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Telfed celebrates 70 at the Knesset

In a kickoff to its 70th anniversary celebrations, Telfed, the South African Zionist Federation (Israel) awarded 531 scholarships at the Knesset last Sunday. 

MK Dr. Avraham Neguise, Chairman of the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, hosted the event. He expressed his gratitude to Telfed for "seven decades of outstanding service". 

"This is the nicest committee to be on because we hand out money to deserving students according to the wishes of the donors, which is a win-win for everyone", Shely Cohen, Telfed's Scholarship Committee Chairperson, told Haaretz. She said Telfed decided to go "all out" for its 70th anniversary by holding the ceremony at the Knesset. "These are the students who are the future of the country", added Cohen, who hails from Johannesburg. "So it was really special, very meaningful for us". 

Five hundred and thirty one scholarships were awarded at ths year's gathering. Scholarships are awarded according to financial need or the ability to volunteer with immigrant families, perpetuating Telfed's ethos of assisting immigrants. In fact, two-thirds of this year's recipients were immigrants, or the children or grandchildren of Southern African immigrants. In addition, 166 Israeli students, whose origins range from Ethiopia to Australia, were among the scholarship recipients. 

Telfed Chairman, Batya Shmukler, spoke of how Telfed has evolved from an organisation that was created to assist Southern African Mahal (Volunteers from Abroad) soldiers in 1948 to the wide-ranging organisation that it is today. Shely Cohen, who chairs Telfed's Endowments, Scholarships and PRAS Committee, lauded the generosity and foresight of the donors who fund the scholarships. Four scholarship recipients recounted their experiences, acknowledging the importance of Telfed's scholarship programme (Gabriel GodleyJoshua RodElisha Babian and Teganya Mintwab)

Dana Levy Tavor, head of the Scholarship Department at Telfed, thanked the Telfed team, with a special mention of Helayne Shedletzky and Simone Pikas, who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this event. In addition, Dana expressed her gratitidue to the Telfed ESP (Scholarship) Committee. Dana saluted the 482 PRAS participants, many of whom volunteer in the community or within the PRAS project, and to the contribution this impressive group has made; with the potential to make meaningful contributions to the State of Israel. Lastly, she welcomed keynote speaker, Mr. Adam Max, Senior Trainer and Networking Expert at Barry Katz Ltd., who spoke to the PRAS recipients about networking. 

Telfed would like to thank the donors, without whom this project would not be possible.

Special mention must be made of the significant support received from:

The Graham and Rhona Beck Foundation, Israel (RA)

The Doone SA Charitable Trust

The Stanley and Zea Lewis Foundation

The Meyer Hirsch Goldschmidt Foundation

The Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation

Philip & Michele Krawitz

 

To see photos of the event on our Facebook Page, click here 

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