The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) and Sayeret Matkal
(General Staff Reconnaissance Unit), led by former minister Avi Dichter,
established a new scholarship program for army and national service graduates of
the Druse community on Sunday; in commemoration of Sayeret Matkal Maj.Salim
“This is the first project of this kind to incorporate young Druse
residents of the Golan Heights. Young people of the Golan Heights know they are
welcomed citizens of Israel,” said Dolan Abu Salah, mayor of Majdal Shams, who
is married to Shufi’s granddaughter.
“This is a very good thing bringing
together the Druse community in the Golan Heights and Israel. The family
expresses its thanks for the establishment of the program and wishes success for
all those involved,” he added.
The scholarship, which will enable young
people from the Druse community to pursue higher academic studies and integrate
into Israeli society and economy, will be awarded to 25 young men and women – to
be chosen by a committee comprised of representatives of the family, graduates
of Sayeret Matkal and representatives of IFCJ.
“I have known Shufi since
I was a boy of 18. He was an exceptional fighter in terms of his ability and
courage. Shufi was a man with no boundaries who helped people, with no
“The contributions of the Druse community to the security of
Israel are enormous and people are unaware of large aspects of it.
project will give proper respect to the Druse community and there is no better
way to commemorate the name and actions of Shufi,” said Dichter.
born in the village of Majdal Shams, joined the Sayeret Matkal in the 60’s and
participated in numerous operations for the security of Israel.
notably he helped save the lives of a Sayeret force under the command of then
officer Binyamin Netanyahu by infiltrating deep into Syrian territory, and
helping the force navigate back into Israel undetected.
After the army,
Shufi served as mayor of Majdal Shams, and greatly helped the advancement and
development of the Druse community.
He passed away last year at the age
“I’m proud of this project and hope that the legacy of Shufi will
pass onto the next generations and that more will follow in his footsteps,” said
founder and president of IFCJ, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.