A new research center focused on Israel has been launched in Washington.

The Israel Institute, initially funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, began operations last year and will support scholarships, teaching and research to advance the study of modern Israel, according to a news release.

Itamar Rabinovich, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington, will serve as the institute’s new president.

The State of Israel is an intellectual, scientific, artistic and technological hub,” Rabinovich said in a statement. “Discussions of Israel, however, often focus on conflict, and while this issue merits careful analysis, there are other aspects of Israel worthy of study in the policy community and the academy. The rise of Israel Studies presents an opportunity to connect students, intellectuals, artists and policymakers to Israel’s vibrant society and culture and provide resources and relationships that can help the fruits of their work reverberate out in wider circles.”

The institute plans to proffer academic exchanges between Israel and other countries, as well as host academic conferences, support educational seminars for university leaders in Israel, and support the development of research and academic tools.