Scholarship and Research Funds

The Endowments and Estates Department of KKL-JNF manages approximately 35 scholarship funds, from which it awards scholarships to promote the fields of ecological and environmental research, public health research, higher education, school education, Hebrew literature, social welfare and other fields.
The funds to finance this unique project are raised through traditional donations as well as wills & bequests. In the latter case testators often embrace causes dear to their hearts, beyond the traditional KKL-JNF projects, such as: environmental research, medical research, helping needy citizens and aiding needy students in various fields.

KKL-JNF creates a yearly budget combining the different scholarship funds and awards the scholarships as per the recommendations of the Scholarships Committee, which is comprised of members of its senior management. The scholarships are awarded at ceremonies in which senior management of KKL-JNF, government ministers, heads of universities, mayors, regional council heads where each recipient is called up to the stage to receive his or her check and a KKL-JNF certificate bearing the name of the donor.

KKL-JNF Funds: A Wide Array of Impact

The KKL-JNF Scholarships Committee informs the universities of the availability of the funds. Students who meet the criteria set by the donor fill in a KKL-JNF form which are then submitted to the Endowments & Estates Department. A Professional Committee within KKL-JNF studies the applications thoroughly and recommendations are submitted to the KKL-JNF Scholarships Committee for final approval.
Some funds are held in perpetuity and some funds are distributed within a span of ten or 20 years. The duration of the funds depends entirely on the donors' wishes. The Scholarships are awarded at ceremonies.

Following are examples of the various funds:

Environmental research funds:

  • The Lillian Schertzer Fund for pilot project in creating home solar energy
  • The Strinasachi Tedesky Fund for archaeological research
  • The Emilio Sacerdote Fund for research of the Negev and the Arava
  • The Eva Daniels Fund for research on the Mediterranean erosion

Health research funds:

  • The Elizabeth Greibach Fund for cardiology research
  • The Manlio Pincherle Fund for medical research
  • The Martinazi Fund for medical research
  • The Arthur and Ludmilla Fund for cancer research
  • The Shmuel and Bronia Hacker Fund for cancer research

Funds for students in higher education:

  • The Moshe Meir Horwitz Fund for outstanding and needy students in universities
  • The Karl Bendar Fund for science students
  • The Philip Simon Fund for ecology students
  • The Roberto Valobra Fund for ecology students
  • The Rosalba Davico Fund for humanities students
  • The Emilio Sacerdote Fund for pharmacological students
  • The Lewis Manpel Fund for needy students
  • The Ronnie Appleby Scholarship for the future foresters program at the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Funds for the Needy

KKL-JNF also manages funds for physically challenged children, senior citizens, blind citizens and terror victims. Among them are:
  • The Blum Fund from Switzerland
  • The Morris and Laura Simons Fund from Great Britain
  • The Giuseppe Cagli Fund from Italy
  • The Victor Guez Fund, operating as a scholarship fund to benefit youth who participate in the empowerment program at the Nitzana Youth Village and a post-high school village

The Philosophy Foundation

Origin: Switzerland
Criteria: The promotion of philosophy in Israel

The board, comprised of professionals who are experts in the field, decides the amount of scholarships each year and usually awards US$10,000 to a Ph.D student and US$7,000 to a master’s student, after a thorough screening of the candidates.

The Samuel and Paula Elkeles Fund

Origin: Germany
Criteria: A yearly Prize for the Outstanding Scientist of the year
Duration: 25 years

Dr. Ludwig Elkeles donated all his wealth to KKL-JNF and requested parks to be built in memory of his loved ones as well as the establishment of the prize. Following his decision, a campground and playground were built in the Jerusalem Forest, a lookout point was built at Kadesh Barnea on the road between Nitzana and Eilat, and a generous contribution was made towards the rehabilitation of Mitzpeh Gvulot in the Negev. The fund established in memory of his parents awards an annual prize for medical research.

In 1988, a special board was formed comprising: A senior KKL-JNF official, a representative of the Elkeles family, the Chief Scientist of the Health Ministry and the Director of the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The board sends out tenders to all major hospital directors and the deans of the faculties of medicine at Israeli universities requesting them to recommend their best scientists of the year. After the applications arrive, the board selects the winner with the utmost care, and then the yearly ceremony is held, attended by the Minister of Health, the Chairmen of the Board of Directors of KKL-JNF and the Health Officials.

Each year, the board makes an effort to award the prize to encourage innovative scientific discoveries. One of the past winners of the prize subsequently won a Nobel Prize in chemistry. The Elkeles Prize has become one of the most sought after of its kind in the country.

The Itzhak Lev and Rachel Goldberg Fund

In 1936 Mr. Itzhak Lev Goldberg donated half of his estate to KKL-JNF to create a fund in memory of him and his wife to support Hebrew literature and culture in the State of Israel. Mr. Goldberg asked that a special board which included two family members be created to oversee the functions of the fund.

In accordance with the terms of the will, the fund grants the following prizes & scholarships:

  • Hebrew Literature Prize in memory of Itzhak Lev & Rachel Goldberg;
  • Pedagogical prize in memory of Itzhak Lev & Rachel Goldberg;
  • Hebrew Literature book grants to libraries in the country;
  • Grants for publishing books by deserving young/old Hebrew Literature writers;
  • Yearly grant to The Academy of the Hebrew Language;
  • Yearly grant to The Historical Society of Israel;
  • Yearly grant to the Ben Zvi Institute;
  • Scholarships in memory of Benjamin Goldberg for the Hebrew University students;
  • Scholarships in memory of Benjamin Goldberg for the Technion students;
  • Scholarships in memory of Benjamin Goldberg for the Levinsky College students,
  • Scholarships in memory of Benjamin Goldberg for the Gymnasia Herzliya pupils.