Efrat grew up in a disadvantaged area of northern Israel as one of four children. Their mother was disabled and unable to work, and their socio-economic situation was difficult, so they always went short.
When she graduated high school, Efrat signed up for two years of national service, which is compulsory in Israel. She stayed on for an extra four years because she was earning a steady salary, but she knew she wanted to do more with her life. “I was not using my brain, and I didn’t want to settle for a basic standard of living in line with my parents’ expectations. I knew I wanted more and could do more.”
Efrat applied to study chemical engineering at the Technion, which is one of Israel’s most respected universities. She was fortunate to receive a Moshal scholarship and to join the group of Moshal scholars who support each other at the Technion. As she progressed through her degree with good grades, she got involved in running social and study events for the other students in the Moshal family, to help them to adjust to life at university and to make the most of their opportunity.
“This scholarship has helped me to fulfil myself, not just academically but also by teaching me many important life skills. I am always happy to share what I had been taught in the various Moshal workshops that I have attended over the years, and to “pay it forward”, as Martin always tells us to do, by using our newly acquired skills to help others.”
Efrat was one of the model Israeli students selected by the program to visit South Africa for an exchange visit with the Moshal scholars there. “The trip was an amazing experience! I met other students whose experiences were in some ways similar to mine, but in other ways completely different. I learned a great deal about life in another country and about how we can do more to help and support each other through the Moshal scholarship program. It really was a life-changing visit, and it increased my appreciation of the fantastic opportunities that I have been given to make a difference in the world.”
As she neared the end of her final year, it became very important for Efrat to apply for the best possible job and enter the job market with a good salary, so that she could prove to herself and to her family that all her hard work at university was worthwhile. She turned to the Moshal team for help with improving her CV and to help her identify the best and most suitable jobs in the market.
She attended Moshal workshops to learn interview skills, and she was given a private coaching session to help her to do well in the various aptitude tests that potential employers would expect her to pass. Thanks to their advice, she was able to secure a good job at Haifa Chemicals – one of Israel’s leading companies in her field of expertise.
At the end of every year of her course, Efrat has written a personal letter to Martin Moshal to thank him for the scholarship money and to report on her progress. This year, following her graduation, she wrote: “Thank you for this lifetime opportunity. I will keep you updated and keep paying it forward in the spirit of the program. What you have given us is so much more than the money. You have given us so much support in so many ways in order to enable us to succeed and fulfil our potential. I can never thank you enough.”