Assaf Zacharia - Economics and Management
Assaf has three brothers who are also studying in academic institutions. His paternal grandparents are elderly and in need of daily assistance, and his family cannot afford to hire a nurse, so they live with his family. The house, in Ashdod, is small, with three bedrooms and a living room, and Assaf shares a room with two brothers. His parents are unemployed. His mother stays home to take care of his grandparents, and his father had to close a store he had rented two and a half years ago, leading to enormous debt, which he has tried to pay off every month. After he closed the business, he worked at a major supermarket, where he suffered a serious work accident in which he injured a shoulder, and which has rendered him unable to work while he undergoes rehabilitation. The entire family, including parents, grandparents, and four siblings, are currently living off of the father's unemployment allowance. Assaf has just enlisted in the army and is determined to continue his studies, but his financial situation does not allow him to do so. It is only though the generous assistance of our donors that Assaf will be able to continue and achieve his dream of receiving an academic degree while completing his military service.
Roni is a student from Haifa. She enlisted in the army in 2017, where she serves as an NCO. Before beginning her military service, Roni took an enrichment course, Philosophy of the Mind, at the Open University Ramat Aviv campus. She enjoyed it very much, and was inspired to continue her studies towards a BA in psychology at the Haifa campus. Roni has been living with her mother since her parents' divorce four years ago. She has an older sister who works in Tel Aviv. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and underwent chemotherapy for six months, followed by surgery and rehabilitation, and then four months of radiation. Roni accompanied her mother to all the treatments and medical procedures and took care of her. Despite the difficult period and the huge responsibility that she took upon herself, she spent her senior year in high school investing in her studies, out of love for the subjects, and graduated with honors. Her mother, who has a private psychology practice, was unable to work throughout the period of her illness and recovery, and as a result, the family economic situation deteriorated. Her mother was declared healthy last year, and she has tried to work as much as possible, however it will take time for her to close the financial gaps. Roni's father has been assisting financially, however, she is also looking for work in the evenings, despite her military service. It has always been very important for Roni to study and enrich her knowledge. The framework of the Open University, which combines flexibility and independent study, helps her continue the learning she loves, and allows her to combine work, military service, and academic studies at the same time. Her goal of serving in the army, helping at home, studying, and find a job has become difficult. She needs a job that will be flexible for the hours that she is available. It is not easy to find such a position but she will continue looking for something suitable. Receiving a scholarship is helping Roni develop professionally during her military service and will enable her to continue her studies. As she noted, the studies are extremely important for her and her future. Roni emphasized that the format of studies within the Open University has enabled her to learn and to enjoy the process; she would be grateful to continue studying within this framework.
David has been serving in the army for over ten years: three years in a military boarding school, four years in Sayeret Matkal, two years in the Egoz unit, and two years in Division 319. During his army service, David learned organizational skills, along with discipline and teamwork. After a few years of deliberation as to what and where to study, in addition to economic considerations, David decided that he needed to take responsibility and start studying towards a bachelor's degree. Economic issues always overshadowed this decision, but he found work so that he could support his family while studying. Today, David studies economics and management at the Open University Beit Biram campus in Haifa, which allows him to maintain his family commitments. Since David is married, he cannot stop working to devote himself to studies at a "traditional" university. He is still in the military, although he has finished his mandatory duty, and the army, along with the Open University, has given him the wonderful possibility of studying and working concurrently. For David, the IDF is a life mission that he knows well and loves. From the age of 16, David was educated at a military boarding school near Beit Biram. Since then, he has been wearing the IDF uniform, and his commitment to the army has increased. After four years of mandatory service, and then as an Egoz team commander who fought during operation Protective Edge in the Saja'iya area, David decided to take some time out to study, so as not to miss out on the academic part of his life.
David is married to Sharon and they are expecting twins; his wife is studying special education. David finances the tuition for both of them from the savings he has accumulated while continuing to work and serve in the army. He is determined not to give up.
Shelly Davidov - Mathematics
Shelly serves in the army. Her mother has raised her and her brother by herself for the past 16 years without any help. Her father cut all ties with his family after their divorce and has not provided them with any kind of support. When Shelly comes home to Hadera from her military service, she works as much as possible to pay her tuition, and whenever possible her mother helps her too. Resources, however, are very limited. Nevertheless, Shelly’s mother supports her in every way she can so that she can continue studying. Studying towards a BA degree is very important to Shelly and she realizes that the only real opportunity to do so is with the support of the Open University donors.