Dr. Ira and Chana Green came of age in the wake of the Holocaust and appreciate the role Israel has played as the homeland for the Jewish people. They take pride in how the country evolved from a desert to an agrarian oasis, and then into an epicenter of high technology, medical advances, and sustainable practices.

To ensure Israel’s prosperity amid threats to its security, the Oxnard, Calif., couple designated their estate to defense research. “We see our support for the Technion as an investment in a country that is not only a wellspring of innovation, but also central to our heritage as Jewish people,” said Ira.

After their lifetimes, Ira, 86, and Chana, 81, will create an endowment at the American Technion Society to support Technion projects centered on Israel’s defense and security needs.

Their interest stems from Ira’s career as a nuclear physicist for TRW and then Northrop Grumman, where he advanced cutting-edge aerospace projects to detect nuclear activity on Earth. The experience underscored the kinds of threats that could imperil a nation — and technologies that could protect citizens from such dangers.

Ira and Chana see connections to research at the Technion. Technion alumni, for example, were integral to the development of Iron Dome and other missile defense systems that have saved countless Israeli lives and helped prevent conflicts from escalating through the region.

Technion faculty and students “are doing things we only dreamed about in college,” said Ira, who attended the University of California, Los Angeles. “With our estate gift, we hope to ensure the security of the Jewish homeland for generations to come.”