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.


ISEF Israel's annual Shabbat Leadership Conference, March 24-25, 2017, welcomed 400 young ISEF scholars along with ISEF alumni for interactive study sessions, relationship-building activities and commemoration of ISEF’s innumerable accomplishments in developing Israel's intellectual capital spanning four decades.




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!


Because Israel’s single greatest natural resource is the minds of its young. 
ISEF opens the doors of higher education each year for more than 400 promising young Israelis from underserved and immigrant communities throughout Israel.
Since 1977, ISEF has granted over 19,000 annual scholarships and enabled more than 6,000 young Israelis to earn degrees from BA to PhD.  Many ISEF grads are now leaders in Israel’s government and trailblazers in medicine, academia, and technology.
At ISEF, scholarships are just the beginning.  Here’s why:

Emphasis on Excellence.

ISEF selects students who show real leadership potential.  While they study, ISEF’s leadership training seminars and community service programs equip them with the theoretical and practical skills they need to maximize their potential.

Celebrating 40 years of Developing and Nurturing Israel’s Human Intellectual Capital!

ISEF scholar makes his views heard
An ISEF scholar speaks out while others listen

Continuity of Support. ISEF knows developing human capital requires a long-term investment. ISEF’s students know they can count on ISEF’s support for as long as needed to reach their goal – whether BA, MA, PhD, or even postdoctoral research, in Israel or abroad.  No other organization does this.

Support Systems that Work.  ISEF nurtures its scholars and helps them stay on course.  ISEF lends a hand in any situation that arises–financial, family, medical, or army reserve duty. Thanks to ISEF’s support systems, over 90% of ISEF’s scholars earn their degrees — an astonishing rate of success in this population, proving both the high caliber of ISEF’s scholars, and the strength of ISEF’s programs.

Two ISEF scholars share a light moment
ISEF scholars share a light moment

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.