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HIAS grants young refugees higher education scholarships

NEW YORK, July 14 (JTA) — Sofya Lisovaya left Russia because she and her family could not attend synagogue. Henry Lampolsky fled from Ukraine because of intolerable religious persecution. These two college students, who came to the United States only four years ago, were among the many young immigrants awarded education scholarships by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society last month. “HIAS has helped me a lot so now I will be able to go to dental school and further my education,” said Lisovaya, who came to the United States in 1994 and just graduated from Richland College in Texas with an associate’s degree. She will enter Baylor College of Dentistry, also in Texas, in the fall. Yampolsky, who also came in 1994, plans to enter the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania after the summer. “I am very appreciative to HIAS for providing me not only with the scholarship, but also for helping me to come here and escape the anti-Semitism,” said Yampolsky. Scholarships were awarded to 110 Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union who settled in the United States and to 55 students in Israel who came from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia. The Jewish refugees in the United States each received $1,000 and those in Israel each received $750. “HIAS has always encouraged emigres and their children to reach higher,” said Donald Fleishaker, chairman of the 1998 HIAS scholarship committee. “By granting these awards, which are highly competitive, we hope to encourage these exceptional students to continue their pursuit of higher education, personal aspirations and their dreams.” More than 500 students in the United States applied for the scholarships. To qualify for the scholarship, a student must have received help from HIAS to immigrate to the United States or have made aliyah to Israel. The recipients are chosen based on their academic record, financial need and involvement in the Jewish community here.

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