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


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

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


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From receiving prestigious awards and top appointments, to heading international conferences and publishing vital research, ISEF alumni are inspiring the next generation of Israel's leaders. Read More

Archive: ISEF's success stories!

Edmond J. Safra ISEF Alumni Society

The Edmond J. Safra Society of ISEF Alumni was inaugurated in 2010 to recognize the most notable achievements among ISEF’s more than 6,000 accomplished graduates.


Dr. Osnat Akirav

Born in Beer Sheva, Osnat is married and a mother of four. She grew up in Beer Sheva’s Gimmel Neighborhood and earned her Ph.D. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a researcher and faculty member at Western Galilee College. Osnat has always been involved in a wide range of public and volunteer activities. Among her many involvements, she is a member of the WomenPower Association and chairs the Education Committee of the Kfar V’radim Local Council. Osnat was an ISEF Scholar from her first degree all the way to her Post Doctorate studies.

Dr. Asher Bashiri

Born, raised and lives in Be’er Sheva. Married and father of four. A senior gynecologist at the Soroka University Medical Center’s Delivery and Gynecology Unit, and senior lecturer at the Ben Gurion University’s Faculty of Medicine. Specializes in childbirth, high risk pregnancies, return pregnancy losses, mother and fetus medicine and ultrasound. Asher sees his profession as a personal mission for promoting the health system in the Negev. Asher was a member of the ISEF Foundation during his internship in New York.

Dr. Miriam Biton

Born in Ashqelon, Miriam now lives in Giv’at Shmuel. She is a member of the Law Faculty at Bar-Ilan University. She holds a Ph.D. in Law (J.S.D.) from the University of Michigan. Miriam did postdoctoral research as a Microsoft Fellow at University of California at Berkeley and her articles have appeared in the most important journals in her field in the United States. Miriam was an ISEF International Fellow from her 2nd degree all the way to her Doctorate studies.

Dr. Yves Biton

Born in France, Yves now lives in Ra’anana. He is married and a father of three. A graduate of the Ben-Gurion University School of Medicine, Yves has devoted many years to working to improve Israel’s healthcare delivery systems. Currently he is the founder and head of the Med-Trix Corporation. In the past, Yves served as a volunteer member of the ISEF Foundation’s Executive Committee, and he continues to contribute his time and funds to this day. Yves was an ISEF Scholar during his M.D. studies.

Dr. Meir Buzaglo

A resident of Jerusalem, Meir is married and a father of five. He is a member of the Philosophy Faculty at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Meir’s fields of research include the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of Judaism, and he is considered one of Israel’s most important original thinkers. Meir is a leader of the renewal of Jewish tradition and liturgical poetry (piyyut) in Israel, and in recent years he has also led the Tikkun movement for social change. Meir was an ISEF Scholar from his 2nd degree all the way to his Post Doctorate studies.

Mr. Eyal Edry

Born in Safed, Eyal is married and a father of two. He lives in Haifa, owns a business in Gush Segev, and represents Israeli firms in West Africa. Eyal is very involved in civic issues: he is among the founders of Zionism 2000, a member of the executive committee of the River of Children Village Association and a founder of B’atzmi (For Myself ). Eyal and his brothers have set up a family foundation that develops civic initiatives and projects in their home city of Safed. In the course of his IDF service, Eyal was injured and he remains classified as 100% disabled by the IDF. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in Psychology with distinction. Eyal was an ISEF Scholar during his M.A. studies.

Mr. Eli Elezra

Born in Morocco, Eli is married and a father of three. He grew up and went to school in Ashqelon. Eli owns several major Israeli corporations, including Afridar, the Elbar Leasing Corporation, and the Hachsharat HaYishuv Insurance Corporation. From a young age, Eli was active in his community and was among the founders of Students For Ashqelon. Eli has chosen to remain in Ashqelon and raise his family there; he has even started a family foundation that makes major investment’s in Ashqelon community development and in the ISEF Foundation’s education projects. Eli was an ISEF scholar during his M.A. studies.

Prof. Yehuda Hadad

Born in Beer Sheva, Yehuda lives in Lehavim; he is married and a father of four. He serves as President of Shamoon College of Engineering. Prof. Haddad is internationally recognized as an authority in the field of advanced materials for use in space and in auto production, publishing dozens of articles in international journals and addressing conferences all over the world. Yehuda was an ISEF Scholar from his 2nd degree all the way to his Post Doctorate studies.

Dr. Adi Kol

A resident of Tel Aviv, Adi holds a Ph.D. in Law (J.S.D.) from Columbia University in New York. She is the founder and director of “University for All,” which opens the world of higher education to disadvantaged population groups. For her work, Adi was awarded the 2012 Knesset Speaker’s Prize for narrowing social gaps and building bridges between population groups in Israeli society. Adi was an ISEF International Fellow during her J.S.D. studies.

Prof. Avi Levi

Born in Morocco, Avi is married and a father of five. He made Aliyah in 1963 and grew up in a tent camp in Jerusalem. Today he is President of Hemdat HaDarom Academic College. Avi has devoted his life to education, scholarly research, and the community, and he spearheads many projects in these areas which contribute to the development of high-quality teaching methods, of education in the sciences, and of top-quality research and living standards in Israel’s periphery. Avi was an ISEF Scholar from his first degree all the way to his Post Doctorate studies.

Dr. Israel Sella

Resident of Herzliya. Married and father of four. Founder and Director of the “Heart” Organization- center for at risk boarding school graduates. Manages the Center for Academic Grade Improvement for high school pupils in South East Tel Aviv. Israel dedicates his life to bringing children and teens closer to education and has received many awards, such as the Joint’s Education award from the Hatikva neighborhood committee. Israel was a member of the ISEF Foundation during his second degree and PhD studies.

Mr. Yosef Yosefy

A resident of Ashqelon, Yosef is married and has one child. He is a judge in the Beer Sheva Regional Labor Courts. Prior to assuming this position, Yosef ran a successful law firm in Ashqelon. He has been involved in public and volunteer activities for many years; currently he sits on the National Judges’ Board and offers lectures at various social change organizations. Yosef was an ISEF Scholar during his law degree studies.



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.