Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund

Every Jewish teenager should have the opportunity to study in Israel.

That’s what Louis Herman believed, so he generously established a fund that helps Minneapolis Jewish teenagers go on peer educational trips to Israel: the Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund (LHIEF)

We recommend that applications be submitted at least one month prior to departure.

Who is eligible?

Minneapolis residents between the ages of 15 and 18 who are registered for a qualifying Israel experience:

The Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI)

BIG IDEA Israeli Summer Camps

Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel

Camp Kimama
Chetz V'Keshet
Habonim Dror MBI
Hashomer Hatzair
JCC Maccabi
Machach Bnei Akiva
National Council of Young Israel- Achva
National Jewish Council for Disabilities Yad B'yad Israel




No’ar Hadash Israel Experience
Technion International Start-up Program

Young Judea

What does the LHIEF offer?

Funding is available up to a maximum amount of $1,000 utilizing the following criteria:

  1. Base Grant: $750 (Calculated by the duration of program – Maximum $750)
  2. Merit Grants: $50 per Activity (Up to $250)

Scholarships will be awarded only once to each applicant.

Merit Grants are based on past or current involvement in the following categories of Jewish activities:

  • Youth group involvement
  • Communal organization volunteer work
  • Formal Jewish education
  • Camping experience
  • Communal work experience

When you get back from your trip . . . Teens who receive grants will be asked to volunteer in the Jewish community upon their return, as a way to give back and share their experience with others.

Questions? Sofya is here to help!




To be eligible for the LHIEF grant you must be either a resident of Minneapolis (and metro based area) or a member of a Minneapolis synagogue. If you live in the St. Paul area, click here to learn about Passport to Israel.

The Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund is a designated endowment within the Jewish Community Foundation, the planned giving and endowment department of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

Meet Louis Herman

Born and raised in the Jewish community of Minneapolis, Louis Herman never had any children.
But he thought of the community’s children as his children, and used his hard-earned wealth to support causes that focused on Jewish education.  In 1992, Mr. Herman donated $1 million to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation as an endowment. A few years later, the LOUIS HERMAN ISRAEL EXPERIENCE FUND was established.

Since its inception in 1995, the Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund has awarded more than $1,000,000 in grants to over 1000 Minneapolis teens. Many of these grant recipients have returned from their Israel Experiences to become active members of their Jewish community, fulfilling Mr. Herman’s vision of developing a new generation of committed Jews. Mr. Herman’s generosity to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and to other Jewish institutions, has touched the lives of thousands of Jewish youth and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I do if I’m unsure whether I qualify for a Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund (LHIEF) grant?
    We recommend that you apply for a grant. After you submit your application, the LHIEF Coordinator will review it and contact you to discuss your eligibility. 
  • Why won’t the on-line application allow me to continue on to the next application page?
    The on-line application must be filled out completely. Certain information is required on the application, and if you don’t provide that information, the computer will prompt you to include it before allowing you to continue. You may contact the LHIEF Coordinator (952- 417-2319) while you are filling out the application if you encounter any problems.
  • What happens after I submit my on-line application to the Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund?
    After you submit your application, it is secured in an on-line console to which only the LHIEF Coordinator has access. On a regular basis, the Coordinator checks the status of the console and contacts all new applicants to confirm receipt of the application and to explain the rest of the grant process.
  • How is LHIEF grant money distributed?
    The money is sent directly to the Israel program that the applicant is participating in. From time of application submission, it usually takes approximately ONE MONTH for a check to be credited to your account with the program. For this reason, we encourage you to apply to the Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund as soon as you decide which program you will be participating in. It is also extremely important that you provide all pertinent program contact information requested in the on-line application.
  • How will I know that my Israel program has received my LHIEF grant?
    After your grant has been approved, we send a check to your Israel program with a cover letter explaining that you’re a LHIEF grant recipient. When we send that letter to your program, we also send a copy of that letter to your home address, as shown on your grant application. Deposit of LHIEF funds should be reflected on your next program bill. You should contact the LHIEF Coordinator (952- 417-2319) if you’re concerned about the processing of your grant.
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