with about 93% of the annual budget allocated for science.

The BSF is highly successful in achieving its two main goals: strengthening the U.S.–Israel partnership through science, and promoting world-class scientific research for the benefit of the two countries and all mankind. The great challenge facing the BSF today is to continue to meet the ever-rising costs of innovative research and the growing needs of Israeli and American scientists, with an endowment that has not been increased since 1984. To that end, the BSF has launched, for the first time, an effort to raise funds to increase its financial resources and further strengthen the partnership between the two countries.

Contact information:

Dr. Yair Rotstein - Executive Director
Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.105
Dr. Yair Rotstein was appointed executive director of the BSF in 2004, after serving as the director of the Geophysical Institute between 1991 – 2002.  

Dr. Rachel Haring - Assistant Executive Director
Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.110
Dr. Rachel Haring has served as assistant executive director of the BSF since 2005. In this capacity, she coordinates all aspects of the granting process. She holds a B.Sc. in Life Sciences, and M.Sc. (cum laude) and Ph.D degrees in biochemistry, all from Tel Aviv University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Camp David Institute for International Health in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. She has served as senior biochemist at the Israel Institute for Biological Research, Ness Ziona; and as senior scientist in several biotechnology companies. Dr. Haring has authored 32 peer-reviewed articles and 15 book chapters. 

Mr. Bennie Silberman - Accountant and Comptroller
Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.111
Bennie Silberman is responsible for all financial and accounting functions of the BSF, and reviews all grant fiscal reports received from US grantees.
Mr. Silberman joined the BSF in 1999 after serving in similar positions in industrial and commercial organizations for more than 20 years. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa.

Orli Rozencwajg - Computers and I.T.
Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.109
Orli Rozencwajg joined the BSF in 2004. She oversees all aspects of the foundation’s information systems, database and website, and provides support services to BSF clients. Ms. Rozencwajg earned her BA in computer science from Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem, and her MBA (summa cum laude) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Esther Agay - Administrative Assistant
Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.101

Esther Alfandary - Administrative Assistant

Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.103

Nancy Morin - Administrative Assistant
Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.102

Miri Yelagin - Information Specialist
Phone: +972-2-5828239 ext.104

The fund is a competitive fund
web site: