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Israel Scholarship Education Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, International, Judaism, Religion, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: To empower extraordinary individuals of underserved backgrounds and top academic merit to reach their highest leadership potential, igniting positive change in Israeli society

Results: 11,000 graduates, including Knesset members, college presidents, scientists and engineers, heads of hospitals, physicians, legal experts, architects, and founders of major NGOs. 50,000 at-risk youth have been inspired to improve their grades, stay in school and graduate. ISEF has been the leading proponent of increasing access to higher education as the key to narrowing Israel's wide social and economic gaps.

Target demographics: Educate and empower thousands of youths growing up in Israel's periphery, populated mainly by immigrants. ISEF discovers "diamonds in the rough" and nurtures them to achieve their full potential. ISEF provides generous scholarships and wraparound support programs to more than 400 students on Israeli campuses, and reaches thousands of at-risk teens through Bridge to College and other education projects in the community.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 428 scholarship students, BA to PhD, and more than 3,000 at-risk youth all over Israel

Geographic areas served: Israel

Programs: "Science Builds the Nation" Program - STEM scholarships in partnership with the Prime Minister's Office; Generous scholarship aid at all degree levels (BA to PhD and postdoc);, "Safety net" programs (academic assistance, emergency funds, counseling); Social networking with fellow ISEF scholars, to foster a sense of belonging and group identity; Leadership skills training, both theoretical and hands-on practical; Yvonne and Barry Cohen Book Fund projects; Alfred and Hanina Shasha Endowment programs; Luna and Selim Benardete Bridge to College Fund programs; Other education outreach projects in underserved immigrant communities.

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 eyaakobi

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was an ISEF scholar for 6 years and for me, ISEF is more than just a scholarship. It is a family. You know that if you have a problem, they will help. This includes academic and personal problems as well as financial. In the U.S., ISEF's support was even more important. Firstly, because studies and life there are so much more expensive and secondly because, being Israeli, it was hard for me to be away from friends and family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In these lines I would like to describe the wonderful fund - ISEF. This is not only the generous grant that let me focus on the academic studies and my social and journalistic activities, but also to the special human and social resources that the fund make available to its members.
At the fund meetings, I was impressed from the young people around me. Brilliant academics who touch on every vital and influential center in Israeli society. Brainstorming with these talented people makes every activity more quality and effective. We have raised a discussion of the issue I am dealing with and that proposed methods of action included people who came from the legal, parliamentary and even cinematic spheres, who expressed full solidarity with the importance of this activity, It will be correct to act in light of the legal and social barriers and constraints.
ISEF has the ability to fill meetings with rich and useful content that is fit exactly to the needs of senior academics. In addition, its members have succeeded in creating a group of people from similar backgrounds, who are trying to help each other and Israel's society.

Lea A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became a member of ISEF in the last 4 years, immediately upon the beginning of my PhD. When I applied to receive ISEF scholarship I was yet to realize the value of this possibility and just how much it could contribute to my development, both in terms of carrier and personal growth.

Before joining ISEF I had a view of myself as a critical and socially aware scientist, but in ISEF I learned some humility as I was exposed to the best activists and thinkers of this country. Coming from a unique background within my peers, in ISEF I found the home I could not find in academia otherwise. In every meeting of ISEF PhD group I am amazed to find people that grew up in circumstances not different from my own, crowding the first raw of the Israeli's political, social and scientific spheres.

I am honored (and financially relieved) to be an ISEF fellow.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF has become a home for me, a place that loves me, accepts me as I am and helps me grow while encouraging me to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.
ISEF provides me a meaningful support system - financial, academical and emotional. This assistance is of great help to me and it allows me to concentrate more of my time and efforts on my research and to worry less about financial problems

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am currently a Ph.D student in my first year supported by the ISEF foundation. The financial support is generous and allows me to focus on my research. The opportunity to meet fellow students coming from similar backgrounds is invaluable. The activity and dialog ISEF exposes me to truly motivates me in my progress and I'm grateful to be a part of this group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first met the ISEF foundation for education as a Ph.D. candidate three years ago, and ever since I'm proud to be a member in such an organization. The workers that responsible for taking care of hundreds of students doing their mission lots of love, compassion and an amazingly authentic and deep sense of vocation and devotion. Alongside the warmth and personal caring, the ISEF organization people do great professional work taking care of every small detail in order to assist the member's students to be the best they can. I feel blessed being part of such organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF has become family. The organization boosted my academic excellence, enabling me to succeed intensive al studies and encouraged me to create social change.
ISEF is a home that loves you, accepts you as you are and is a place that is always gratifying to come back to, while also encourages you to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF really helped me to concentration on my research without thinking on working.
It encourages excellency and volunteering.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A very important foundation that helped me and many other students to access higher education in Israel.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF has become family. The organization boosted my academic excellence and encouraged me to create social change.
ISEF is a home that loves you, accepts you as you are and is a place that is always gratifying to come back to, while also encourages you to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lior Levy
Technion- Israel Institute of Technology
Pursuing a PhD in Biotechnology Engineering

