Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University

Even during this challenging time when uncertainty seems the norm, our Hebrew University students continue their academic pursuits, determined to achieve their goals in higher education. Your ongoing interest and support are helping ensure their goals are realized. With this in mind, we are so pleased to introduce you to some of our outstanding scholarship recipients. These young students, from Israel and abroad, are the direct result of your personal investment in Hebrew University.

Read about their personal journeys below and gratitude for the support that helped pave the path in higher education. You can also download this page as a PDF by clicking here..

Click here to offer scholarship support and invest in Hebrew University Students.

Click on any name below to quickly access their story.


C. W.

Faculty of Social Science
Degree: B.A. Geography & Political Science
Born: Mexico

Dear Donors,

First of all, I would like to thank you for the financial aid you have given me. I very much needed it and you have lifted a great weight off my shoulders.

I made Aliya from Mexico City five years ago and I have been in Jerusalem since. It’s been my dream to live in this country since I was 15 years old and I’m very proud to say I made it successfully, but not without struggle.

My desire was to study PPE (Political Science, Philosophy and Economics). I was lucky enough to make it into the program but unfortunately, I realized the program didn’t suit me very much while also discovering that my Hebrew proficiency wasn’t enough and that I was experiencing a harder culture shock than I expected. That, together with the awfully difficult divorce of my parents, made my first year a pretty tough one.

Thankfully, I found the Department of Geography which reminded me of my passion for architecture, urban planning and spatial justice. It inspired me enough to leave PPE and continue political science while starting my second degree in Geography.

This change brought great light to my life. I’ve enjoyed every single course I’ve taken in the department, the professors and staff are understanding, encouraging and some of them I would describe as genius.

As the relationship between my parents deteriorated, their relationship with me, also deeply influenced by the distance, suffered as well. This, together with a complicated economic situation in Mexico due to the regime change, left my father in a very difficult position. Even though he still helps me with what he can, we realized it just wasn’t enough to keep up with my expenses.

I started working in the Ministry of Education in a student job so I could keep up with my studies and also make some money on the side. This made my life easier, but I would still reach the end of the month with almost no money in my pocket.

During this year, I was also informed that the Minhal Hastudentim (the government body that finances academic studies for new immigrants) wouldn’t pay for my last year of school unless I completed a volunteering program that required more time than I could give. Working, studying and volunteering at the same time was impossible for me at the time so, I had to give up that scholarship.

Coming into my third and last year, I am very happy to say I was hired to a very interesting student job in the Industrial Development Unit of the Ministry of Economy.

This unit is responsible for the mapping and development of most of the industrial zones in Israel, specializing in areas where most of the population is considered minorities or the employment rate is low enough to need new options.

In the past years, they have developed projects to benefit the Bedouin and Druze communities, to encourage women employment in the heavy industry, and to push for new and sustainable industries all over the country..

In the future, I would like to continue in this field and start a master’s degree in Urban Planning and become a planner myself. I am very passionate about spatial justice and I thoroughly believe we should all have the right and the responsibility to use the space in a conscious, equal, and healthy way.

Thank you very much for helping me do and study what I’m passionate about.

C. W.

O. S.

Faculty of Science
Degree: B.Sc. Biology
Born: Israel

Dear Donor,

I am currently living in Jerusalem in a rented apartment and in my third year studying Biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

I am also pursuing a teacher’s certificate, hopefully to become a high-school Biology teacher, focusing on working with students from harsh backgrounds.

I served in the army for 2 years, most of my service I was a Teacher-Soldier. During that time, I taught children from harsh backgrounds by day, and by night I was their tutor in a Youth Club. A few months into my service, I was promoted to be a commander of other Teachers-Soldiers. My military service meant a lot to me and took a major role in understanding what I want to achieve professionally, which is helping and educating youth.

I chose to study biology because from a young age I was very curious about how things work, and I really loved nature and was fascinated with animals and plants. In the first year the studies were hard and intense, and I still did not know that I will pursue the teacher’s certificate.

