First-ever Israeli Bezalel Graduates to be Fulbright Fellows

Two graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Yael Alkalay and Ronit Levin Delgado, have been chosen to represent Israel as Fellows of the Fulbright Master’s Program for Israeli students. This is the first year that arts graduates from Israel have been chosen as Fulbright Fellows and the first year that there is a Master’s Program.

The US Government’s Fulbright Program is one of the world’s most prestigious and widely known academic exchange programs. This past year, 24 Israelis applied for Master’s fellowships, and 12 were chosen to be interviewed. Only three Fulbright Fellowships were awarded – two to the Bezalel art graduates and one to a law student from Hebrew University.

Alkalay and Levin Delgado will receive scholarship support for studies in the US during the 2011/2012 and 2012/1013 academic years. Fulbright grants for Master’s students cover tuition, fees and living expenses for a maximum of two years of study in the United States.

The main goal of the Fulbright Program, initiated in 1946 by Senator J. William Fulbright, is to strengthen the basis for peace by strengthening mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the peoples of partner countries around the world. Student and faculty exchanges at the highest possible level of academic excellence are the principal means employed by the Fulbright Program to achieve this goal.

Bezalel is Israel’s leading academy of art and design, and one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world. Established in 1906, with the support of Theodor Herzl, Bezalel is the source of some of the most creative talent emerging from the Middle East. Bezalel has built an international network of art and design excellence. Its alumni exhibit their work in the world’s leading venues, and the Academy is a focus and a destination for students and the creative community from across the globe.

The two recipients: Yael Alkalay, who graduated with a Bachelor of Design cum-laude from Bezalel in 2009, has won many honors and awards, including the Bezalel Excellence Award in the Visual Communications Department four years running and the Golden Star for Design Excellence at the Designed In Israel 4 Exhibition. She will pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Art and Design at the Dynamic Media Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.

Ronit Levin Delgado graduated from Bezalel in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Art and will continue this track by pursuing her Masters in Fine Art at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. She too has had various honors and awards bestowed on her, including a Bezalel Academy scholarship, an award for excellence in theory studies at the Academy, and the Wyckoff Scholarship for Portfolio excellence from Montclair University.

Image: Yael Alkalay’s calendar design was originally conceived as an experimental typography project. My vision was to create a testament to the beauty and mystery of the notion of time. The handmade quality of the design – created through a process of crafting, printing and photographing – reflects the mystic nature of time perceptions.

To produce my concept, I started with a handmade base. I then integrated shades of light, applying various techniques and angles. I concluded by taking screen shots of all elements. The colors were chosen to evoke the atmosphere of each unique season. Each month color is associated with a month. The Calendar presents both Gregorian and Hebrew dates, displaying the Hebrew and Latin letters side by side.

[eJP note: Since the first Fulbright Program was launched in Israel in 1956, over 1,200 US citizens and over 1,500 Israelis have taken part in a variety of Fulbright exchanges. Previously only grants to doctoral or post-doctoral students were awarded, but the emphasis of the Fulbright grant program has now been changed to include a program for Master’s students.]