An ISEF scholar coaches a young girl at Beit Dani in Tel Aviv

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.


ISEF Israel's annual Shabbat Leadership Conference, March 24-25, 2017, welcomed 400 young ISEF scholars along with ISEF alumni for interactive study sessions, relationship-building activities and commemoration of ISEF’s innumerable accomplishments in developing Israel's intellectual capital spanning four decades.




From earning prestigious awards and top appointments, to publishing research, film premiers and leading international conferences, ISEF scholars and alumni are inspiring the next generation of Israel's leaders. Read More

Archive: ISEF's success stories!

Learning Centers/Yvonne Cohen Book Fund

A young girl studies with the help of ISEF's Yvonne Cohen Book Fund

A young girl encounters the world of literature thanks to the Yvonne Cohen Book Fund

ISEF’s Learning Centers Project provides about 200 youngsters from underprivileged neighborhoods with one-on-one tutoring and support by ISEF’ s student mentors. ISEF’s undergraduate scholars assist the children with completing homework and preparing for tests.

Thanks to the Yvonne Cohen Book Fund, established in 1992 by ISEF board member Yvonne Cohen, pupils also take part in book clubs that promote a love of reading, and have the opportunity to utilize computer resources that are often not available in their homes.

The ISEF scholars who staff these centers form close personal ties with the children, inspiring them to work hard in school and aim at graduating with a diploma that qualifies them for college admission.

ISEF student mentors a young pupil

An ISEF student mentors two young pupils

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.