This fund was set up in memory of John Furman who served as Chairman of IBCA for ten years and was Honorary Life President until his death. He received the OBE and later the CBE for his work in advancing Israel-British relations.
Strengthening the relationship between Israel and Britain and its Commonwealth is IBCA's purpose. In furtherance of this aim The John Furman Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to give study/travel grants to representatives of Israeli Industry, Arts, Medicine and Education. The recipients become unofficial Israeli Ambassadors establishing connections that have beneficial and enduring ramifications for this relationship.
Furman served in the British Army during World War II rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was taken prisoner but escaped in 1943 and then escaped a second time after being captured. He made his way to Rome where he participated in the underground organization that was assisting escaped POWs. He was awarded the MC for this work. His exploits are recounted in his book "Be Not Fearful", which was reprinted by IBCA to mark his 80th birthday.
In addition to a successful business career, he was active in many charitable causes. He was the longest-standing member of the Executive Council of Tel Aviv University Board of Governors; he was president and co-founder of the English Amateur Drama in Israel Association.
His major voluntary efforts were in the cause of Cancer research. He held senior posts in the Israel Cancer Association for some 30 years, particularly in the area of fund-raising and business administration. He also served as finance officer in the International Union Against Cancer.
Scholarships have been awarded to nurses from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre. These awards enabled the nurses to participate in special oncology training courses at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London and so increase their expertise in this specialist field.
For the last three years the fund has awarded scholarships to young Israeli colorectal surgeons to attend short courses in colorectal surgery at specialist hospitals in the UK, so as to improve their skills and broaden their experience. The courses are arranged by Prof. Alex Deutsch of The David Yanir Foundation for The Advancement of Colorectal Surgery in Israel.
In each of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 the Fund awarded ten scholarships for surgeons to attend courses at hospitals in the UK.