In light of the security situation in Sderot and the Gaza perimeter, the Jewish Agency has decided to donate $1.7 million in scholarships to the Sapir College in Sderot. The scholarships, of $1000 each, will be given to 1,700 students studying at the college. The funds were raised by the United Jewish Communities. The assistance, the Jewish Agency said, will help the college continue to function and grow. The scholarships will be given out in coming weeks to students studying at Sapir for the 2008 academic year. Hundreds of the students receiving the scholarships will also be doing volunteer work in the Sderot area, particularly with children and minors. Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski said "the best answer to the murderous attacks on the college is to support it by providing an incentive for students to continue studying there. The Jewish Agency and the donors abroad will continue to invest in the area in order to fortify the resolve of the residents, ease their conditions and encourage growth and development."