Be a part of the global education movement

SASI Chairman, Sidney Shapiro, welcomes the new SASI students to Israel

While waiting in line at the South African Consulate in Ramat Gan, I overheard two bright and bubbly Chinese girls request visas for travel to South Africa. 

They explained that their South African classmate had told them that Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the world (no argument there), and they were eager to visit before the new school year began. My first thoughts were ‘remarkable — this is globalisation at its best! And kol hakavod to the student, both for choosing to study in Israel and for promoting South Africa as a tourist destination.’

This brief encounter reflects what we already know: Israel is a melting pot, a cosmopolitan country enriched by the contributions of Olim from around the world. Nowadays, Israel is becoming an increasingly appealing destination for international students. And, through the SASI programme (Southern Africans Studying in Israel), Telfed is proud to be a part of this movement to promote tertiary education in Israel.

Recent news headlines have revealed that over 12 000 international students are currently enrolled at Israeli academic institutions. With world class universities, an outstanding reputation for entrepreneurship and innovation, and the introduction of tens of international programmes it is no wonder that these students are choosing Israel. Many of the new degrees on offer are in line with Israeli expertise, including science and engineering, agriculture and sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship and Jewish studies. 

South African students who make the decision to study in Israel and apply for a Telfed SASI scholarship don’t only enjoy an outstanding education, they also benefit from a housing grant and a supportive framework. Social support is an integral part of SASI. A dedicated student coordinator, a social programme that promotes ‘seeing and experiencing’ Israel, opportunities to volunteer and a network of like-minded students from a similar South African background make the SASI programme unique. 

SASI caters to South African international students only. Within this programme, students can choose to study in either English or in Hebrew at private or public universities. Initiated and sponsored by the Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation, the SASI programme was created to give South African students an opportunity to study in Israel. SASI is fully subscribed for the upcoming academic year, which underscores the demand for this initiative. 

For students who wish to make Aliyah, Telfed offers two additional scholarship programmes for Israeli students (with priority given to those of South African origin): the PRAS volunteering scholarship and Financial Need-based scholarship. In November, Telfed launches the 2019/2020 PRAS programme. 180 scholarship recipients will be volunteering with the elderly, children with special needs or new Olim families. Telfed scholarships reflect our ethos of educating the youth so that they will have the ability to be self-sufficient, while simultaneously instilling the values of Zionism and volunteerism. This year over 500 students will be recipients of Telfed scholarships. For more information on Telfed’s scholarship programmes, contact Simone at To this year’s matriculants, we look forward to welcoming you to Israel!   

To read the editor’s column for December/January click here

To read or download the December/January issue of the Chronicle in PDF click  here

To read the most read article of the November issue, click here

Portal to the Jewish Community: to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites, click here

Featured organisation of the month: The Jewish Community Services’ (JCS) activities are centered on relief for the poor and distressed in the Jewish community. They provide a full range of preventative, educative and supportive counselling, statutory services as well as material relief. Visit  for more.


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