Merit Scholarship Program

The Jewish United Fund offers a limited number of merit scholarships ($1,000 each) annually to high school students, college students, and young adults up to age 23 who demonstrate significant leadership skills. The purpose of these scholarships is to strengthen Jewish identity, nourish greater commitment to Israel and the Chicago Jewish community, and to recognize future leaders.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be at least a sophomore in high school up to age 23 years old.
  • Applicant must reside or attend school in metropolitan Chicago.
  • Applicant must have applied to or be in the process of applying to an approved Israel program which does not begin until after the application deadline.
  • Applicant must demonstrate leadership abilities.
  • Participation in Jewish communal activities after returning from Israel is strongly encouraged.
  • Previous merit scholarship winners are not eligible to reapply. However, previous applicants who did not receive a merit scholarship may apply again.

Application Information

  • Applicants must submit an online application and letter of recommendation (click here for the recommender form).
  • Programs must begin during the summer or fall.
  • Please read the Scholarship Guidelines before applying.

Application Deadlines

Scholarship applications (via Google Forms) are due March 15 for summer, fall, and academic year programs. The selection process is extremely competitive. Financial status is not considered in the merit scholarship process. Applicants will be notified in early May, following the meeting of the Scholarship Committee. Applications are not considered on a rolling basis, so early submission of a scholarship application will not change the notification date.

Scholarship Applications Available

Israel Experience scholarship applications are now being accepted. High school students, college students, and young adults are welcome to apply.

Learn More