New Jersey-based Cross River Bank has donated $100,000 to establish its new Sophie Hodaya Trakht Scholarship at the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT).
The scholarship will be awarded to 10 academically outstanding students in computer science or engineering students until they graduate. Each student will receive 10,000 NIS (about $2,900) per year, representing a significant contribution to the cost of tuition at JCT.
Students excelling in STEM—five from both the Tal Campus for women and the Lev Campus for men—will be selected based on faculty recommendations. Students who have completed at least one year of study are eligible for the scholarship. JCT’s leadership aims to have several recipients from the Haredi community, in line with the college’s mission to empower Israeli Haredim with access to high-level academic opportunities that lead to gainful employment.
One of the world’s leading fintech banks, Cross River is a trusted financial-services organization that combines the established expertise of a bank with the innovation and product offering of a technology company, based in Fort Lee, N.J. The bank also has an office in Jerusalem that employs more than 170 people in software development. Cross River promotes the construction of the financial-technological ecosystem in Jerusalem, the cultivation of jobs, and the expansion of the capabilities and activities of Cross River in the capital of Israel out of a sense of Zionism and belief in the quality of human power in Israel.
Former JCT vice president Stuart Hershkowitz, who sat for many years on the bank’s board of directors, realized that the bank’s community relations efforts to enrich the next generation of STEM students dovetail with the college’s mission in those academic disciplines, making the two institutions natural partners.
“What impressed me the most about Cross River is its strong belief in community relations and its consistent work giving back to locals,” said Hershkowitz. “Their interest in helping the best and the brightest here in Israel will help outstanding students in need of a financial boost and enrich the city’s tech ecosystem. Jerusalem College of Technology is grateful for this generous donation, and we’re excited to partner with Cross River on this initiative.”
Uriel Goldberg, director of public relations and communications at Cross River, Israel, stated: “We are happy to award JCT scholarships for outstanding students in the name of Sophie Hodaya Trakht. We see the Jerusalem College of Technology as an important example of the realization of a vision and a way that fits well with Cross River’s vision and our desire to strengthen the community in Jerusalem, in particular, and in Israel in general, by increasing the integration of the ultra-Orthodox population in the local high-tech industry.”