The Hon. Prof. Gabriela Shalev, former UN Ambassador and Chair of the ISEF Academic Advisory Committee

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


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.



Check out ISEF-Israel's events paying tribute to four decades of educating youth, transforming lives and securing Israel's future!


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From receiving prestigious awards and top appointments, to heading international conferences and publishing vital research, ISEF alumni are inspiring the next generation of Israel's leaders. Read More

Archive: ISEF's success stories!

Academic Advisory Committee

Honorary Chair:
Amb. Prof. Gabriela Shalev

Amb. Gabriela Shalev

Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United Nations, is now President of Ono Academic College in Israel. Ambassador Shalev is a leading expert in the fields of contract law and procurement contracts. Ambassador Shalev was the Chief Legal Editor of the Judgments of the Supreme Court of Israel. She has won numerous awards for her research, including the Israel Bar Association Prize (2003). She chaired the audit committees of Bank Hapoalim and the Israel Electric Company and served on the boards of Ma’ariv,  Hadassah Medical Organization, Osem Investments, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Delek Ltd. Group.

 “I got acquainted with the important work of ISEF when, as the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, I hosted an event at my residence in NYC. This event brought together some young, brilliant Israeli students, together with ISEF’s supporters.This event was one of the most exciting and moving events hosted at our official residence. As an academic and a Zionist, I was happy to see the amazing role ISEF is playing in supporting those young and talented Israeli students.”
Prof.. Amnon Rubenstein

Prof. Amnon Rubinstein

Professor Amnon Rubinstein, holder of the Israel Prize for Law, is Professor of Law at IDC Herzliya. He had a distinguished career as a Member of Israel’s Knesset 1977-2002, and during his tenure as Israel’s Minister of Education (1992-1996), he was instrumental in instituting undergraduate colleges in Israel, which have gained in importance in the ensuing years. Prof. Rubinstein is the former dean of Tel Aviv Law School and of Radzyner School of Law at IDC Herzliya. He is a frequent media commentator and has recently completed his fifth novel. Professor Rubinstein has been a staunch supporter of ISEF and its vision for over two decades.

“ISEF makes Israel a better, more equal society. While serving as Minister of Education, I worked together with ISEF to achieve high standards of education among those Israelis who would not have succeeded in this difficult enterprise without ISEF’s assistance and devotion. We are rewarded by seeing ISEF graduates in the intellectual and political leadership of our country.”
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson

Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson

Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson is Professor of Jewish History and President of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a Member of Knesset from 2006-2009 and chaired that body’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. He has served on the Board of Directors of Yad Vashem, as President of the World Union of Jewish Studies, and as Vice-President of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. He has won many prizes for his research, including the Rothschild Fellowship and the Ben-Zvi Prize for the Study of Jewish Heritage. Professor Ben-Sasson has been instrumental in facilitating ISEF’s long and fruitful relationship with The Hebrew University.


Prof. Ze'ev Tadmor

Prof. Ze’ev Tadmor

Professor Ze’ev Tadmor is former President of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Chairman of the Board of the Technion’s Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research. He holds over 20 U.S. patents and is a member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and the Polymer Processing Hall of Fame. He received the Israel EMET Prize in 2005. He established the Israel Plastics Society and founded “Bashaar – Academic Community for Israeli Society” to promote education in Israel’s most marginalized communities. Professor Tadmor has been of great help in facilitating fruitful cooperation between the Technion and ISEF.

Bridge to College

Through the Luna and Selim Benardete Bridge to College Fund, young scholars are trained in leadership and serve as mentors, tutors and role models for young Israelis in their home communities.

The program targets high school students in the distressed area of Nesher, who show clear potential for college, but need financial assistance, along with help to develop self-confidence, pass their matriculation exams and gain admission to 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.