ISEF scholars at Shamoon College of Engineering

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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What Sets ISEF’s Work Apart?

Continuity of Support
ISEF  is there every step of the way, from undergraduate degrees to doctorates and even postdoc; 30% of ISEF’s scholars go on to earn advanced degrees.
Effective Support Systems
Our students say: “ISEF is my second family.” ISEF’s safety net offers emergency funds, academic assistance, and extra support for army reservists.
Strong Peer Network
ISEF  is a place to belong in the unfamiliar world of the campus, where students from immigrant families can feel out of place.
Leadership Training
Students overcome shyness, learn to take pride in their heritage, master public speaking, and become leaders and doers.
Community Service
Teaching and mentoring  over 3,000 at-risk Israeli youth transforms ISEF students from “needy” to “needed.”
Twenty-five percent of all Israeli university students drop out—but at ISEF, 95% stay in school and get their degrees! ISEF empowers underprivileged young Israelis to reach their full potential.
Thousands of ISEF Alumni now hold key positions in all walks of Israeli life—including  members of Knesset, college presidents, leading medical researchers, including  members of Knesset, college presidents, leading medical researchers, architects, thought  leaders, IT innovators, and founders of major NGOs.

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.

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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.