JERUSALEM (JTA) — Alumni of a Holocaust survivor’s scholarship that pays for Israeli students to pursue a doctorate at a U.S. institution – on condition that they return to Israel after their studies, are gathering in Jerusalem to remember their benefactor.
Edward David Fischman died in 1995 with no direct descendants, after losing his only daughter and his wife in the Holocaust. He arrived in the United States in 1949 and built a successful real estate investment company in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.
Fischman before his death used his estate to set up a scholarship fund specifically intended to benefit accomplished Israeli scholars looking to pursue doctorate programs in the United States.
Since its launch after Fischman’s death, the program has given out $3,050,000 in scholarships to 71 recipients. The scholarship is specifically designated for students pursuing doctorates in the fields of political science, law and economics.
In an effort to combat the so-called “brain drain” which has sapped Israel of many of its leading minds in recent years, the Fischman Scholarship specifically delineates that recipients must return to Israel after completion of their studies in the U.S. and remain in the country for at least five years. The scholarships, which are allocated based on specific needs of the applicant can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands in some cases, and have been applied to institutions including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, UC Berkley, New York University and others.
The scholarship is administered by the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul.
The two-day reunion conference is being held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Jerusalem through Nov. 18.