The scholarship was established in 2011 and each year since has enabled a postgraduate student from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel to study for a Master’s degree at Oxford Brookes. Students are selected on the basis of merit, academic ability, personal qualities and financial need.
Oxford Brookes Sam Zuckerberg Israel Scholarship
“I could not have afforded to live and study in the UK. It was a dream and without the scholarship would have stayed just a dream. The scholarship changed my life.”
Auren Renford (2nd from left, with fellow students at Brookes), MSc International Hotel & Tourism Management graduate and Scholarship recipient
Back in 2009, members of the Oxford Jewish Congregation (OJC) began hearing how the Jewish students at Oxford Brookes University were finding that the image of Israel was much misunderstood by their fellow students. Following discussions with the university, it was suggested to set up a scholarship to bring an Israeli student to Brookes with the idea that they would also be able to provide opportunities for presenting Israel on campus, and would encourage Arab-Israeli dialogue on campus and in the city.
The initiative was launched to set up the “Oxford Brookes University Israel Scholarship” and fundraising duly started amongst the OJC members, family and friends. Contact was established with Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and the search also began for the first recipient.
As the work grew, news spread and there was even a mention in the House of Lords during a debate on water in the Middle East by Baroness Ruth Deech. Thanks to the generosity of donors, enough funds were raised to select the first recipient to start in September 2012.
In 2013, past chairman of the Board of Governors of BGU Roy J. Zuckerberg, upon hearing about both the transformational impact the scholarship was having and the need to secure its future, gave a donation in memory of his late father Sam Zuckerberg. The scholarship officially became known as the “Sam Zuckerberg Scholarship”. The generosity of the donation has eased the burden of fundraising for the scholarship greatly although there is still a funding gap that needs to be filled.
Elad Almog '13 - MSc International Hotel & Tourism Management
"I learned how people from other cultures think about globalism, and how closely related is their perception of Israel and Israelis to their willingness to collaborate with us. Today I'm about to submit my PhD thesis and am working with the public sector to help shape tourism policy in the Dead Sea region. I believe a global perspective will help shape the future development of Southern Israel. Without my time at Brookes, this approach would not have been possible."
Yasmeen Haj-Amer '14 - Teaching English as a Foreign Language
"English is the language of the world..... it has to be the language of the Bedouin student as well. Coming to the UK and studying at Oxford Brookes (gave me) the chance to meet great and intelligent people. The Scholarship changed me. ... allowed me to see another community which allows everybody to talk freely and allows a woman to talk freely about her ideas and opinions. When I returned home I convinced other Bedouin girls to fight for their right too ... to study at university."
Anya Shani '15 - MSc Business Management
"Little did I know just how much my time and studies at Oxford Brookes would lay the foundation for my future in Israel.The interaction at Brookes with people from different cultures and religions from all over the world directly impacted my role as Director of Culture and Events at the Jerusalem International YMCA."
Orli Kagan '16 - MSc Business Management
Yael Vitelson '17 - MSc Human Resources Management
"What makes this scholarship exceptional is the support from the Oxford Jewish Congregation who make me feel I have a home from home. The Scholarship has changed my life. Following my studies, I secured a job at Check Point, a leading cyber security company, as an international recruiter. The options that are now open to me are numerous. I would like to thank the Sam Zuckerberg donors for investing in me and helping me recognise my potential. I hope that one day I'll be in your seat and help students achieve their aspirations."
After her year was complete, Yael and another student were jointly awarded the Oxford Brookes CIPD Student Prize for 2016/17. This prize is in recognition of her overall performance on and contribution to the HRM programmes at the Business School. It recognises the significant roles she played in shaping and supporting the experience of her fellow students last year, her role as class representative and also her overall high standard of academic performance.
Elel Eshed '18 - MSc Business Management & Marketing
Auren Renford '20 - MSc International Hotel & Tourism Management
Auren says that studying for his Masters at Brookes "was an amazing opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience" and that "Oxford Brookes is one of the best universities for learning about hospitality." Auren with his wife Ortal, were like everyone else affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully it didn't prevent Auren from completing his course, though it did bring his otherwise happy time in Oxford to an early end. Auren returned to work at his previous company in Be'ersheva where as well as managing Airbnbs he is also managing a new hotel. He says, "I could not have afforded to live and study in the UK. It was a dream and without the scholarship would have stayed a dream. The scholarship changed my life."
Paz Shpirer '21 - MSc Marketing & Brand Management
Tom Elner '23 - MSc Management & Business Analytics
The Oxford Brookes Sam Zuckerberg Israel Scholarship is funded through the generosity of individual donors.
Our bank details, to which you can send your donation, are as follows:
Bank Name: Barclays Bank
Bank Address: P O Box 333, Oxford, OX1 3HS
Account Name: Oxford Brookes University Direct Remittances Account
Sort Code: 20-65-26
Account Number: 60723770
Swift code: BARCGB22
IBAN: GB16 BARC 206518 60723770
When transferring funds please state that you are donating to the Zuckerberg Scholarship Fund, so we can ensure the money is correctly allocated.
If you have made a donation, may we ask that you kindly inform email@example.com and the Scholarship working group: Sandra Dwek (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Isaac Garson (email@example.com)
Donating through Gift Aid means we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. It will not cost you any extra. To check if you qualify, please have a look at the UK government website.
Alumni Relations and Development
Directorate of Marketing, Recruitment & Engagement
Oxford Brookes University