The University of Haifa on Thursday will present 121 memorial scholarships to students, each in the name of the 121 Israeli soldiers who fell in the line of duty during the Second Lebanon War.
The scholarships were donated by the Ima Foundation, an education-focused Israeli benevolent organization founded by Younes and Soraya Nazarian, Los Angeles Jews with Iranian roots.
The foundation has granted scholarships since the war took place in 2006. In the first and second years, 119 students – all of whom served in the IDF – received scholarships. However, since the bodies of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were returned to Israel, the number rose to 121.
One of the central goals of the scholarship is to form connections between each scholarship recipient and a bereaved family, with the intention of perpetuating the memory of the fallen soldier through the educational advancement of the recipient.
Many of the scholarship recipients have formed strong relationships with the families of the fallen soldiers. Some have even become like part of the family, while others have commemorated their soldier with exhibitions and songs they wrote.
Professor Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, President of the University of Haifa, urged the institution not to forget those who died fighting for Israel in the war. "Do not forget the thousands of missiles that were fired on the North and on [the university], and do not forget the soldiers who gave their lives in order to restore peace and flourishing to the north," Ben-Ze'ev said. "One hundred and twenty-one bereaved families of the victims of the Second Lebanon War turned into part of the life of the university, and part of the lives of the students who merit to carry on the names of the fallen through their learning."
The ceremony will take place Jnauary 14 at 11:30am at the University of Haifa.