Leadership training includes learning to speak in public. An ISEF scholar voices his opinion at the annual ISEF Student Convention.

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.



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!

A Student Writes…

Thank You, ISEF

Dear Nina and the ISEF Board,

I wanted to express my earnest appreciation and gratitude for your help and generosity with the scholarship you granted me. I lately finished my clerkship in internal medicine and got a grade of 95 (equivalent to an A+), and recently started a clerkship in surgery (You can see me in action performing a laparoscopic doudenal perforation repair surgery). I couldn’t have done it without you.

David Biton DrTruly yours,

David B.

July 2013

Dear Mrs. Cohen,

Your support, in addition to my scholarship for medical school, is helping me to succeed. Since I received your assistance to buy a stethoscope, I have been able to discern different voices coming from the heart, recognize the certain problems related to the heart and the lungs and better understand what the doctor is explaining regarding each patient. Now I understand how to better help the patients.

I am now better prepared for my exams in internal medicine every Sunday. The book I purchased “Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine” is the “bible” for medical students.

I am also very grateful because as a religious girl, I can study on Shabbat from a book and this is a real savior.

– Shlomit Lubich

Dear Mrs. Cohen,

This past year has been my 4thyear in med-school. I am studying in an integrated program for MD combined with MPH (Medical Doctor combined with Masters in Public Health). The studies, which are being held 5 days a week, leave me (and all other medical students) very little time for work. The fact that I’m doing an extra academic degree (that includes a research for thesis) keeps me extra busy and gives me very limited time to work for my financial needs.

I believe that a scholarship that is designated specifically to medical students is extremely helpful. Whether it’s related to the extremely busy class schedule or to the long duration of the studies, I believe that an average medical student in Israel faces more financial difficulties compared to other students. I also believe that any scholarship invested in medical students will later be beneficial to the population, and eventually will help to create a better society. – Alon Ben David

June 20, 2012
Dear Nina, Dear Ofira, Dear Board Members,
It is with great pleasure that I would like to share with you some wonderful news:  I was recently recruited by Tel-Aviv University, Department of Cell Biology and Immunology to join them as a faculty member.
This position will allow me to finally fulfill my dream and become a leader and an independent scientist in Israel where I can start my own research lab aimed at studying ‘Glycans in Immune Recognition and Response’. This will hopefully contribute to the growing field of glyco-immunology, in which I am currently one of very few with relevant formal training in Israel.
I have been a member of ISEF’s family since 1994, and ISEF has supported me throughout all my studies and training: BSc, MSc, PhD and Post-Doctoral training.  During my research years I authored many publications in top tier journals and made seminal discoveries in my field of expertise, including the discovery of novel cancer biomarker that might facilitate early detection of cancer. My years of training as a postdoc has allowed me not only to make these major scientific breakthroughs, but also to establish numerous collaborations with leading scientists world-wide.
It is said that “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt), but in reality believing in dreams is not enough to actually make them happen.  In my own experience, ISEF’s support gave me the confidence to actually strive forward despite the numerous difficulties along the way and to finally become the strong person I am today.  I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to ISEF’s members and donors for the continued support and for believing in me and nurturing my potential!
Warm regards,
Glycobiology Research & Training Center, University of California, San Diego


More letters from ISEF scholars:
Dear All,
Now that I have completed my journey of studies, I stand at the opening of the new era I wished for.
Now I can solemnly say that my achievements, my personal fulfillment, and reaching my starting point could not have been done without the ISEF Foundation.
 In this humble mail, I wish to thank you – the ISEF Foundation and all its emissaries. 
Your work is sacred. It is so much more than just a scholarship or people I could turn to for help – it is the essence of a true mission!
 The warmth, the personal attention, the devoted treatment, the sympathetic ear that was always there, the never-ending availability during work hours and after, are all truly unique. 
 Thank you for everything. I wish you all continued joy in your work — and I hope that the number of students who benefit from you will grow.
 With much love and appreciation,
Elisar F.
Tel Aviv University (Law)  

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.