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Telfed's Student Scholarships

Superlative Students

“The evening was not at all what I expected. I learned a lot about the work Telfed is doing in Israeli society. Telfed made me feel truly proud to be a South African Jew living in Eretz Yisrael”. Ronit Abdoo

If you haven’t heard about ‘SASI’ yet, then this is an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the latest academic support programme shifting paradigms in South Africa. Following unrest in recent months at universities across the country, Telfed (South African Zionist Federation) joined forces with The Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation, to offer significant support in the form of needs-based study and accommodation bursaries to Southern African youth looking to study in Israel in English. 

The SASI (South Africans Studying in Israel) programme already has fifteen students registered, with an additional nine enrolling for the Engineering Degree at Tel Aviv University.  Also on the burner is an innovative and revolutionary new development spearheaded by Telfed which would pave the way for international students to study Medicine in English in Israel at exemplary Universities.   Recognizing that the future of our community lies in the youngsters who will inherit it, one of the primary goals is to encourage communal involvement, through seminars facilitated by prominent leaders in the community, and the inclusion of a volunteering opportunity in the 3rd year of studies.

These plans, as they come to fruition, provide an expansion of academic choices to SA youth who have the skills and dedication to excel, but lack the financial ability.

Supporting SA students is one of many Telfed tenets.  Just last month, over 400 students received awards in front of their peers, friends and members of the Telfed Staff and Scholarships Committee at the organization’s public bursary ceremony in Tel Aviv.

Juilliard-trained clarinetist and Telfed Scholarship Department Administrator, Merav Fisher, mesmerized the audience before the Head of the Scholarship Department - Dana Levy Tavor - opened the evening, inviting CEO Dorron Kline who congratulated the students and shared with them Telfed’s mission and raison d’être, to promote the quality of life of Southern Africans in Israel and to support their participation in and contribution to Israeli Society.

Guest Speaker Avner Stepak (board member of Meitav Dash, one of the leading Investment Houses in Israel) engaged the audience with his fantastic sense of humour and shared valuable career advice with the students.

Batya Shmukler, Vice Chair and Head of the ESP (Endowments, Scholarships, PRAS) committee, noted that Telfed’s ability to assist these youngsters “is solely thanks to the generosity, encouragement and endorsement of a network of friends and donors, including (most notably) The Stanley and Zea Lewis Fnd, The Graham and Rhona Beck Fnd (RA), The Meyer Hirsch Goldschmidt Fnd, The Eric and Sheila Samson Fnd and The Doone SA Charitable Trust”.   She also spoke about the PRAS Student Volunteer Programme: “By paying it forward”, said Batya, “you contribute to others in society and in the South African community. You uphold the values Telfed has embodied over the last 70 years, since its inception”.

A poignant interlude was taken to commemorate the contributions of Susan Sharon (z’l) who passed away in 2016. Susan started her career at Telfed in 1986 and served Southern African Olim for over 30 years. Her loss continues to be felt by many whose lives she touched. PRAS Coordinator Elisha Babian was joined onstage by Merav Fisher, performing a beautiful musical piece in memory of Susan.

To tell you the truth”, said Elisha, “I have terrible stage fright but it was important for me to go onstage. Susan was one of those golden angels who helped Olim like me, and for that, she deserved this show of gratitude”.

Telfed Scholarships were presented in her memory to the five student coordinators who assist with the national implementation of the volunteering programme.

Maish Isaacson, Telfed’s Chairman, closed the evening with good wishes for continued cooperation between Telfed, its partners, friends and the community. After a group photo and a moving rendition of Hatikvah, the national anthem of Israel, students collected their scholarships. Some of them were fortunate to meet with representatives of the benefactors like Lauren Gez-Krawitz who attended the ceremony and presented students with the "Philip and Michele Krawitz Bursary Awards" (in her parents’ name). In the words of Nelson Mandela, “a good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination, but when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

To view the album of the pictures taken during the event, click HERE.

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