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



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


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




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!

Read 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.

Bridge to College Program

With generous support from Luna and Selim Benardete, lifelong friends of The ISEF Foundation, the newly expanded “Nesher Bridge to College” program was launched in October, 2016. 
This year, 22 of ISEF’s brightest scholars from Israel’s periphery who have been trained in leadership, are providing comprehensive tutoring and mentoring support to 36 high school pupils in the city of Nesher, specifically, tenth to twelfth-graders who are at high risk for dropping out of school.
In Israel, a high school matriculation certificate (“bagrut”) is essential for acceptance to university and for social and economic mobility. Sadly, for many young Israelis, completing the “bagrut” certificate is a nearly-impossible goal. The city of Nesher is working closely with The ISEF Foundation to help provide opportunities for obtaining a higher education to its most vulnerable teens.
The personal involvement of an ISEF student mentor has a powerful impact on her pupil.

The personal involvement of an ISEF student mentor has a powerful impact on her pupil.

ISEF scholars, hailing from marginalized communities and impoverished backgrounds, serve as relatable role models and mentors to our pupils. They work closely with the program’s young participants and their families to provide academic support, helping them to graduate from high school, attain their “bagrut” certificate, and understand the vital importance of higher education to their future.
Scholars also lead a group social program that includes values clarification workshops and field trips, and serve as personal guides, introducing the teens to life on campus, and becoming trusted confidants.
Recently, ISEF’s Nesher “Bridge to College” Fund has doubled in size and impact, thanks to the Benardetes’ visionary generosity. They are truly making a difference in many young lives.
nesher isef

Participants in ISEF’s Bridge to College Program in Nesher

Below: Photos from the fall 2016 opening ceremony of the Luna and Selim Benardete Bridge to College Fund Program in Nesher (Click on thumbnails to view full size images.)

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

Sign up for ISEF Emails

Lily and Edmund Safra

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