LOS ANGELES (November 2, 2006)—The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) has awarded a $150,000 grant to the American Friends of Koret Israel Economic Development Funds (AFKIEDF) to support small-business loan programs in Israel, AFKIEDF President Abraham D. Sofaer announced today.

Koret Israel Economic Development Funds (KIEDF), which began in 1994 as a modest experiment by the Koret Foundation of San Francisco to deploy private philanthropy for economic development in Israel, has facilitated nearly $100 million in financing to 3,000 small businesses supporting some 20,000 employees. Its goals are twofold: innovation in channeling financing to small businesses, and reform to advance an efficient, effective, free-market economy.

With special focus on new immigrants, young entrepreneurs, and small businesses in the Negev and the Galilee, KIEDF has become a dynamic financial services platform. Working with a growing number of partners, the program offers innovative, market-based, private sector solutions to stimulate economic expansion in Israel.

“We are deeply grateful for this infusion of funds, especially at a time when redevelopment in the Galilee is an urgent priority,” AKIEDF President Sofaer said. “The grant will allow us to do more to help this hard-hit region.”

“We are proud to participate in a venture that aims to provide viable solutions to critical social and economic problems in Israel,” said Jewish Community Foundation President and CEO Marvin Schotland.  “One of our board members recently visited loan recipients in Israel and was impressed both with the quality of their interactions with the KIEDF program and its focus on employment and expansion.  The banking partners in Israel also have high regard for this program.”

With operating expenses of less than 5 percent of financing facilitated, KIEDF is one of the most efficient programs of its kind, according to Sofaer. The loan default rate is about 1 percent of financing guaranteed.

About TheJewish Community Foundation
Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation is the largest manager of charitable assets and the leader in planned giving solutions for Jewish philanthropists in Greater Los Angeles. The Foundation currently manages assets of $603 million and, according to the National Foundation Center, ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations (based on assets). In 2005, the Foundation and its 1,200-plus donors distributed $57 million in grants to more than 1,500 organizations with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving.


Susan Wolfe
Koret Foundation Funds
(415) 882-7740