idf funeral 88.
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Persian-American billionaire Younes Nazarian and his wife, Soraya, will announce Tuesday the donation of a one-year scholarship for 119 students enrolled at the University of Haifa, with each scholarship meant to commemorate one soldier killed during last summer's conflict with Hizbullah in Lebanon.
"This memorial combines two issues that are very dear to my heart and that, in my opinion, are at the top of Israel's priorities: IDF soldiers and officers on the one hand and education, especially higher education, on the other hand," Nazarian, who will receive an honorary doctorate from the university Tuesday night at the 35th Meeting of the University of Haifa Board of Governors, said in a statement. "For this reason, I couldn't think of a more fitting way to memorialize the soldiers."
University President Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev said that the University of Haifa, as the main university in the North, had been searching for an appropriate memorial to the 119 soldiers who fell during the war.
"[During the war] the university was under the threat of Hizbullah missiles," he said, adding "Many of our students fought in the war and we thought it would be fitting to honor their memory with scholarships in their names. The scholarship recipients will establish a personal connection with the family of the soldier in whose memory their scholarship is named."
Vice President of External Relations and Resource Development, Prof. Ada Spitzer, who first proposed the idea to Nazarian, said the US-based millionaire gave his immediate approval. The university worked together with the Unit for Soldier Memorials at the Defense Ministry and spoke to each individual family to gain their consent to the initiative. The scholarships will be awarded to any individual who served in the IDF and will be handed out during the forthcoming academic year.