Yuri Shtern foundation established

Projects to include a $2,000 annual scholarship fund for outstanding Russian immigrant students, Kinneret promenade.

yuri shtern 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
yuri shtern 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A foundation in memory of Yuri Shtern, who served as a Knesset member, has been founded to promote various domestic environmental and immigrant absorption projects. These causes were the hallmarks of the ardently Zionist parliamentarian's legacy. The foundation's four major projects in its first year are scheduled to include a $2,000 annual scholarship fund for 500 outstanding Russian immigrant students who came to Israel on their own, the establishment of a promenade on the shores of Lake Kinneret, the creation of a center for alternative medical treatment for cancer patients at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Hospital and the construction of a community park in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Neveh Ya'acov. "Since my father died, there is a feeling of energy that has been stopped," said Marik Shtern, who is serving as director of the foundation. "The idea was not simply to create a memorial, but to further projects that were connected to his work." The widely respected, Moscow-born MK and orator who spearheaded Israel's burgeoning relations with Christian supporters of Israel around the world died in January after a debilitating battle with cancer. He was 58. An economist by profession, Shtern, who had been active in various immigration organizations, as well as a member of the Zionist Forum for Soviet Jewry, never lost his fervent love of the land, and remained an active promoter of immigration over the last quarter century. Respected by political friends and foes alike, he was at the forefront of Israel's environmental movement and gained international prominence in the final years of his life after founding the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus, the increasingly influential cross-party parliamentary lobby, which works with Christian supporters of Israel around the world, and which may prove to be his most everlasting legacy. A garden in memory of the late parliamentarian was scheduled to be established in a forest outside Jerusalem next year. Donors would plant trees in this forest in his everlasting memory. The tax-exempt foundation is accessible on the Internet at www.yurishtern.org.il.