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Gabriel Godley: SASI Scholarship Recipient

"My mother told me from a young age I could be something great, but Israel sat me down and screamed at me, that I could be someone even greater than my wildest imagination." Gabriel Godley

I was asked why I chose Israel, why I decided to study here and why I decided to leave South Africa. 

I don't exactly know why I first decided to come here, maybe it was because I was a Zionist, maybe I was searching for something, maybe I was running away from something. But I'd like to share a story with you that explains not why I came here, but why I am so extremely grateful for everything Israel has taught me. 

My name is Gabriel Mordechai Godley and I am a proud member of the SASI Scholarship Programme, granted by The Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation, the Krawitz Family and Telfed. 

I was born and raised in Glenhazel, Johannesburg South Africa and I completed my high school at the prestigious King David Linksfield. 

I am currently studying Electrical Engineering at Tel Aviv University.

Along with any Degree comes the awful dreaded exams. 

It was after a particularly difficult math exam in which I was certain I had failed the exam. I was feeling very confident that I was not smart enough to complete this degree and would never be smart enough. What would my parents think? What would I do next after being such a failure?….

I was the last student to leave the exam venue and I began my pity party for one in the hallway.

The invigilator of the exam was an elderly Russian- Israeli woman, a formidable combination. She noticed my glum face and in a deep Russian accent and with a smile on her face, she said to me, “Did you know Albert Einstein worked with the Math's department here.”

I paused, a little confused as to where she was going.

She continued to tell me about the great Physicist to have walked these halls, the mathematicians, the gastronomists, the wealthy individuals and corporations, the philanthropists and the Nobel Prize Laureates. 

We both walked out of the building smiling and before we went our separate ways, this invigilator reminded me I was in a place that prized education, that adored intellect and that encouraged exploration.

She told me it was a place for great minds and that if I was here, it meant that the University believed I had the potential to sit amongst these great people. 

My mother told me from a young age I could be something great, but Israel sat me down and screamed at me, that I could be someone even greater than my wildest imagination. 

Israel has taught me, time and time again, that I am much stronger than I think and that I am worth something.

It was alleged that Nelson Mandela used a quote from Marianne Williamson, in his Inauguration speech. Although this is not correct I think it is still a perfect summary of what I am trying to say. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

Thank you SASI for believing in me and thank you Telfed for providing students the opportunity to experience Israel in a deep and meaningful way.

I hope to make Israel proud by taking what I have learnt here and use it as a positive force in the world. 

Thank You.



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