It's hard to talk about exceptionalism in a country where most citizens are required to serve in the military. Yet there is a remarkable group of people known as "lone soldiers" who not only answer the call of duty under complicated circumstances, but go above and beyond what is required of them.
The Sean Carmeli Scholarship Fund at Tel Aviv University is about recognizing and rewarding this special group of young men and women on behalf of the State of Israel and its citizens. Sponsored by the Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy, The Carmeli Fund believes that investing in the education of these remarkable IDF veterans will not only enrich their lives, but enhance cause of the State of Israel and associated diasporic communities abroad.
From our perspective, lone soldiers represent a model of excellence; they represent the best and brightest individuals dedicated to protecting the State of Israel. Accordingly, our commitment their education is resolute:
The Carmeli Fund endows each qualifying former lone soldier studying at Tel Aviv University with a generous stipend is meant to cover tuition, books, school supplies, housing and other living expenses associated with studying at Tel Aviv University. The scholarship is open all individuals who served as a lone soldier in the IDF for a minimum of one year and is open to any qualified individual pursuing a Bachelor's or Master's at Tel Aviv University.
The Carmeli Fund also funds high quality research at Tel Aviv University that examines into the phenomenon of foreign lone soldiers coming to Israel and studies the dynamic relationship between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora.
The Carmeli Fund is named after First Sgt. Sean Carmeli (1993-2014) (z''l), a lone soldier from South Padre Island, Texas who served in the Golani Brigade's 13th Battalion. He tragically lost his life on July 20, 2014 during Operation Protective Edge. Sean expressed a keen desire to pursue an undergraduate degree after his release from the IDF and help other lone soldiers with the burdens of their military service.
What are Lone Soldiers? -- "Lone soldiers" are young men and women serving in the IDF who do not have parents in Israel to support them. A lone soldier may be orphaned, abandoned by their families, a new immigrant or simply an overseas volunteer dedicated to serving the State of Israel. An estimated 6,300 serve in the IDF today and hail from over 70 countries. Despite serving under difficult circumstances, they are disproportionately represented many of the military's most elite outfits.
Lone soldiers from the IDF's Education Corps
How to Get Involved -- The Carmeli Fund is currently in the beginning stages of development and is expected to be operational by the Fall 2016. The fund is run entirely on private donations and expects to educate hundreds of lone soldiers over the next decade. If you or your organization would like to donate to or partner with the Carmeli Fund, then please write Yosef Jalil at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Applicants -- Scholarships are open to students of any discipline enrolled in a BA or MA program at Tel Aviv University. Qualified candidates are required to have served a minimum of one year's time as a lone soldier in the Israel Defense Forces.
Applicants will be required to submit an updated copy of their CV, proof of enrollment at Tel Aviv University, official lone soldier certificate from the IDF (אישור חייל בודד) and a 1-2 page essay outlining their military service, academic and/or professional career goals, and commitment to the betterment of Israeli society.
Applications should be submitted in Hebrew to the School of Political Science, Government and Int'l Affairs, subject line "הגשת מועמדות למלגה ע"ש שון כרמלי ז"ל": email@example.com .
The application is currently closed and will again open for the the 2017-2018 school year. Please check back in the Fall 2017 for information regarding the new deadline.