Bloomberg grants go to Israeli cities

Anthony Weiss

(JTA) — The charity of billionaire Michael Bloomberg has announced that it will provide urban innovation grants to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The Israeli cities were two of 14 cities to receive a total of $45 million in grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies for its Innovation Teams program. Jerusalem will receive $850,000 while Tel Aviv-Yafo will receive $650,000, making them the first two cities outside the United States to receive such grants.

The funds will be used to hire “innovation teams” for three years as part of a program designed to “improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives – relying on data, open innovation, and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges,” according to a statement released by Bloomberg Philanthropies on December 15.

Jerusalem will use the new personnel to address issues of poverty and economic development, while Tel Aviv-Yafo will direct its attention to illegal immigration and the cost of living, according to the statement.