An ISEF scholar (right) with the pupil he mentors - embodying ISEF\'s mission to open the doors of education to all
Hebrew

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

NINA WEINER’S INSPIRING MEMOIRS BENEFIT ISEF

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.

SUCCESS STORIES

NEW BOOK BY ISEF ALUMNUS, NAPHTALY SHEM-TOV

ISEF alumnus, Dr. Naphtaly Shem-Tov's book, Acco Festival: Between Celebration and Confrontation, chronicles the history of the Acco Festival for Other Israeli Theater from 1980-2012.

This well-received work provides an insightful history of a cultural institution, which has brought together acclaimed directors and actors, fringe artists, and local Jewish and Arab residents for more than 40 years.

Dr. Shem-Tov is a senior lecturer in the Department of Literature, Language and the Arts at The Open University of Israel.

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PAYING IT FORWARD:
NESHER'S MAYOR AVI BINAMO STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF BRIDGE TO COLLEGE PROGRAM TO YOUNG SCHOLARS

Tenth graders and their ISEF tutors kicked off 2017 with their second group workshop of the “Bridge to College Program” at the Nesher Community Center on January 1st.

Special guest, ISEF alumnus and Nesher’s mayor, Avi Binamo, proudly spoke about his ISEF experience and the program’s success. He urged students to maximize the resources given to them.
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MEIRAV BEN-ARI:
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION

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Mission and History

Our Mission

ISEF’s mission is to narrow Israel’s socio-economic gap through higher education for gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Our unique methodology combines scholarship grants with required community service, as well as training in leadership and social awareness.

שבת אייסף  2016

 

 

 

ISEF’S core values are:

  • Education as a means of individual and national development;
  • Social awareness and advocacy;
  • Pride in ethnic heritage as part of the Israeli culture; and
  • Zionism, the commitment to the existence of a Jewish democratic state.

ISEF was founded in 1977 by Edmond J. Safra (z”l), Lily Safra, and Nina Weiner. The foundation supports Israelis who have completed military or national service. Though originally created by and for Sephardic Jews, today all cultural and ethnic groups in Israeli society who share the foundation’s values are represented in ISEF’s student body.

Nina Weiner’s Inspiring Memoirs Benefit ISEF

Our History

ISEF arose in response to the challenges Israel faced at its birth – fighting for survival while absorbing Jews from Asia, North Africa, and elsewhere. Many new immigrants, particularly those from Sephardic or Mizrahi communities, were ill-equipped to merge into Israel’s economic and social mainstream. By the 1970s, the plight of this underprivileged population had led world Jewry to create Project Renewal, to rehabilitate Israel’s poorest areas. But ISEF’s founders, Edmond J. Safra (z”l), his wife Lily Safra, and Nina Weiner, believed the real key to renewal lay in developing Israel’s intellectual capital.

In the 1990s, the organization changed its name to the ISEF Foundation, and its programs became open to all underprivileged Israelis, regardless of ethnic origin, who had completed army or national service. Today around one-half of ISEF’s more than 600 annual beneficiaries identify as Sephardic, with the rest representing other groups on society’s margins – Former Soviet Union, Ethiopians, Druze, and others.  ISEF selects its beneficiaries based solely on financial need, scholastic excellence, and leadership potential.

Making Headlines

Dr. Liav Orgad Awarded Major Grant for Immigration Study

ISEF graduate, Dr. Liav Orgad, has been awarded a €3.5 million grant to help shape the immigration policy of the European Union.

Dr. Orgad is a Faculty Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and Associate Professor of Law at IDC Herzliya. Last fall, he published his first book, "Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of the Rights of the Majority," and was recently inducted into the prestigious International Global Academy.

Original story reported in the Hebrew-language publication, The Marker, December 27, 2016

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Lily and Edmund Safra

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

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