Sep 6, 2007 — Helen Nissim of Los Angeles is one of nine graduates of Yeshiva University’s (YU) Stern College for Women (SCW) who will not have to contend with the financial burdens of medical school education, thanks to the generosity of a woman she will never meet.
Anne Scheiber, who managed to accumulate an estate worth $22 million before she died in 1995, left it all to YU expressly for SCW students and graduates. The medical school fund, one of two funds, is for medical education at the university’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM).
The awards are based on financial need, and amounts can be as high as full tuition for all four years of medical school. Students must be accepted to Einstein prior to being nominated for the scholarship. The students also must demonstrate leadership potential, initiative, or creative excellence and indicate a desire to help humanity through their studies in order to qualify.
Ms. Scheiber, who was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1893, paid her own way through law school, and found employment as a federal tax auditor. Throughout her 23-year career, she received superior performance reviews, but was never promoted. She attributed this to being Jewish and a woman. When she retired, she devoted herself to investing in the stock market, where religion and gender didn’t matter. She had a keen understanding of the financial markets and was a savvy investor. By the time she died at age 101, she had parlayed a few thousand dollars of savings into a stock portfolio of some $22 million, which she bequeathed to YU – an institution with which she had no previous contact – to give young Jewish women opportunities she never had.
While growing up in Los Angeles and Israel, Ms. Nissim developed an interest in both science and medicine. “I enjoyed the exhilaration that came from tackling a difficult scientific problem,” she said. After high school she volunteered in an organization for children with chronic diseases, an experience that convinced her that medicine was her calling. Ms. Nissim is grateful that, having received the Scheiber Scholarship, she can now pursue her goal of becoming a physician “and being a productive individual in my community.”
“With the practice of medicine in so much flux, it is inspiring to know that so many Stern College women—who possess the intellectual skills to solve problems and the empathic skills to care for others—are entering the profession,” said Karen Bacon, PhD, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern. “They can and will make a difference.”
This year’s other scholarship recipients are Shulamit Roditi-Kulak of Newton, MA; Yelena Kozirovsky of (Ukraine); Elisheva Levine of Woodmere, NY; Michelle Simpser of Plainview, NY; Tehilla Stepansky of Passaic, NJ; Amanda Weiss of Miami Beach, FL; Ariella Nadler of Toronto, Canada; and Jordana Platt of New York, NY
Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the heritage of Western civilization and the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: the Wilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools –– Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business ––– offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.