Dr. Yehoshua Selim Salti
Born: in 1935, Turkey
Lives and works: Moshav Rishpon, Israel
Occupation: Business and philanthropy
Yehoshua Selim Salti grew up in a family with a strong Jewish consciousness, in Istanbul.
The first life changing moment for Yehoshua Selim Salti came when he was with his father at their home city Istanbul, celebrating Allied Victory Day in WWII in May 1948. While happy about the end of the war his father mourned for the loss of more than 90% of Balkan Jewry and wondered if Ladino would ever be heard in the Balkans again.
Growing up, Selim decided to do his very best to support the flourishing of Ladino, the language of the Sephardi people.
Trained in university both as a journalist and a chemist he actively pursued both professions. He initially worked as a journalist, and further on as an industrialist while being an active leader in the Jewish Community.
Moving to Geneva with Naime and their sons in 1975 and living there for 25 years he continued growing the family businesses internationally. Believing that Israel is the home of all Jews he founded the Salti Foundation in 1983 in Israel.
Selim Salti’s vision has enabled many hundreds of Israeli university students of Sephardi ancestry to pursue their studies even further with the scholarships received from the foundation and advance in their professional lives.
An important result of his vision, the Salti Institute for Ladino Studies was founded by Naime and Selim Salti in 2003 in Bar Ilan University Tel Aviv and has become an important local and international academic center for researching, learning, disseminating Ladino research and writings.
At present he is active in business and philanthropy together with his sons Haim and Moni.