ISEF has become family. The organization boosted my academic excellence, enabling me to succeed in intensive PhD. studies and encouraged me to create social change.
ISEF is a home that loves you, accepts you as you are and is a place that is always gratifying to come back to, while also encourages you to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Isef foundation was a home for me in academic years and a personal & social empowerment during this years. It helped me achieving my goals with extinction and helped me improve my academic skills.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Ph.D. student supported my second year by ISEF foundation. ISEF is home to me and to many other talented young people from a challenging background. ISEF gives great opportunities for education, an insight into academic and postgraduate future as well as great opportunities for gaining leadership experience and an understanding of the complicated Israeli society.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a PhD student ISEF has given me the opportunity to learn in depth about the Israeli community, a thing that is very hard to do when you are a full time research student. ISEF's support is unique and much appreciated. Being an ISEF member is a great honor.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF accompanies me from the second degree to the doctorate and hopefully even afterwards. I feel that ISEF is like my family. The organization boosted my academic excellence, enabling me to succeed in intensive law studies and encouraged me to create social change.
ISEF is a home that loves you, accepts you as you are and is a place that is always gratifying to come back to, while also encourages you to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

During the past three years, I've been supported by the ISEF foundation. I find this support very helpful both to cope with the ongoing family tasks as a Phd student, as well as the great input I receive regarding my professional education development as part of this program. I'm greatful and happy to be part of it.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF has become family. The organization boosted my academic excellence, enabling me to succeed in intensive studies and encouraged me to create social change.
ISEF is a home that loves you, accepts you as you are and is a place that is always gratifying to come back to, while also encourages you to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF organization boosted my academic excellence, enabling me to succeed in intensive studies and encouraged me to create social change. ISEF is a home that loves you, accepts you as you are and is a place that is always gratifying to come back to, while also encourages you to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF has become family. The organization boosted my academic excellence, enabling me to succeed in intensive PhD studies and encouraged me to create social change.
ISEF is a home that loves you, accepts you as you are and is a place that is always gratifying to come back to, while also encourages you to support the Jewish state and strive for excellence.
The ISEF scholarship assists me enormously and I am thankful for that. I hope one day I will be able to give back to society what I received, with full faith in the cause of socially supporting people who were not fortunate enough to acquire academic education. I would like to do so by setting an example to a girl who came from a similar background, by an active involvement in society and by making a contribution to the research field and by raising Israel's image in the international research community.

1 Garry T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A amazing life changing fund, that enables so many opportunities for talented people who just need someone to believe in them.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got to experience a few educational leadership program during my studies and Israel is truly blessed with wonderful programs as such. I see ISEF as the top one. The professional support is carried with excellence and it really feels as ISEF personnel truly wants you to succeed and excel your studies. I like it that ISEF also have strong connection to social actions and is a great platform for us be involved in the community.

1 liransz

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF is a foundation that is a home to all students who are the first generation to higher education. In this foundation I found support, advice, and a family within Academia. Being an ISEF fellow is a privilege that allows for academic support, financial support, professional advice and mentoring, and leadership development. The foundation opens a world of possibilities to us students who are starting our way in Academia.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF Foundation helped me reach my goal and become the first academic in my family.
ISEF has become family. The organization boosted my academic excellence, enabling me to succeed in intensive medical studies and encouraged me to create social change.
Thanks to the ISEF Foundation I hold a Bachelor's and Master's degree, and I know that the sky is the limit for me and for people who came from backgrounds similar to mine.

1 Ravit S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF's generous support has enabled me to fulfill a dream and a professional aspiration. Thanks to ISEF I was able to commit my post-doctoral research in one of world's most prestigious institutes in my field, Material Science. As a mother for a beautiful three year old girl, it was a significant financial challenge to move to California but ISEF's support made this dream possible. It is also very important to mention that throughout the post-doc period the ISEF team provided me outstanding assistance and support, and I am truly thankful to for that.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I feel a great debt of gratitude to the ISEF family and the incredible Nina Weiner for the unimaginable support. ISEF supported me through my studies abroad. Without their generous support, I could not make my dreams come true.

One of the most challenging aspects of raising scholarships for studies has been the need to justify my choices(to study cinema abroad) to many funders who seem to believe that culture and creativity are the prerogatives only of those who can afford it.

I can only say what I believe, which is that those for whom culture and creativity are seen as unessential luxuries, those whose voices thus go unheard and unheeded, are precisely those for whom the chance to speak is nothing short of an essential necessity.

When I got to ISEF I didn't need to explain any of this, it was clear from day one, that I matter. Beyond the financial support, the most important thing ISEF staff(highlighting the extremely kind and supportive director of student affairs- Adi Helfer), ISEF board(in particular: Nina Weiner, Carlos Benaim, Avi Abergel) and my fellow students gave me is much-needed encouragement in this journey,they've been for me my home away from home. I'm grateful to have all of them in my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been with ISEF since my undergraduate studies through my postdoc now. It is a warm and welcoming family! They literally do an amazing job without a lot of hype and PR.
I learn so many things about myself, my country, social justice and so on in their rich programs. I defiantly recommend other to be involved with this organization.

