Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is characterized by a primary defect in insulin secretion with non-ketotic hyperglycemia, monogenic autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, age at onset less than 25 years, and lack of autoantibodies. The aim of this study was to characterize the genetic basis of MODY in different ethnic groups in the Israeli population. Fifty-nine unrelated Israeli patients with MODY were assessed for mutations in the three common MODY genes: hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-4alpha, glucokinase (GCK), and transcription factor 1 (TCF1). Overall, 11 mutations in 12 unrelated families were found (20.3% of patients), for a relative frequency of 1.7% for MODY1, 8.5% for MODY2, and 10.1% for MODY3. Four mutations were novel, including the first gross deletion ever described in the TCF1 gene. The low overall mutation frequency found here may suggest the involvement of other, yet unidentified, genes in the etiology of MODY in Israel.