The historical ties between Russia and Israel date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Russian Jews, involved in the cultural and political arenas, were influential in laying the foundation for the future State of Israel. These strong ties between the two nations manifested themselves in the arrival of more than one million Russian Jews to Israel in the past thirty years, a fact that altered the social, cultural and political face of the country. The Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel sees a long-term possibility of building bridges between these two cultures, beyond the official entities, by establishing an ongoing cultural exchange in various fields of the arts.

An initial objective of The Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel is to create an atmosphere of educational importance, whereby the Israeli public would be exposed to the riches of the State Hermitage Museum via its planned cultural exchange programs and activities. The Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel will act as an affiliate of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and is fully committed to preserve and promote its collections by exhibitions, publications and educational programs.

The Board of Trustees of The Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel is confident that both the State Hermitage Museum and the foremost museums in Israel will benefit from this fruitful cooperation, and that the Israeli public will welcome and support the Foundation for its future cultural activities.