One of my favorite acts of philanthropy this year was from Younes and Soraya Nazarian who donated one year scholarships to students at the University of Haifa in honor of each soldier killed in the Second Lebanon War.
As the University of Haifa is known as “the University of the North,” it was the obvious and most appropriate destination for such a commemoration. Each of the 119 scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to be in touch with the family for whom their scholarship is named.
Younes and Soraya Nazarian were recognized by the University of Haifa with honorary doctorate degrees for their dedication and visionary leadership to Israel and Jewish causes, including major support for libraries and cultural institutions.
In an emotional ceremony with families of the fallen soldiers in attendance, Mr. Nazarian asked that each scholarship recipient take on the role of surrogate child by keeping in touch with the families and visiting them regularly.
The Nazarians, who are leaders in the Los Angles Persian Jewish community, also gave $7 million to the University of Haifa for reconstruction of its library, the second largest in Israel.
On the occasion of the scholarship launch, Mr. Nazarian stated:
“This memorial combines two issues that are very dear to my heart and that, in my opinion, are at the top of Israel’s priorities: IDF soldiers and officers on the one hand and education, especially higher education, on the other hand.”