Ima Foundation

To advance its philanthropic presence in Israel, in 2003, the Foundation established the Ima Foundation as its regional office in Tel Aviv. The efforts of the Ima Foundation are focused exclusively on Israel and aim to support Israel's people by investing in their future through education as the most important vehicle to narrow the country's social and economic gaps.

The Nazarian Family's philanthropic investments in Israel, although initiated through a need to give back to the family's Jewish and Iranian roots, have now grown into a need to bring change. With education remaining the main vehicle for transformation, the Ima Foundation seeks to serve as the purveyor of meaningful change in arenas where the Israeli government is not successful. Greatly needed resources are invested in school and educational programs, such as after-school academic enrichment programs, hot lunch programs, and psychological services in economically weak neighborhoods.  Scholarships are provided to students in a variety of colleges and universities, with a special emphasis on first members of families to attend university and to women entering scientific fields. The Foundation has also supported several capital campaigns for university and college libraries.

In 2005, an emergency fund was established to counter the crisis in Israel's economy and sought to assist families in need of emergency medical, housing and subsistence living through one-time grants and food vouchers. The Foundation works closely with social workers in major cities to select deserving candidates for these emergency grants. But in order to multiply the impact of their philanthropy to the whole of Israeli society, the Ima and the Nazarian Foundations have also funded critically needed public policy research aimed at providing long-term policy planning in areas designated by the Israeli government as crucial to the State's future growth and stability. Energy, police, and infrastructure development represent some of the areas that the Foundations have funded important public policy research.  

Finally, the Foundation has supported the quality of life issues facing soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, and for the past 20 years has built auditoriums, synagogues, mobile gyms and computer centers on various army bases throughout Israel. In addition, week-long R&R packages were given to combat soldiers back from frontline active duty.

Through the Nazarian and Ima Foundations, Younes and Soraya Nazarian have planted the seeds to help bring about meaningful change to the communities they care about, while passing their moral and financial inheritance to their children, grandchildren and generations beyond.