Israeli Scientists Honored at Machiah Foundation Luncheon

Three Israeli scientists engaged in post-doctoral work in the United States were honored at a luncheon held recently at the Jewish Community Federation. The three Israelis ― Tal Imbar, MD, Tomer Kalisky, PhD, and Ayelet Lamm, PhD ― received fellowships from the Machiah Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund and a consortium of other funders assembled by the JCEF. The Machiah Fellowship provides funds for Israeli scientists to receive advanced research training at leading universities and other scientific institutions in the United States. The fellowship program was initiated to help Israelis circumvent existing obstacles to pursuing advanced training in Europe due to anti-Israel sentiment. All citizens of Israel are eligible to apply to the program, independent of ethnic background, religion, or gender. In return for accepting the fellowship, awardees must agree to return to Israel and reside there for at least three years after the fellowship period has concluded. Eight fellowships were awarded for the 2007 year, which provided for a stipend of $55,000 per year for two years. The Israeli scientists speaking at the luncheon represented the second group to be awarded the Machiah Fellowship. Applications for the third cohort have been reviewed and the top eleven finalists selected. The program hopes to support eight to eleven fellowships in the 2008 award year, with the exact number of fellowships contingent upon the availability of funds. According to Machiah Foundation Board President Dr. Stanley N. Cohen, Professor of Genetics at Stanford University, “The 2008 finalists were chosen from a group of forty absolutely outstanding applicants. These fellowships will help to advance the progress of science not only in Israel, but also more broadly. The global scientific community and individual fields of study in the biological and medical sciences will benefit from increased interactions with excellent Israeli researchers, and the State of Israel’s scientific research will be strengthened as the fellows return to live and work in their homeland.” Paul Sunshine, one of the Fellowship’s funders commented, “The Machiah Fellowship is emblematic of a new philanthropic trend of strategic giving. The Fellowship innovates on many levels: it demonstrates leadership in bringing together numerous foundations and philanthropic funds around a common purpose; it shows a new strategic role for Jewish philanthropic organizations in facilitating single purpose, directed giving; it leverages philanthropy by combining into one program, support for scientific research, and support for and the need to slow the technology ‘brain drain’ phenomenon that exists in Israel.” Additional funders for the Machiah Fellowship program are currently being sought. To find out more about the Machiah Fellowship, or read about all of this year's scientists, please contact Laura Mason at 415.512.6273 or

Categories: Awards, Endowment, Israel


August 04, 2008


The Federation