Photo Credit: Steve Jennings / Getty Images
Yuri Milner onstage at the 2019 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center on November 4, 2018 in Mountain View, California.

Three Israeli institutions leading the “race against the clock” to beat the coronavirus pandemic in the Jewish State have received a $3 million ‘critical injection of oxygen’ from the Milner Foundation, founded by tech investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner and his wife Julia.

Magen David Adom (MDA) is launching an innovative project to reduce the number of people coming to clinics.


Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and George S. Wise Life Sciences will support research efforts aimed at developing treatment for the virus.

Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Ichilov Hospital, will directly fund the intensive care unit (ICU) that is caring for those who are seriously ill with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Milner is an Israeli citizen living in Silicon Valley. He was an early investor in a range of tech giants that shaped the internet, including Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Airbnb and Spotify.

The donation was carried out in close cooperation with Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific Northwest in San Francisco, Shlomi Kofman.

“This is an investment in the present and the future,” Milner said in a release. “In the short term, it’s a way to increase the intensive care unit capacity in Israel and relieve pressure on doctors and in the longer term, it will support the search for a cure and help develop a new system of virtual medical treatment.

“In the face of global threats like this, science, technology and innovation are our best hopes. Israel is a leader in those fields, and I hope this initiative can both make an impact on COVID-19, and also become a model that can be replicated by other countries.”

“It is wonderful to see Israelis abroad supporting their country at this difficult time,” Kofman added. “Silicon Valley and the State of Israel share a resourcefulness and ingenuity that will be invaluable in overcoming this crisis, and this donation from the Milner Foundation will be a big help in advancing that goal.”

The Milner Foundation has contributed to a range of initiatives and organizations in Israel as well as to Jewish communities in Europe via The Conference of European Rabbis. In 2018, to mark the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, the Foundation awarded NIS 25 million to 70 outstanding Ph.D. students at the Technion, Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University. In addition, it is a prominent donor to the Peres Center for Peace and Friends of the IDF.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.