The Wolf Foundation began its activities in 1976, with an initial endowment fund of $10 million donated by the Wolf family. The Foundation’s founders and major donors were Dr. Ricardo Subirana y Lobo Wolf and his wife Francisca. Annual income from investments is used for prizes, scholarships and Foundation operating expenses.
 
The Foundation has a status of a private not-for-profit organization. Its objectives and prize administration details and procedures are grounded in the “Wolf Foundation Law-1975”. Israel’s State Comptroller oversees all Foundation’s activities. In accordance with the above-mentioned Law, the Minister of Education and Culture acts as Chairman of the Council.
 
Foundation Trustees, Council and Committee Members, Prize Juries, and Internal Auditor, all perform their duties on a voluntary basis.

 

Five or six awards have been awarded each year, since 1978, to renowned scientists and artists for their achievements for humanity and for friendly relations between peoples, regardless of nationality, race, color, religion, gender, or political outlook. The fields of science include agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine and physics, and in art - in annual rotation - architecture, music, painting and sculpture. The prize is $ 100,000 in every field. The award may also be awarded to two or three candidates, in which case the prize amount is divided equally between them.

 

Award winners are selected by international awards committees of three members, all of whom are scholars and experts in their fields. Each committee is appointed for one year. The deliberations and recommendations of the committees are kept strictly secret, and only the names of the winners and the reasons for the decision are published. The decisions of the committees are final and can not be appealed. To date, 253 recipients have been selected from 23 countries.