Just 3 of ISEF\'s more than 600 young scholars in Israel

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!

Read More

Edmond J. Safra Scholars

Each year, ISEF awards Edmond J. Safra Scholarships to 400-500 deserving bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. students studying on 20 campuses throughout Israel.

ISEF students at the annual convention

Edmond J. Safra Scholars at ISEF’s annual convention

These students, who hail from distressed urban areas and development towns, are selected based on socio-economic status, academic excellence, and prior history of volunteering in their communities. All ISEF scholars must also have completed army or national service.

At ISEF, the scholarship check is just the beginning. ISEF becomes a student’s second family –– a home away from home. Support options include:

  •  Emergency financial aid (medical or other family crisis);
  •  Financial and academic support during military reserve duty;
  •  Assistance for purchasing textbooks and laptops;
  •  Professional academic tutoring, aptitude testing, and psychological counseling;
  •  Access to internships and international study opportunities;
  •  Prizes for top scholars and for leaders of ISEF’s education projects ;
  •  Group identity formation through on-campus meetings and celebrations.

Thanks to ISEF’s programs, more than 95% of  our scholars graduate, and that some 30% go on to pursue advanced degrees with ISEF’s support — a testament to their tenacity and the high caliber of talent ISEF develops. This is an extraordinary result, particularly for students from impoverished homes.


Two members of ISEF's student leadership team

Two students – part of ISEF’s leadership team


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.

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.


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.