Israel as a global citizen
Pears Foundation supports Israel by being a critical friend and encourages the country to keep faith with the founders’ vision to be a force for good in the world.
We play our part in fulfilling this vision through our Pears Scholars initiative, which provides scholarships for students from developing countries to study public health and agriculture in Israel. We also support research on Israel’s role in international development in partnership with Tel Aviv University.
The Foundation encourages academic co-operation between British and Israeli universities through BIRAX, a joint initiative with the British Council. With the aim of improving scholarship about Israel, we have created lectureships in Israeli and Middle Eastern Studies at British Universities and supported the creation of a European Association of Israel Studies.
Our Pears Scholars initiative contributes essential skills and builds lasting relationships between Israel and the developing world.
This is rooted in the vision of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, who said:
“Our Government has deemed it a principal aim of foreign policy to form links with the people of Asia and help their development… We must find room for more of their youth in our institutions of higher learning and facilitate practical training… in an attitude of humility and fraternity.”
A growing number of Pears alumni have now completed the Hebrew University-Hadassah International Masters in Public Health and have returned to their home countries to take their places amongst the next generation of leaders in their field.
Positions currently held by alumni include Senior Health Officer for the Red Cross East Africa and Head of Monitoring and Evaluation for Nigeria’s Malaria Control Programme.
By 2015 over sixty scholars will have graduated from this programme, supported by a flourishing alumni network.
A parallel programme with the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and the Environment supports students to study for their masters degree in Plant and Nutritional Sciences.
International development research
Like Ben Gurion, Golda Meir highlighted the importance of Israel’s foreign aid programme saying: “I am prouder of Israel’s international cooperation programme… than I am of any other single project we have ever undertaken. It typifies the drive towards social justice that is at the very heart of…Judaism.”
Israel’s development aid budget has fallen to 0.06% of its GDP, one of the lowest in the developed world according to research published in 2009 by Tel Aviv University as part of our international development research partnership. The partnership is currently investigating how the country’s hi-tech capabilities could make a greater contribution towards the challenges of the developing world.
In partnership with the British Council in Israel, we created the Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX), a major initiative launched by the Prime Ministers of both countries in 2008. BIRAX is creating a more positive environment for scientific research and collaboration, awarding grants to twenty five joint projects in its first two years.
Pears Foundation also invests in a scheme with the British Council in Palestine to support cooperation between British and Palestinian Universities.
Pears Foundation is building the capacity of Israel Studies as an academic discipline in British and continental European universities.
We support Higher Education posts in Israel Studies at University of Manchester, University of Leeds and SOAS, as well as start up funding and support to the European Association of Israel Studies.