Nina Weiner, along with the late Edmond Safra and his wife, Lily Safra, founded the International Sephardic Education Foundation (ISEF), a foundation to assist Sephardi Jews in Israel, in 1977. Their work today has expanded to include not just Sephardi Jews, but all Israelis deemed part of the geographical or societal periphery, such as Druse, Ethiopian-Israelis, and Russian-Israelis.
ISEF has over 11,000 graduates, including doctors, professors, educators and Knesset members. Sixty percent of ISEF graduates are female and all of them have served in the IDF or in civil service, an important aspect of the scholarship.
Weiner, who spoke with The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, tells the story of a girl from Afula who never finished high school but decided to do night courses to complete her matriculation exams. Her math teacher at the night course told her she had talent.