Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers on Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem that Israel needed to work hard to create a "vacuum" to keep academics from traveling abroad to pursue their careers or studies.

During the meeting, ministers presented data on the Israeli brain drain, showing that a high number of lecturers and researchers at top universities in the U.S. were Israeli expatriates.

Netanyahu said that many U.S. institution have established special foundations to supply salary and research grants for senior professors.

"Is it possible to grant a differential salary to the star lecturers in Israel as well?" Netanyahu asked.

He emphasized that Israel "needs to establish special bodies to act as a vacuum for those Israeli researchers and lecturers, to bring them back to Israel's academic institutions."

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar and Manuel Trachtenberg, the Higher Education Council's chairman of the committee for budget and planning, are to present to the government within six weeks a plan for such foundations, to pull back Israeli researchers and end the brain drain.

The plan is to recruit funds from Jewish foundations. The government has specified that the plan be created with the recommendations of senior faculty associations and university chairmen.