Younes Nazarian and his wife Soraya founded the Los Angeles-based Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, with a regional office in Israel named the Ima Foundation. Younes is well-known today as a philanthropist, industrialist, businessman, and a leader in the Persian Jewish community in Los Angeles as well as Tel Aviv. Although he moved his family to Los Angeles, his devotion to the Jewish people and the State of Israel has never wavered. His deep commitment to philanthropic work is evidenced by the passionate support of a vast array of educational initiatives in both the United States and Israel.
Over the years, Younes' business ventures have included the starting and building of various manufacturing, technology and real estate enterprises. In Iran, Younes was a major contractor for roads, sewage and water, and manufacturing in the 1950s. He also co-founded Techno-Is (Technology Israel) Commercial Corporation, a company he co-established in Tehran, which became one of the largest import/export companies of construction machinery and equipment in the region, manufacturing and exporting to many Gulf nations. In 1978, Younes moved his family to the United States via Israel due to the impending Iranian Revolution.
Upon arriving in the United States, Younes' entrepreneurial acumen led him to become co-owner of Stadco, a tool and dye manufacturing company of specialty parts in the aerospace industry. He was an early investor and served on the Board of Directors of San Diego-based Qualcomm, Inc., a leader in wireless telecommunications R&D, as well as the largest fabless chip supplier in the world. Presently, he is the Chairman of Nazarian Enterprises which focuses on the diversification of assets across a variety of interests in the private, public and real estate markets. Key industries include aerospace, manufacturing and logistics, technology, hospitality and alternative energy, among others. He also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors and is a major shareholder of ANG Inc., headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire. ANG Inc. is involved with the manufacturing of products for the military, commercial and industrial markets.
As a strong supporter of numerous charitable organizations in both Israel and the United States, Younes serves on various distinguished boards of directors. In Israel, he is among the largest supporters of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), headquartered in Tel Aviv. Younes serves on the National Board of Directors for the Friends of IDF and is the Chairman Emeritus of its West Coast office in Los Angeles. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Governors of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and previously served as the Chairman of the Haifa Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Haifa and of the Board of Directors of Sapir Academic College. In June 2007, he was conferred the degree of Doctorate of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) by the University of Haifa.
As an Advisory Board Member of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, Younes and the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation sponsored RAND work in Israel to explore energy alternatives and to aid the Israeli government with long-range planning. The Foundation also joined forces with the Mayo Clinic (USA) and MSR/Sheba Medical Center (Israel) to harness the unique strengths, technological capacities and visions of the two institutions in order to accelerate the advancement of medical education through a simulation-based curriculum.
The endowed Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, at University of California Los Angeles, teaches students about the history, culture and society of Israel. In Los Angeles, the Nazarian Pavilion, in the historic Doheny Library at the University of Southern California, Beit Midrash at the Milken Community High School; and in Israel, the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Library at Sapir College and the University of Haifa, the Haifa University Memorial Scholarship program, project with the Technion and the army, projects in Technoda, Tel Hai Academic College and Jerusalem College of Engineering are all examples of support towards education.
Previously, Younes served as Chairman of the Habib Levy Cultural & Educational Foundation, and board member of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Television Network. Additionally, he is the leader in the affairs of Sinai Temple and supports numerous charitable organizations in the community.
Younes was selected among the 12 recipients in 2009 to receive Israel's highest honor of the Torch Lighting Ceremony on Mount Herzl, bestowed upon people who have made a meaningful contribution to Israeli society. He is also the recipient of the 2011 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for outstanding citizenship, individual achievement, and encouragement of cultural unity.
Today, Younes resides in Los Angeles with his wife Soraya, their four children and eight grandchildren.