First gen. student, the son of a Syrian Jewish immigrant truck driver, is an internationally recognized expert in Political Science thanks to support from ISEF
Edited by: TJVNews.com
The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics reports that young people whose parents have a college education are three times as likely to get a degree as those whose parents never got past high school.
ISEF—the Israel Scholarship Education Foundation—was founded in 1977 to empower youth from Israel’s periphery to get a higher education, so they may become leaders who catalyze change.
Each year, ISEF provides higher education scholarships and holistic support to over 400 talented first-generation Israeli students from immigrant and low-income families in the periphery—people like Professor David Levi-Faur. David grew up in Haifa, the son of a Syrian Jewish immigrant truck driver. Now he is honored internationally, named by Stanford as one of the world’s top scientists.
ISEF’s leadership told us how thrilled they are for Prof. Levi-Faur. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Haifa in 1994 with the help of ISEF. Following graduation, he obtained research and visiting positions at the University of Oxford, the Australian National University, London School of Economics, and the University of California (Berkeley). ISEF was there for him, every step of the way.
Now a full professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Levi-Faur continues to play an active role in the ISEF family. To all who congratulated him he wrote: “I was lucky to join ISEF and am lucky to be part of it still, almost three decades later.”
Over the years David has helped and mentored ISEF’s Ph.D. and postdoctoral candidates, inspiring them by his personal example and providing new generations with skills to help them succeed on their journeys.
He writes: “Shlomo Hamelech wrote in Kohelet: ‘Cast your bread upon the water for after many days you will find it.’ ISEF graduates are the living example of this great Jewish wisdom. I am proud to be part of it.”
For students from Israel’s periphery, it is not enough to gain admission to college; they must also grapple with “imposter syndrome” and other academic and psychological barriers to success. Israel’s overall college dropout rate is 25%. Students who hail from poorer families and/or who are the first generation to study for a degree are the most vulnerable to dropping out without earning their degree.
Yet over 95% of ISEF Scholars stay in school and earn their degree—an extraordinary outcome!
Currently there are over 7,500 accomplished ISEF alumni who are shattering cultural and gender stereotypes, and making major contributions to advancing Israeli society, including: five college presidents, Members of Knesset, heads of hospitals, leading professors and scientists, transplant surgeons, award-winning architects, authors, and many more.
On May 15, 2023, ISEF will be celebrating its 46th Anniversary with a gala benefit dinner in Manhattan. For more information, please visit ISEFfoundation.org and connect with the ISEF Foundation on social media via Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.