The E. David Fischman Scholarship

In 1949, Polish-born Edward David Fischman arrived in St. Paul to start life anew. As a 40-year-old Holocaust survivor, he had lost most of his family in the war. A former hardware manufacturing business owner and musician in Warsaw, Fischman settled in St. Paul’s Selby-Dale area. Despite living modestly, he built a substantial fortune through real estate investments over the next few decades. When he died in 1995, Fischman left a significant legacy that profoundly impacted the future of Israel. In his will, Fischman established the E. David Fischman Scholarship Fund. The fund provides full tuition for Israeli graduate students to attend top American universities for doctorates in political science, law, or economics.


“He wanted to offer Israel's best and brightest an opportunity for a quality education, on the condition that they return and help transform Israeli society,” explains Rabbi Morris Allen of Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights, which Fischman joined later in his life. “He had a great love of Israel and understood its importance for Judaism the world over.”


The St. Paul Jewish Federation administers the scholarship fund, which has awarded 97 scholarships since its inception. Tuition costs often reach $75,000 a year, making this prestigious fund attract many applicants. The E. David Fischman Scholarship covers full tuition and most general fees (excluding medical and housing) for graduate degrees up to a doctorate in political science, law, or economics at top U.S. universities such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia. The scholarship is awarded annually to a select number of qualified Israelis who have served in the IDF. Recipients must return to Israel after their studies and work in their profession in civic or political life for at least five years.

2024 E. David Fischman Scholars

  • Tamar Hacohen

    Originally from Jerusalem, Tamar served in the Air Force Intelligence, where she continues to serve as a reservist.

  • Aner Shofty

    Adv. Aner Shofty, 31, is a lawyer specializing in international law, human rights, and humanitarian law.

  • Nadav Shoat

    Nadav D. Shoat currently serves as the Director of Economic Strategy at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC, where he facilitates professional economic relations with the US federal government.

  • Yam Atir

    Yam Atir, a professional with over a decade in government relations and international affairs, is currently pursuing an MPA-MC degree.

Fischman Scholarship

Zionism and Excellence

Anniversary Conference

Edward David Fischman was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1910. His musical family, with a father who worked as an instrument repairman, enjoyed weekly outings to the symphony on Sundays. While the family did not regularly attend Shul, Edward observed Shabbat with respect for his father-in-law.


As an adult in Poland, Fischman married, attended trade school, and owned a small factory making builders' hardware. His life was upended by the rise of antisemitism and the ensuing horrors of the Holocaust. By 1943, Fischman had lost his business.


Fischman arrived in Minnesota on December 10, 1949, and worked in the stockroom at Lax Electric. Recognizing the potential of real estate, he began saving to buy properties soon after his arrival. He attended business classes at the University of Minnesota from 1953 onward, specializing in accounting, real estate law, philosophy, speech, and more.


Fischman believed that a strong and independent Israel, led by educated thinkers and leaders, was essential for Jews worldwide. In line with this belief, he created his scholarship fund, allowing Israeli graduate students to obtain doctoral degrees at top American universities at no cost. These scholars, studying political science, law, or economics, were required to return to Israel and work for five years in the government. Since then, over 100 scholars have significantly contributed to improving the lives of Israelis.

Holocaust History


Edward, his wife (Evgenia Rosenblatt), and his mother were taken to Maidanek in May 1943, after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. He never saw them again. His sister Pola, who had converted to Catholicism before The Shoah, was his only immediate family member to survive the war. Edward was transferred to several Polish labor camps before ending up at the Flossenberg camp near Bayreuth, where he remained until liberation.