About Us

Not-for-Profit and For-Profit Blended

The Negev Foundation marshals a diverse, dynamic mix of players: not-for-profit research stations, a for-profit growers association, institutions of higher learning, multinational agro businesses, the individual farmer, the individual investor, the committed Zionist benefactor - all for the task of transforming the Negev Desert, Israel’s Final Frontier, into the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. The Foundation functions almost as an investment banker, albeit a different kind of investment banker, focused on a 21st century Zionist endeavor, unencumbered by partisan politics or political agenda.

The Negev Foundation Story

In 1982, former grocery executive Richard Bogomolny and former Jewish National Fund Executive Director, Sam Hoenig, convened an informal group to help the Negev Desert develop into a flourishing, economically productive, habitable region. Initially a fund-raising group for high-tech, applied desert agriculture projects, Arid Lands Development Foundation was incorporated in 1992 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. The newly named Negev Foundation expanded the mission to include facilitating economic opportunities through agribusiness and transfer of desert agro-technology initiatives.

The Negev Foundation sponsors projects promoting sustainable agriculture developed and successfully applied in Israel. Israel and other countries adapting these techniques can subsequently increase their agricultural and economic self-sufficiency. Since its inception, The Negev Foundation has provided over ten million dollars in support of Negev development.

Marshalling a diverse mix of not-for-profit and for-profit entities, The Negev Foundation brings together the private farmer, research stations, commercial growers, academic institutions, foreign investors and generous benefactors committed to the growth and success of a modern, democratic country. Through this blend of dynamic players, the foundation encourages replacing philanthropic support with business ventures and income derived through the sale of technology in addition to improving the overall quality of life for all inhabitants of the region.

Further, the foundation facilitates relationships between agribusiness in Israel and Ohio, such as the import of Desert Sweet tomatoes from Israel and the export of beef to the Negev.

A dynamic resource for the development of Israel's southern region, the foundation supports proven scientific technological and human innovations, and promotes sustainable desert development including agricultural innovations successfully applied in Israel.


The Negev Foundation supports the interests of the Negev anticipating that economic self-sufficiency will eventually replace dependence on philanthropy. However, for research and development activities to continue there will always be a need for individual, foundation and government grants.

Since its inception, The Negev Foundation has provided over $5 million in funding to the following institutions and programs:

  • Ramat Negev Desert AgroResearch Center for capital projects, research studies and technology transfer
  • Faculty of Agriculture at Hebrew University of Jerusalem towards combating famine through expeditious food storage planning
  • Institute for Applied Research at Ben-Gurion University for research programs and technology transfer
  • Arava research stations for research programs and technology transfer
  • “Am-Shav” Technological Applied Development Center to promote development of industry providing economic opportunities and employment in the Negev
  • Hopi/US/Israel Agriculture Initiative for the transfer of Israeli agritechnology to Arizona benefiting the Hopi Native Nation
  • Study and collaboration with ADM, Inc. for synergistic opportunities between US and Israeli integrated agricultural projects
  • Study and fact finding mission to Israel for Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and Agro Power Development, Inc. executives
  • Collaboration with Grow Tech Finance & Development Ltd. towards promotion of agribusiness
  • Brand development and certification of the Desert Sweet™ label for all Negev agricultural products grown using brackish water irrigation technology
  • Research studies and technology transfer of organic agriculture in the Negev
  • Arava Growers for the export of Desert Sweet™ brackish water irrigated produce
  • Ramat Negev Regional Council to promote agribusiness
  • Cleveland-Negev Connection to promote collaboration between the Cleveland and Ramat Negev communities
  • Negev Development Scholarship Fund. Providing financial support to students studying desert agriculture or other vocational skills in Israel and plan on living and working in the Negev