This year, I am excited because I started the teacher’s certificate and it’s very different than biology and it’s a new experience. Next year I will start my teaching internship, the plan is to do it in the periphery because it’s important to me to help to the weakened layer in society.

I have 2 brothers: The older one is a MA graduate, and my younger one is a high-school student. My parents both have degrees, and they strongly encouraged us throughout our lives to pursue the highest education we can get.

Currently, my mother works in an afternoon child-care facility, and my father works in construction.

My parents lately went through bankruptcy, during which our house and cars were confiscated, and we had to go through an adjustment process to the new living situation.

Now they live in a rented house. Therefore, I can’t be assisted by them and need to finance myself.

The scholarship helps me fund my tuition, especially in paying for my teacher’s certificate, rent and other daily expenses that I finance by myself..

I deeply appreciate the support you provide me.

Thank you and best regards,

Ofir Sinai

R. A.

Faculty of Law and Jerusalem School of Business Administration
Degree: B.A. Criminology & Business Administration
Born: Israel

Dear Donors,

I am a B.A. student of Business Administration and criminology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I was raised and educated at the most southern city of Israel-the city of Eilat.

I decided to move to Jerusalem and study at the Hebrew University since it is the only university in Israel where I could combine both majors. I chose to take two majors that are so different and don’t overlap in any way because it is important for me to widen my horizons and examine things at the widest range possible.

I want to thank you for the support that you are giving me in my second year of academic life. The idea that someone believes in me, gives me the motivation that I need when faced with some difficulties.

Thanks to you I have a better chance to show that I can succeed, a better perspective that makes me feel equal and a better feeling that keeps me focused on my degree..

Besides the educational element, my living in Jerusalem has exposed me to a new variety of possibilities and new approaches that I haven’t experienced before and so I would like to continue and explore more – educationally and individually.

Along with all the support, I can keep seeing myself reaching more goals in my foreseeable future.
With a heart full of gratitude, I’m sending you my best regards,

R. A.

N. R.

Faculty of Social Science
Degree: M.A. Geography and Urban and Regional Planning
Born: Israel

Dear Donor,

I was chosen to receive the scholarship this year, and I am writing this letter to express my sincerest thanks to you for providing me this scholarship.

I was very excited to receive my award notification letter. It is an honor to be recognized for my hard work, and receiving this scholarship motivates me to continue to strive for excellence.

I am in my final year of the geography program and the scholarship support has enabled me to concentrate more on schoolwork without having to worry about finances..

This scholarship helps me realize my dreams of becoming a good city planner.

Your generosity has made a profound impact on my life and I am truly grateful to be the recipient of your scholarship. Receiving scholarship is of tremendous benefit to me.

N. R.

O. K.

Faculty of Humanities
Degree: Ph.D. Latin-American Studies
Born: Israel

Dear Donors,

I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. I am also lucky to be a member of the Mandel-Scholion research group “In Someone Else’s Shoes – An Interdisciplinary Research Group for the Study of Empathy in History, Society, and Culture”. My dissertation focuses on the practice of rewriting in the works of the Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990). I wish to thank you kindly for your generosity, for it allows me to dedicate all my time and effort to the investigation.

Please allow me to tell you about my primary research activity in the passing year. At the end of January, I traveled to Princeton University, NJ, USA, to investigate, during the Spring Term of 2020, the contents of the “Reinaldo Arenas Collection” in the Firestone Library, a collection that contains many unpublished works and texts by the Cuban writer. Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives dramatically and forced PU to close its archives around the middle of March, until then I managed to discover and analyze two documents that are invaluable for my research. The first is an unpublished manuscript of a novel written by Arenas when the author was only 15 years old; the second is an essay on the topic of rewriting that had not received almost any attention on behalf of the research community. I stayed at Princeton until the end of the Spring Term while attending courses via Zoom and writing my dissertation at home, and got back to Israel at the start of May. I believe the stay at PU enhanced and enriched my investigation by giving me a better understanding of the biography, the persona, and the poetics of Reinaldo Arenas. Living in a new and unfamiliar place during the global pandemic was challenging, but it was certainly worth it.

