Scholarship program co-sponsored by IDF veterans and Evangelical group encourages Druze integration

 (Israel Hayom/Exclusive to A first of its kind initiative designed to better integrate Druze citizens from the Golan Heights region into the Israel Defense Forces was inaugurated this week. 

A Druze, Israeli and American flag appear together in the Druze village of Peki'in in northern Israel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The scholarship is named for Maj. Salim Shufi, who fought in the IDF's elite special forces unit, Sayeret Matkal.

After his discharge, Shufi was elected as mayor of Majdal Shams, where he represented the causes of Druze society. After Shufi died last year at 82, his friends decided to continue his efforts, collaborating with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) to create an educational program that helps young Druze integrate better into Israeli society. The program also includes educational activities to deepen their knowledge of Shufi's efforts.

The scholarship will be awarded to 25 young Druze, who will be chosen by a committee including representatives from Shufi's family, Sayeret Matkal veterans and IFCJ representatives.

"I am proud of this project," said IFCJ President Yechiel Eckstein.

Posted on January 1, 2014 .