First Tendler scholarship awarded


08 February 2008 First Tendler scholarship awarded The first World ORT Keren Tendler scholarship has been awarded to Bat El Zohar, a trailblazing technology student in Rehovot. The scholarship was set up by World ORT, with funds from ORT America, in memory of ORT alumnus Keren Tendler, who lived and studied in Rehovot. Keren became the first Israeli woman soldier to die on active duty since the Yom Kippur War when her helicopter was shot down by Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. Since childhood, the 26-year-old flight mechanic had chosen male-dominated technological fields of study. The scholarship in her name is intended to encourage young women to follow her example. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Maariv five years ago, Keren said: My goal is to show other women that this position, an on-flight mechanic, can be performed by women. Like Keren, Bat El Zohar, who collected her award before 250 people including Kerens parents at the Yad Lebonim memorial centre for fallen soldiers in Rehovot this week, is the only female in her college mechatronics programme and also plans to serve in the Israeli Air Force. I feel a bond with Keren, said Bat El, 20. I am very proud of her and what she accomplished in the little time she had. Bat El, whose father is unemployed, said the scholarship money would be useful and added that her parents were very proud of her achievement. I like what I study because it combines electronics and computers. The variety means that you cant get bored. But even when I was at high school I liked technology. I promoted it so much that, year by year, more girls entered technological courses. Most of the boys in the classes have treated me well but I have to educate some of the others! Bat El said. Awarding the scholarship, the Head of the World ORT Representative Office in Israel, Rony Kalinsky, said: Kerens excellence stands before our eyes tonight and we wish Bat El the best of luck in fulfilling her ambitions. To the dear Tendler family, there is no comfort and time cures nothing, but Kerens way continues and serves as a model for others. Rivana Tendler, Kerens mother, said she was very happy that Bat El won the scholarship. I feel very grateful to World ORT for this scholarship, Mrs Tendler said. Its not easy for me, I feel very sad; but I also feel very happy that the only girl in the class just like Keren was has been recognised. Bat El also learns exactly the same profession as Keren and in the very same laboratories that Keren learned in. Shes a very hard working girl and the scholarship will really help her. Kerens name and example lives on and will continue to on and Im very glad about it.