Waze sale nets windfall for Israeli charities

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An organization that takes donations of stock options from Israeli high tech firms and later gives the proceeds to youth-related causes received a windfall from the sale of the Israeli company Waze to Google.

Tmura — the Israeli Public Service Venture Fund — announced Tuesday that it would distribute some $1.5 million to five Israeli charities.

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The charities are: Chinuch L’Psago, which focuses on education for children from underprivileged areas; the Israeli Rett Syndrome Foundation, which funds research for treatments and a cure for Rett syndrome and provides information, programs, and services for people with the disease; Knafayim Shel Krembo, or “Krembo Wings,” a youth movement in Israel for children with special needs; the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center; and Tzeva, which operates a network of educational enrichment centers serving over 600 children from grades 3 to 6.

Waze, which created a popular GPS navigational app, contributed stock options to Tmura in 2011. Following Google’s acquisition of the Waze in June of this year for a reported price of nearly $1 billion, Tmura generated its biggest exit to date, according to the organization.

Over 300 companies have donated to Tmura, with the proceeds from sales of equity amounting to a windfall worth over $9 million over the past decade for needy groups.