SpaceIL, Parasol Foundation announce collaborative program for women in space

The Women in SpaceIL initiative will offer scholarships to female engineering students and graduates.

SpaceIL's Beresheet unmanned spacecraft is seen in the clean room of Israel Aerospace Industries in Yehud. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
SpaceIL's Beresheet unmanned spacecraft is seen in the clean room of Israel Aerospace Industries in Yehud.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

A new program designed to empower women in the space industry was announced on Tuesday as a collaborative effort between SpaceIL and the Parasol Foundation.  

The Women in SpaceIL initiative will offer scholarships to female engineering students and graduates totaling NIS 1.5 million (about $500,000).

Currently, Israel is on track to make its next trip to the Moon, and the Parasol Foundation, a Gibraltar-based trust, announced its contribution of NIS 6.5 million (just over $2m.) joining the distinguished group of donors to the Beresheet2 2024 moon mission.

“I’m thrilled to be working with SpaceIL to open up new opportunities for talented women to contribute to global space advancements and get involved in Israel’s space endeavors," principal benefactress Ruth Parasol said. "We’re offering fellowships to empower and inspire women to achieve their potential and, with our Parasol Foundation Women in SpaceIL Initiative, we’re aiming to create a lasting legacy.”

Newly appointed SpaceIL CEO, Brig.-Gen.(Res.) Shimon Sarid (credit: Courtesy)Newly appointed SpaceIL CEO, Brig.-Gen.(Res.) Shimon Sarid (credit: Courtesy)

“We are delighted to have Ruth Parasol and the Parasol Foundation’s ongoing support for the Beresheet project and excited to have them on board Beresheet2," SpaceIL CEO Shimon Sarid said. "The collaboration for the inclusion of women in the Israeli space industry is crucial. We adopted this inclusive approach in the Beresheet1 mission which contributed greatly to its execution and success.”

SpaceIL is the first private entity in history to reach the Moon, as part of the Beresheet mission in 2019, thereby securing Israel's position as the fourth country to ever do so with a lunar lander.

​​Female engineers and scientists are encouraged to visit the program’s page on the SpaceIL website for further information on criteria and applying for the program.