BOG 2022: TAU Launches Scholarship Funds for Periphery Students

Initiatives aim to redress underrepresentation in Israeli universities of students from outlying communities
12 May 2022
From back left: Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich, Mika Almog, Dean of Students Prof. Drorit Neumann, Student Affairs Committee Co-Chair Linda Streit, Jeffrey Katz, Marcy Katz, Dr. Garry Rayant, Dr. Kathy Fields, and TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat. Scholarship recipients from front left: Karen Bastaker, Hodaya Levy and David Bodenheim. (Photo: Chen Galili)

Tel Aviv University (TAU) on Wednesday, May 11, inaugurated two scholarship funds to provide financial support for talented students from Israel’s social and geographic periphery: the Fields-Rayant Scholarship Fund in Honor of Dr. Anita Friedman and the Charles, Evelyne and Sandra Dolansky Periphery Scholarship Fund. The ceremony took place during TAU’s 2022 Board of Governors Meeting.  


San Francisco area-based entrepreneurs, philanthropists and TAU Governors Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Garry Rayant established their scholarship fund to enhance support for the Periphery Program at TAU, which aims to redress the underrepresentation in Israeli universities of students from the periphery. The Program recruits pupils from Israel’s outlying and marginalized communities who excelled in high school and not based on standardized test results, which favor more affluent students from the country’s center. At the same time, the Program serves to inspire others from their home communities to gain higher education.  


The Charles, Evelyne and Sandra Dolansky Periphery Scholarship Fund provides further support for the Program. The generous contribution perpetuates the philanthropic mandate of the Charles, Evelyne and Sandra Dolansky Foundation and its Executive Director Jeffrey Katz, a TAU Governor from Montreal, to support education and mental health causes in memory of the Dolanskys. Katz established the Dolansky Foundation in honor of his late client, Sandra Dolansky, daughter of Charles and Evelyne. 


During the ceremony, three scholarship recipients shared their stories, alongside TAU Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, who received a scholarship as a student. 


WATCH: Panel with scholarship recipients and donors, as well as the inauguration of two new funds to support TAU’s Periphery Program


Nursing student Hodaya Levy recounted how she worked double shifts as a waitress for five years to save money to attend University because her parents couldn’t help her financially. “If not for my scholarship, I would not be able to study and support myself,” she said. “The process of applying for the scholarship helped me believe that I deserve to be here, that TAU is my place.” 


Master’s student David Bodenheim, a father of four who obtained his bachelor’s degree in law while working full-time, said, “My scholarship made a huge difference in my life. I hope to be able to pass that on in the future as a donor myself.” 


Following the Inauguration of the Funds, Dr. Fields said, “This Program is about mentorship, about being a champion for those who don’t have one” and helps students “unleash their potential.” 


TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat, who established the Periphery Program in the early 2000s as Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law, recalled that seven out of the Program’s first 10 participants reached the top of their classes; they would have not have been accepted to the University if it had not been for the Program, he noted. 


Also on the panel were TAU Dean of Students Prof. Drorit Neumann, Linda Streit, TAU Governor and Co-Chair of the Board of Governors Student Affairs Committee. Miki Almog moderated. 


Drs. Fields and Rayant established their scholarship fund for Dr. Friedman, their close friend and TAU’s Global Campaign Chair. Dr. Friedman is a distinguished public service leader dedicated to Jewish and community causes in the U.S. and Israel. In 2021, American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) awarded her the Visionary Leadership Award. She is Executive Director of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin & Sonoma Counties and President of the Koret Foundation.  


Dr. Kathy Fields is a Stanford-trained dermatologist and the co-founder of the popular skincare lines Proactiv Solution and Rodan & Fields. Dr. Garry Rayant is a University of Pennsylvania-trained periodontist and co-founder of Dear Doctor Magazine Inc. and the newly created Center for Integrative Global Oral Health at the University of Pennsylvania.  


The pair were instrumental in launching the University’s Center for Combating Pandemics and are core supporters of Minducate, a Learning Innovation Research Center at the Sagol School of Neuroscience. Both are TAU Global Campaign Cabinet members. 





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