Israel Experience Scholarships
The Israel Experience Scholarship Fund is comprised of monies contributed by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County and some very generous private donors in our community.
We offer partial scholarships for educational programs and experiences in Israel that are available for Jewish children residing in Orange County. We have a set amount of money budgeted each year, while the number of applicants varies from year to year. The amount of each scholarship depends on individual need as well as the number of children requesting scholarships. It is our goal to make scholarships available to all eligible applicants.
We consider applications for admission to approved Israel experiences, such as, but not limited to; USY, NFTY, Young Judea and Hadassah.
The application deadline is March 31st. All incomplete or applications received after this date will not be considered.
We must know up front the maximum amount that you are able to contribute. This amount should be based on the child, parents and other relatives who are willing to contribute. The committee feels it is important that each child contribute. This amount can be based on money the child has already saved, or what they anticipate earning, the amount they will be able to earn doing chores, baby-sitting, etc.
In return for the scholarship money, each recipient will be asked to write a one-page essay about their Israel experience to be published either in the Federation newspaper or online. Each recipient will also be asked to give back fifteen hours as a volunteer at their respective congregation, Jewish Family Service, the Newburgh JCC or within an approved organization or with the Federation. This project must include some sort of mitzvah (good deed) component that would not otherwise happen unless the applicant made it happen.
If you have questions please call the Federation at 562-7860. Applications must provide complete information for scholarship consideration.
The Jack and Jessica Blinkoff Scholarship
There is one full scholarship awarded each year, covering the cost of one free trip to Israel. This award is given to one special 11th or 12th grade student, based on need and merit.
The Jack N. Blinkoff endowment fund was established in 1987 by Mrs. Jessica Blinkoff in memory of her husband and in recognition of his lifetime commitment to Israel. Mrs. Blinkoff decided that a meaningful way to perpetuate this commitment was to create a permanent endowment that would provide scholarship money for young people needing financial assistance to participate in travel programs to Israel. Since its inception, the Blinkoff Endowment Fund has provided partial assistance to dozens of Orange County youth.
Mrs. Blinkoff believed that an Israel experience is an important part of young people's overall Jewish education, and one that will help our young people build a strong and meaningful Jewish life. Since 1998, Mrs. Blinkoff has recognized one special adolescent each year by awarding one full scholarship for a summer program in Israel.
The Blinkoff Scholarship will be awarded to one applicant on the basis of financial need and merit. The scholarship will cover 100% of the cost, not including spending money, of a summer program for the scholarship recipient.
How do I apply for the Jack N. Blinkoff Scholarship?
You must complete the regular Youth To Israel scholarship application and fulfill all the requirements as described in that application. In addition to that application, the applicant and his/her parents or guardians must provide the following information:
1. Three written references, one each from the following three categories:
• Congregational Rabbi, or Hebrew school or day school principal
• Teacher or advisor from an extra curricular or community program of which you are currently involved-this need not necessarily be a Jewish activity.
• A recommendation of your choosing.
None of the recommendations may be written by a relative. The recommendations should speak to your personal and Jewish growth and development over the last few years, your character and integrity and why you would best represent Orange County you as a Blinkoff Scholarship recipient.
2. Parents or guardian must submit their past two years tax returns.
The applicant is reminded that this scholarship will be awarded based not only on financial need but also on merit. The Youth to Israel Committee will determine merit based on the following criteria: the quality and scope of your community service project, your motivations for going to Israel (as evaluated in your essay and interview) your past and present involvement in the Jewish community.
All other scholarship applicants are still eligible to receive financial aid through the Youth to Israel regular scholarship program. Applications from the Jack N. and Jessica Blinkoff endowment will automatically be considered for Youth to Israel Scholarships unless otherwise requested by the applicant. Download the Blinkoff application here.