Michel M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is my 2nd year at ISEF's scholarship abroad program, this foundation has made a tremendous impact on my life as a student, giving me the assistance i need in order to complete my studies as a MD. I'm proud to be a part of this program and foundation which represents a vision that i totally believe in and identify with.

Talia Meital S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the story of how ISEF created a new future for me and my family. The support if ISEF has been life changing for me. I was the first in my family to reach higher education, as both of my parents come from poor Jewish religious Mizrahi families. My family also had to deal with my brother serious injury and mental trauma while protecting families near Gaza. When I was offered to leave the master program and start direct track to PhD, I was so confused having on one hand a dreamy opportunity but in the other huge fear that I wouldn't be able to pay and to finance myself. The period of my PhD was a long economic struggle that made my husband I wait and wait until we were able to start a family. At certain point of my PhD, I had no money to collect the data and then ISEF reached out, and saved my doctoral dissertation by supporting me financially for three months to get the data together. Three years later I won a competitive scholarship to proceed to post doc at UC Berkeley. At some point, and while packing our lives to move to the US, the university officials postponed our arrival since I had to come with a certain amount of funding, and the awards wasn’t enough. At the same time I also applied for ISEF post doc program, and ISEF actually saved my post doc by adding the exact amount of funding needed. This funding also helps us with enrolling our baby daughter to preschool, making it much more effective for me to work with the best scholars in my field here at UCB. Without ISEF support I just wouldn’t have completed my PhD nor would I start my post doc. This foundation is the most important and life influential for young hard working students who wish to make this world a better place for the other young people who encounter similar barriers. I will never be able to thank ISEF enough for their support exactly at the time needed. Yours, Talia Tayri

2 Shelly S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Coming from a less privileged background in Israel has posed financial challenges in fulfilling my academic aspirations throughout the years. My parents, descendants of Sephardic Jews who have less than a High School diploma, could not provide me with financial assistance. By awarding me a scholarship, ISEF has lightened my financial burden, and without a doubt, it plays a key role in achieving my educational dreams. I am forever grateful for that. Currently, I am a PhD Candidate in law at Harvard Law School, researching about one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. A technology called "CRISPR" has produced great interest globally due to the insights it would yield regarding fundamental biological processes and its potential impact on human health and well-being. However, with these opportunities come significant legal and ethical challenges. My research dissertation will be a starting point for addressing some of the fundamental challenges the topic raises. As a first-generation student in higher education in my family, I have now the privilege to pursue a position that can make a groundbreaking contribution in the future and all thanks to ISEF’s help and faith in me.

3 Nofar E.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Nofar Edri, I graduated from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, with a degree in emergency medicine.
I am currently pursuing a medical degree at the Medical University of Silesia in Poland.
Recently I have been granted a doctorate scholarship from the ISEF foundation thus covering my tuition fees.
Isef has become an important part of my life. Without Isef's help, everything would have been so much harder and my dream would have stayed far away.
I'm very honored to be a member of the “Isef” family, looking forward to help others pursuing their dreams, as Isef just did to me.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Yamit Cohen
University of Haifa
Studying Law

ISEF has allowed me to realize my dream and finish law school with honors. I think that without the foundation, I would not be able to withstand the economic pressure to be able to complete my studies satisfactorily.
Beyond the foundation’s financial support, which I am forever grateful for, the organization has helped me shape my personality, allowed me to express and believe in myself and my abilities.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have received a scholarship from ISEF. However, it didn't come just with money, but also with a supportive environment and amazing people to be involved with.
I recommend anyone who can to apply for this scholarship. Worth much more than the money it gives.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISEF supported me through my very first steps in the university all the way to my post-doctoral research. Their support was incredibly valuable to me and helped me steer my life to fascinating fields of knowledge and science I could never dream of growing up. Thank you for believing in the young generation of Israel!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To me, ISEF is a place where we learn how to work toward creating a better world. The organization helped me reevaluate how I look at society and understand that all of our actions have meaning.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Etty Schirgauker
Sapir College
Management and Human Resources

When I began my ISEF journey, I never imagined I’d benefit so much from this foundation. In the last three years, I learned a lot about society, about giving and accepting those who are different. I met wonderful people and friends for life. In the past year, I became a coordinator for three amazing projects at ISEF, which developed my personal and professional career. I was able to do this in tandem with graduating cum laude, working and raising a child. I’m appreciative for every moment of my time with ISEF which allowed me to be part of something incredible.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The ISEF Foundation was for me a home in academia and a source of personal and social empowerment during my studies at the Hebrew University in the 1990s. In ISEF I met people from a background similar to mine, with whom I shared personal experiences and conducted discussions on social, economic and educational issues, I connected to my roots and to my identity and took part in a leadership and social involvement program that greatly empowered me and help my personal and professional development. The friendships and personal and professional networking that I have acquired in ISEF accompany me and help me till this very day.