The gift includes $120 million over 20 years in support of scholarships for students interested in pursuing in-depth studies in Jewish religion, heritage, and history. Scholarship recipients participate in enrichment courses and activities in fields promoting pluralistic Judaism, Jewish culture and heritage, and Jewish history.
The remaining $1.5 million from Brazilian-born philanthropist Elie Horn and his sister Joyce Horn, which will be matched by the university, is earmarked for women who face difficulties financing their studies. The new scholarships will be available for the 2022-23 academic year.
“I’m proud that we are able to offer these scholarships and to help a large and diverse circle of candidates, particularly after two difficult years due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said University of Haifa president and professor Ron Robin. “The University of Haifa promotes social mobility, and thanks to these new scholarships we will be able to make higher education accessible to wider circles who might otherwise have chosen not to pursue academic studies due to financial considerations. We are tremendously grateful to Mr. Elie Horn for his historic gift, and we look forward with excitement to the upcoming academic year.”
The Ahavat Olam program is a long-term endeavor that aims to award annual grants to thousands of students across all departments and fields of study. Each scholarship of $2,000 is open to bachelor’s and master’s degree students in any year of study. The scholarship can potentially provide $6,000 for undergraduate students and $4,000 for master’s degree students.
In addition to their regular study programs, recipients of the scholarships will take academic courses in areas of Jewish studies taught in the various departments. They will also participate in enrichment courses and activities in fields promoting pluralistic Judaism, Jewish culture, heritage and history.
One of the goals of the scholarships is to provide knowledge in the fields of Jewish studies and heritage.
University rector Prof. Gur Alroey anticipates that the scholarship will make a real contribution to strengthening the field.
“In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of students coming to the Jewish studies departments,” he said. “In the long term, this will weaken the entire research discipline. Now, thanks to the new scholarship, students from all faculties and departments will join these courses, breathing new life into the Biblical Studies and Jewish History departments.”
The university is also offering additional scholarships for women who need help financing their studies. These scholarships have been made possible thanks to a donation from Elie Horn and his sister Joyce Horn. These scholarships also amount to $2,000 a year. The plan is to award them to some 500 women students over the next three years. The university intends to take a proactive approach, working with governmental and public bodies, local agencies and others to locate women with strong academic potential who require the scholarship. The threshold criterion for this scholarship is the student’s socioeconomic background. Additional criteria, such as military or civilian national service or community service, will provide extra points.