In 2000, Younes and Soraya Nazarian founded the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation in Los Angeles, California, and in 2003, they established the regional office in Tel Aviv, Israel, under the name of the Ima Foundation. The Foundation is driven by the core belief that the promotion and support of education is the most important catalyst for societal change. The Foundation's charitable giving is focused on supporting educational causes through a multipronged approach, be it in the academic setting, the public policy arena, community targeted or the artistic realm. The Foundation is interested in planting seeds, building bridges, and enabling pioneering thinkers to imbue their knowledge into today's global community.
Institutions of learning are of great interest to the Foundation, and investments have been made at all institutional levels - elementary, high school and university. The goals of the Foundation remain focused on enriching institutions of excellence through investments in capital campaigns and existing programs, as well as establishing and nurturing new programs with the goal of providing students with educational tools that enhance and enrich their learning experience.
The public policy arena has taken on great significance for the Foundation, as the family seeks to have a lasting impact on communities they care about. The focal point of research on public policy supported by the Foundation has been long-term strategic planning for the State of Israel - including energy policy, safety/police/law enforcement restructuring and the development of the Galilee and Negev regions.
While long-term planning is a vital necessity in most communities, the Foundation realizes that giving back to the day-to-day needs of the community is also crucial, so the Foundation takes great pride in giving back to communities in need both in Los Angeles and Israel. The range of investment at the community level is very diverse and seeks to impact the lives of the members of each community in order to enable a better quality of life.
Finally, enriching the lives of others through the arts and culture is another area of great importance to the family due to the work of Soraya Nazarian. Whether it is investing in music and dance academies in Israel or inner city art programs in Los Angeles, using the arts as a tool for learning, teaching tolerance and confidence-building for children remains very close to the hearts of the family members. The Foundation will continue to build its involvement in this arena to bring about greater resources to organizations sharing the same goals.