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


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

Message from Israel’s Prime Minister


 The Prime Minister’s Office last year selected ISEF to lead “Science Builds the Nation” – empowering hundreds of young Israelis from marginalized communities to pursue STEM degrees. Prime Minister Netanyahu gave his personal support and matching funds to this pioneering endeavor. Our pilot year was a big success, and now we’re doubling in size!

This year, our “Science Builds the Nation” program is supporting 120 young Israelis, from families where NO ONE ever went to college, to get degrees in STEM disciplines. Next year this program will expand again to educate even more young Israelis who lack only means and access.

For 42 years, ISEF has been a leader in developing Israel’s single most precious natural resource – the minds of its young people. ISEF doesn’t merely educate – it empowers. 98% of our scholars overcome the barriers and get their degrees, and thousands of ISEF grads are leaders and role models for Israel’s immigrant populations.ISEF Story

Click here to read the moving story of ISEF Fellow Dr. Shlomo M. – an Ethiopian immigrant now doing ground-breaking research with a Nobel laureate!

Israel’s future depends on educating many more bright young people like Shlomo M. If you have already supported ISEF in 2018, we are deeply grateful for your loyalty. If you haven’t yet contributed, please consider making your most generous end-of-year gift to enable ISEF to continue its vital work. In the name of our incredible students, we thank you!


ISEF Donation


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.