America-Israel Cultural Foundation
AMERICA-ISRAEL CULTURAL FOUNDATION
AMERICA-ISRAEL CULTURAL FOUNDATION , fundraising agency on behalf of educational and cultural institutions in Israel. In 1939 Edward A. *Norman founded the American Palestine Fund, Inc., for the purpose of amalgamating committees that were supporting educational, cultural, and social service institutions in Palestine, which until then were competing with each other in the United States. After changing its name a number of times, in 1957 the organization was renamed the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. However, it was popularly known as the "Norman Fund" for many years. Norman was followed as president of the organization by Frederic R. Mann, Samuel Rubin, the violinist Isaac Stern, and William Mazer. In 2005 Vera Stern was president.
In 1956 the Foundation decided to limit itself to artistic and cultural activities. The America-Israel Culture House in New York, opened in 1966, became the Foundation's headquarters. The house contains an Israel art gallery, an Israeli arts and crafts center, and rooms used for cultural programs. In Israel, the Foundation acts through an advisory board.
In addition to giving financial aid to Israel's cultural institutions, the Foundation provides scholarships to over 900 young Israel artists anually through the Sharett Scholarship Program and helps to take orchestras, theater groups, dance ensembles, and art exhibits to the United States from Israel. It took valuable art collections to Israel from America, including the works for the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Building funds support the construction of theaters, music academies, concert halls, and cultural centers in agricultural areas.