ISEF scholars at Shamoon College of Engineering
Hebrew

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

NINA WEINER’S INSPIRING MEMOIRS BENEFIT ISEF

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 in ISRAEL

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF ACHIEVEMENTS!

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

40TH ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT DINNER
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ANNUAL SHABBAT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
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SUCCESS STORIES

MAKING STRIDES IN FAR-RANGING FIELDS

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!

Students Express Their Thanks to Luna and Selim Benardete

Luna and Selim Benardete bridge to college Fund LOGO


NOAM

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Benardete,

My name is Noam and I am a 12th grader in ISEF’s Luna and Selim Benardete Bridge to College project in Nesher. I am writing to tell you how very grateful I am to you for sponsoring this project, which has helped me so much in my studies and in my personal life.

Since joining this project, my school grades have improved a lot. I achieved a 95% average in my Mathematics Bagrut exam. In my English Bagrut

Noam

exam I went from 70% to 93%, which I never thought possible.  Thanks to your project, I now plan to apply to the Engineering program at the Technion.

My ISEF student tutor helped me to prepare for a higher level exam in Physics, donating his personal time when he didn’t even have to. Now I have a Bagrut certificate in Physics with top scores, which could help me get into the Technion.

I would never even have thought about going to university at all, if it weren’t for your project in ISEF.

I met a lot of amazing people in this project. I am personally very connected to my ISEF student tutor and we even meet outside the project – to practice for the exam, or just see each other to say happy holiday and even exchange holiday gifts. I feel like I have another big brother who will support me and help me in whatever I need. I don’t take any of this for granted, especially because he is a student at the Technion and I know how busy he is with his own studies.

All the ISEF student volunteers are incredible people who invest and try hard to make sure we succeed and get as much as we can out of all the project activities. I am very happy with the project and I hope that, in the future, many more kids like me will be able to enjoy them too.

Thank you so much for your support of ISEF and the Nesher project. Please know that you have really made a difference in my life!

—–

GILA

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Benardete,

My name is Gila and I am a high school student in ISEF’s Luna and Selim Benardete Bridge to College project in Nesher. I want to thank you for your generous support of ISEF and this program, and to tell you how important it is to me and the other teens that benefit so much.

Gila cropped

For me, ISEF is an organization that helps every child to develop and realize their potential in the best way possible. ISEF supports and assists kids that don’t have the financial resources to succeed on their own and to achieve a Bagrut certificate that can get them accepted to higher education. ISEF also gives these kids hope for a better and brighter future.

Your Bridge to College project drives me forward and gives me something to lean on. ISEF’s student volunteers believe in me and give me the feeling that I can do anything and that nothing stands in the way of what I want. They always know when to be encouraging and raise my morale, making me feel more motivated and putting a smile on my face.

Thanks to your project, I have succeeded in realizing my potential on the personal, academic, and social levels. It exposed me to the academic world, and now I understand better how to apply to and approach university studies. Your project also strengthened positive values and principles — things like self-expression and confidence, identity, volunteering, and setting and attaining goals. Our group gave back to the community in a positive way, like when we went to a home for the elderly in Nesher and cheered up the residents.

Your project has helped me to rise higher and to thrive academically and socially, and I am so grateful to you and to ISEF for making all of this possible!

 —–

SHACHAR

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Benardete,

My name is Shachar and I am a 12th grader in the Bridge to College project in Nesher that is named for you. I am so grateful to you for making it possible for me to participate in this project — as it completely changed my life.

Shachar thank you letter

I came to the first meeting with a friend and immediately asked if I could join. After some inquiries, they agreed to include me. I was so happy to be a part of a project that felt like a family and could help me overcome my problems at school so I can succeed and get better grades.

I started the program in 10th grade with a tutor named Moshit, who helped me in every aspect with my studies and personal issues. She made me feel like we had a real friendship and that we weren’t there just to learn. She showed me that any task is much easier and simple if you really try and have the will power to succeed.

The project taught me a lot about myself and helped me discover new goals. Now, school is really important to me and I know that academic success is all about being determined and diligent, and putting in the time and work.

This is my third year and I am so happy I joined and that I was accepted! Without all this help I don’t think I’d believe in myself as much as I do today. ISEF has been a gift from heaven and a huge success!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

  —–

SAPIR

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Benardete,

My name is Sapir and I am a second year student in Communication Disorders at the University of Haifa. I live in Nesher, just outside of Haifa and I am the oldest of 3 children. My father is one of 6 children raised in Israel by Tunisian parents. My mother’s parents and 9 older siblings made aliyah from Morocco and she was born in Israel. It was not easy for my grandparents to adjust to life here. My mother’s mother, who did not speak any Hebrew, worked as a house cleaner and also prepared bodies for burial to make a living.

Sapir Cohen - Nesher cropped

My parents work very hard to support us and cover their debts. My father, who owns his own air conditioning repair business, suffers from diabetes and a recent leg injury, and still works long hours. My grandparents, parents and extended family members never attended college and I believe that my pursuit of a higher education will make a big change and break the cycle of poverty I was raised in. My personal goal is to work in hospitals in auditory response recovery following cochlear implants. I would also like to open a private clinic and continue to study medicine.

Beyond the financial support and breathing room that ISEF provides me to focus on my schoolwork, I receive so much more – tools for life that help me manage my time better, set goals and achieve them, get to a higher level of excellence and always aim for more.

After mentoring and tutoring in the Bridge to College project in Nesher, this year I am a social leader for the 10th grade participants, organizing and planning meetings related to college life, their aspirations and goals, among other topics. We also plan tours for high school participants of university campuses and lecture halls so they can familiarize themselves with this environment and understand that they too can navigate this world with the help of ISEF.

ISEF has been an empowering learning experience. I’ve learned about responsibility, training and guidance. I am happy about the values that we instilled in these youngsters and I know that we helped them on a personal and emotional level. This is the third year for Bridge to College in Nesher and it has been a great success. The young participants are committed to pursuing a higher education when they complete their military service.

Thank you so much for all of your generous support.

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.

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