Shalom Life | July 23, 2014

Scholarships Awarded to 41 Students from Sderot

Recipients will conduct voluntary work in the community on a regular basis

By: Sharon Schwartzman

Published: July 11th, 2012 in News » World

Scholarships Awarded to 41 Students from Sderot

Scholarships have been awarded to 41 students from Sderot, Israel, who are studying at colleges and universities throughout the country.

The awards – presented by Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA – were handed out at a recent ceremony in Sderot at the Netivim Centre, which provides guidance to local young adults and receives significant funding from UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

Sderot Mayor Shimon Bouskila thanked JFC-UIA for its long-standing and unwavering commitment to Sderot both during times of crisis and times of relative calm. “You are a shining example of true leadership,” he said at the ceremony, “and of devotion to the welfare of others.” He also spoke of the importance of attracting more young people to study in the Negev in order to encourage the educational and economic development of the region.

Many of the scholarship recipients would not have had the opportunity to study without financial assistance. As one student, a young woman who has a small child, said at the ceremony: “The Canadian Jewish community has helped me fulfill my dream of gaining a degree.”

In return for financial assistance, scholarship recipients conduct voluntary work in the community on a regular basis, whether it be tutoring schoolchildren, mentoring troubled teens, supporting new immigrants or helping the elderly. The students become increasingly involved and engaged in the town and are able to develop their leadership skills. In this way, the scholarship program benefits not only the individual students, but also the wider community.

The Netivim Centre is playing a vital role in strengthening local leadership. During the last year, no less than 1,500 young people received guidance regarding job opportunities, training programs and higher education. More than 500 students from Sderot are currently studying for a first or second degree, 15% more than three years ago. Increasingly large numbers of young people are involved in municipal affairs; indeed, a Netivim young leadership group meets regularly with the mayor to share ideas.

UJA Federation of Greater Toronto has remained a steadfast supporter of Sderot. Its programs are creating a cadre of committed and capable young people who are able to lead effective processes for change.

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