Scholarship Fund for Dutch immigrants and their offspring was founded in 1959,
resulting from an idea by Eli Dasberg who was a member in the Loans Fund of the
Irgun Olei Holland, (Organization of Dutch Immigrants – ODI). The Loans Fund
provided sums of money as repayable loans. Eli Dasberg, who was also a
management member in the Federation of Orphanages in Holland after the Second
World War, suggested to the Federation to establish a scholarship fund that
would grant modest non-repayable scholarships, (not repayable loans) to needy
students from Dutch descent. The idea was adopted and thus three scholarships
were granted in 1959, totaling 850 Israeli Liras.
person who contributed highly to the furtherance of the Scholarship Fund is Leo
Cohen who, together with his wife Riek, managed over many years to transfer
financial contributions from different people in favor of the Fund.
Cohen, who managed the united organizations for protection of children in
Amsterdam, retired in 1978. Leo requested that no farewell gifts be sent to
him, on the occasion of his retirement, but that a contribution be made to the Scholarship Fund instead. In that year Leo
transferred an amount of 56.000 Dutch Gulden to the Scholarship Fund and
consequently it was decided to add his name and that of his wife to the
official name of the Fund which since reads: "The Scholarship Fund for
Dutch immigrants and their offspring in the names of Leo and Riek Cohen".
In 1978 twenty-four scholarships were awarded totaling 76.500 Israeli Liras. As
time passed the requests for scholarships increased which caused us to have to
limit the eligibility for scholarships to academic studies, non academic
vocational studies and scientific work related to Dutch Jewry.