As you see, thanks to your kind support I am able not only to conduct my research at the best material conditions, but also to base it on sources otherwise too costly or unavailable, such as the stay at PU. Your support also allows me to combine my primary research topic, rewriting, with the relatively new field of Empathy in Literature. I believe this combination could prove very fruitful for my current dissertation as well as for future research.

Best regards,

O. K.

Literature as Rewriting: The Case of Reinaldo Arenas

Research Statement – O. K.

The dissertation will include three main chapters: A theoretical chapter that will discuss and redefine the concept of rewriting in literature, a second chapter dedicated to the study of rewriting in three novels by Reinaldo Arenas, and a third chapter addressing the issue of empathy in the selected works. The study’s approach is hermeneutic: it aims to analyze and interpret Arenas’ literary corpus while combining theories, tools and concepts from the fields of narratology, psychology, history, anthropology and more..

Studies dedicated to the concept of rewriting started appearing approximately in the 1970s. A large and comprehensive corpus on the subject has since amassed, including numerous authors and works. Nevertheless, the majority of those studies have neglected some of the term’s most fundamental aspects, such as its intratextual dimensions, or, in other words, the ways in which a single text rewrites itself internally. In that sense, the main contribution of the present study will be the revaluation of the concept of rewriting and the development of a corresponding model. I believe that rewriting, as both an inter- and an intratextual phenomenon, is a process constitutive of many aspects of literary works: the writing of the plot, the construction of characters, designing the narrative voice, and more. The above mentioned model will place rewriting at the heart of the literary act and will suggest that literature itself is a practice of rewriting. This research will be based on a literary corpus comprised of the works of Reinaldo Arenas, but its conclusions and insights will be applicable to many other texts and authors.

M. N.

The Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering
Degree: B.Sc. Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dear Donor,

First of all, I want to thank you a lot for helping me pay a part of the university fee and making it easier for me to focus on my studies and evolving as a student in a tough financial situation.

I am a 3rd year student in electrical and computer engineering (specializing in microelectronics).

The best thing that I like about my 3rd year of studies are that the courses are more practical and more connected to the up to date manufacturing and companies like VLSI and analog electronics lab.

I am the eldest of my family I have two brothers and two sisters. My mom sadly passed away almost 11 years ago, and it has been tough since then.

My father has managed to withstand the difficult time. He brought us up with so many manners and I appreciate every moment he gave and gives every day. Still, it is very tough for him with his difficult financial situation and problems. He is from Bethlehem and he has permission to live in Jerusalem but not as free as others as he is limited in his options..

It has been a beautiful chance to write to you and I want to thank you one more time.

Best regards,

M. N.

N. R.

Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Degree: B.Sc. Animal Science
Born: Israel

Dear Donor,

I have two sisters and two brothers. I’m 25 years old, my hobbies and passion in life are animals and nature, I love scuba diving, teaching and studying.

The last year and a bit in university have been an amazing experience for me. It’s the first time I feel like I belong, I am welcomed and successful.

Before I was a student, I was a scuba diving instructor in Eilat, Israel, and after that I was working in the underwater observatory in Eilat as a fish care giver, but quickly I understood that my real passion is to help animals in need – so I went to work at a vet clinic.

Since then I knew my place is here in the agriculture faculty studying animal science.

My childhood was a bit complicated, but life always is and I’m not letting it to get in my way. My dream was always to become a vet, and I know I’m on the right path.

I enjoy a few courses now that I’m in my second year. One of them is animal physiology and the other is Insects physiology. The last one I study in English which is a challenge for me but I enjoy it very much. In these courses I study the mechanism behind many questions I had before, such as how Anemia works? How Insects can protect themselves in so many environments?

It’s amazing how little we know about our world and I hope to continue exploring it.

Thank you for your help and thank you for reading my letter. It’s an honor to be a recipient of your scholarship and I’m truly grateful for that.

Best regards,