The ISEF Foundation Celebrates
46 Years Of Achievement

On Monday, May 15, hundreds of ISEF’s supporters gathered at a lovely venue in Manhattan to celebrate the organization’s 46th Anniversary and to meet some of ISEF’s PhD and postdoc International Fellows—extraordinary Israelis from families where no one ever went to college.


The event honored Chaim Katzman, Founder of G City, with ISEF’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  Learn more about Chaim Katzman’s extraordinary career and philanthropy  here!

ISEF Alumna Dr. Rey Biton, who earned her M.D. thanks to the Dr. Shulamit Katzman Memorial Scholarship Fund which Mr. Katzman established in ISEF, flew in from Assuta Hospital in the Negev to present his award. “I left my three young daughters at home—I had to be here to say thanks.”

Dr. Rey Biton at podium with Chaim Katzman

Dr. Biton told the audience where “the power of ISEF really lies. You may think, ‘Oh, it’s a scholarship,’” she said. “But in fact, ISEF is a program of personal empowerment wrapped in a scholarship. I was not only educated – I was encouraged to unleash my power. Today, as a physician treating immigrants in the Negev, I am manifesting ISEF’s credo: leverage your education to become an agent of change for all who are in need, especially in your own community.”

International Fellow Dr. Maru Gete- now training in advanced head and neck surgery in Toronto–joined Dr. Biton in inspiring the guests to increase their support for ISEF’s 420 current students, B.A. to Ph.D. and beyond.

International Fellow Dr. Maru Gete

ISEF leaders and alumni, joined by President of Israel Isaac Herzog, also wished a happy 90th birthday via video tribute to ISEF Co-Founder Nina A. Weiner,  who was honored with lighting a ceremonial torch at Israel’s official 75th Independence Day celebration in April.

5_ISEF President Carlos Benaim

ISEF President Carlos Benaim noted ISEF’s astonishing success shepherding
95% of its first-generation stud
ents to graduation day and beyond!

ISEF’s incredible results over 46 years—transforming the lives of thousands of first-generation Israeli students, making Israel more united, secure, and prosperous—are only possible thanks to the generous support of ISEF’s many friends. Together we share a powerful vision–that expanding access to higher education holds the key to a bright future for Israel.

ISEF’s friends and family also celebrated coming together again in person in New York City, to celebrate ISEF’s achievements and be inspired by the next generation of ISEF scholars!

Photos from our 2023 Gala: