Because Israel's single greatest natural resource is the minds of its young people. ISEF opens the doors to higher education for more than 400 promising young Israelis from underserved and immigrant communities throughout Israel. Learn More


ISEF Co-Founder and Honorary Chair Lily Safra received an honorary doctorate from the Technion in 2018 "for her outstanding support of the ISEF program that helped thousands of students throughout Israel, including hundreds within the Technion."



ISEF alumna Dr. Karin Carmit Yefet was named "Outstanding Researcher of the Year" by the University of Haifa.

Karin was chosen from among the entire university faculty to receive this prestigious award, and all of us in the ISEF family - students, alumni, and supporters - may take great pride in her achievement!

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A Warm Shalom from Israel

A Warm Update from Israel:
Nina A. Weiner Receives Honorary Doctorate

From left to right: Dr. Dan Givoli, Lawrence and Marie Feldman Chair in Engineering at Technion’s Department of Aerospace Engineering;
Nina Avidar Weiner, ISEF Co-Founder and President Emerita; and Dr. Peretz Lavie, Technion President


On Monday, June 17, the Technion awarded its Ph.D. honoris causa to Nina A. Weiner in recognition of her tireless dedication, through ISEF, to educating Israel’s bright young people from the periphery. Longtime ISEF leaders Norman and Vivian Belmonte and Joe and Paulette Rose attended, along with several dozen ISEF alumni from decades past, some of them now grandparents!

As Nina received her Ph.D. scroll, the entire Technion Board of Governors, leading faculty, and family and friends of the other honorees were astonished when dozens of ISEF’s students and alumni rose as one, applauding wildly and cheering, in a demonstration of their deep gratitude. They literally stopped the show. Afterwards, many of the guests reported having wept to see this.

Click here to see the clip that the Technion played during the ceremony, right before Nina received her award.



Celebrating Our Students’ Accomplishments


While Nina was in Israel, she seized the chance to meet with our students at Beit Danny in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv. This year, ISEF has 53 Ph.D. and M.D. candidates studying at Israel’s universities—everything from bioengineering better seeds to establishing free legal clinics. These 53 future leaders come from immigrant backgrounds, Ethiopia to Ukraine, Morocco to Uzbekistan. Nearly all are from families where no one ever went to college, let alone got a Ph.D., and many are women! In this era of rising inequality, these 53 brilliant scholars kindle hope for a better future for Israel and the world.




To those of you who attended, we were delighted you could join us for ISEF’s 42nd Anniversary Benefit Dinner last Thursday evening. The energy in the room was incredible and your presence made a big difference. Our honorees, Nina A. Weiner, Rony Zarom, and Joseph Aiken were very moved by the demonstrations of your support. 


Please click here to view some photos from the evening and please remember to share them with your friends and colleagues. 


Your dollars will go to the life-changing programs, services, and scholarships ISEF awards to youth and young adults from Israel’s periphery.
For our students, we are the only place they can turn to, to access the essential mentorship and funds to complete their degrees. We couldn’t continue our vital work without the help and support of people like you!
In the coming years, there will be an even greater need in Israel for leaders in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Because of your generosity, we will be able to impact even more students from Israel’s periphery.
Thank you for helping build Israel’s bright future with ISEF.

Bridge to College

This fund is helping hundreds of at-risk Israeli teens to finish high school and qualify for college.

ISEF pairs each vulnerable teen with an ISEF university student mentor from a similar background. The teens look up to our students--who tutor them in tough subjects, boost their confidence, and show them the way forward to a better future through higher education.

Read more about the program

Student Testimonials

ISEF Alum & Nesher Mayor Speaks at Bridge to College Fund Event

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Lily and Edmund Safra

ISEF was founded in 1977 by Edmond J. Safra z"l, Lily Safra and Nina Weiner.


The acclaimed memoir by ISEF President Nina Weiner shares the joys and challenges of building the ISEF Foundation and the exciting life journey which led her to that purpose. “Weiner writes with great zest and a clear-eyed devotion to facts and to the harsh realities of life that awaited displaced Jews from the Middle East upon their arrival in Israel.” – Andre Aciman, author of Out of Egypt Click to purchase Circles of Empowerment on Amazon. All proceeds benefit ISEF.