A proud ISEF project participant with his science exhibit

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.


During a recent lecture and visit with students in ISEF’s Leadership Development Program, ISEF alumna, MK Meirav Ben-Ari, shared a heartwarming story about the powerful role ISEF continues to play in her life.




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.

Click for more about ISEF's success stories!

Planned Giving and Endowment

Planned Giving

You can can help guarantee that your commitment to ISEF’s mission and work extends beyond your lifetime!

Planning your estate offers a wonderful chance to remember the bright but disadvantaged young Israelis whose lives are transformed each year thanks to ISEF.

A charitable bequest to the ISEF Foundation can be as easy as adding this statement to your will:

I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to the ISEF Foundation, currently located at 520 Eighth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10018, (_______ percent of my estate; or the sum of $ _______ ) to be held and administered by the ISEF Foundation Board of Directors for the purpose of supporting ISEF’s deserving scholarship students and programs.

Other estate planning options include donating a life insurance policy to ISEF.  This option enables our supporters to make a more significant contribution to ISEF than would be possible during their lifetime. If  generating a major gift for ISEF from a relatively small financial commitment fits into your plans, you could either gift an existing life insurance policy to ISEF — or consider purchasing a separate new policy with ISEF as the beneficiary.

If you wish to make a planned gift to ISEF, please consult your legal and financial advisors. For more information, please contact Nancy Wellins, ISEF’s Executive Director (Acting), at 212-683-7772.

Named Endowment Fund

ISEF has several named endowment funds whose revenues support both general operating funds, and specific programs run by ISEF.  The minimum donation to establish a named endowment fund, in honor or memory of a loved one or in your own name, is $100,000.  ISEF maintains a special board committee which oversees the investment of the foundation’s endowment funds, and the family making the donation will receive an annual accounting of income and expenditures.

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.