Shalom scholarships for outstanding Jewish students

March 1, 2013 by Community Editor
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Sydney’s Shalom college has offered for the first time scholarships to Jewish students on the basis of their academic record and leadership potential.

Bella Williams, Josh Sztajer and Tali Swersky

Bella Williams, Josh Sztajer and Tali Swersky


Three impressive students have been awarded inaugural Jennifer & Roy Cohen Jewish Residential Scholarships for one year’s accommodation at Shalom College.

The scholarship is designed to encourage the best and brightest Jewish students across Australia and New Zealand, to consider living at Shalom College and studying at the University of New South Wales.
Dr Hilton Immerman, CEO of the Shalom Institute and Shalom College said, “We were really blown away by the number and quality of the applicants. The competition was strong, with some exceptional candidates from all over Australia and New Zealand applying for a single place.”  Jonathan Leib, President of the Shalom Institute, and a former Shalom College resident, said, “We were facing a really difficult decision, but thanks to the exceptional generosity of Jennifer and Roy Cohen, we were able to offer another two half-scholarships in addition to the original full scholarship.

The inaugural Jennifer & Roy Cohen Jewish Residential Scholarship recipients are:

Isabella (Bella) Williams from Lane Cove in Sydney and a graduate of Queenwood School. Bella is enrolled in Bachelor of Medical Sciences Honours in 2013 working in the Lowy Cancer Institute. She is an experienced cellist, has previously been Rosh Netzer NSW and coordinated the Netzer Shnat year-long program to Israel. Bella is a remarkable young woman who has volunteered in Aleh Negev hospital, working with mentally and physically disabled people in Israel on her gap-year program, worked in a Sudanese Refugee community, and helped repair flood damaged homes in Queensland.  She has also volunteered locally in an animal hospital and at the Sydney Children’s Hospital. Her impressive list of accomplishments include, sporting prowess and notable academic achievements. She embodies the community spirit required of scholarship recipients and will be an asset to Shalom College.

Talia Swersky graduated from Carmel High School in Perth and is looking forward to the opportunity of living at Shalom and creating “a home away from home.” Shalom College was recommended to her by family friends, the location and provision of kosher meals allowing her time to focus on her studies in Engineering. Talia was a madricha in B’nei Akiva, organising camps and working on marketing and PR for the movement. She also spent a year in Israel on a Limmud program, where she volunteered with disabled Arab and Israeli children, studied in yeshiva and worked on Kibbutz. She is a celebrated debater and has won various school prizes for academic excellence and debating, whilst enjoying martial arts, photography and soccer as her pastimes. Kashrut at the College was critical for her she is hoping to be an ambassador for other observant Jewish students.

Joshua Sztajer hails from Melbourne and is now doing a double degree in Arts and Education at UNSW. Joshua has extensive Habonim experience, attending the Shnat program.  He was a leader on March of the Living and coached junior Maccabi soccer. He believes that “as a graduate of a public school, he knows how to engage with those who are Jewish and not Jewish and will endeavour to promote and enhance the Jewish life of Shalom College.” His multicultural outlook has seen him teaching English in an Arabic School and being a member of a World Vision Youth Conference. He is majoring in Indigenous Studies with an aim to either working within Indigenous communities or about Indigenous issues.

With 6 tutors, Indigenous students on Shalom Gamarada scholarships, local Australian and international students as well as Jewish students, Shalom College residents enjoy the convenience of college life, coupled with a caring Jewish environment, which makes their university experience fuller and more meaningful. Shalom is both Jewish and diverse.

Interested students or families should visit the website at To find out about the possibility of donating a Jewish scholarship, contact the college CEO, Dr Hilton Immerman on 02 9381-4000 or

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