German FM Steinmeier, Ninth Israeli President Peres Among Dignitaries To Be Honored and Speak at Hebrew University Convocation | האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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German FM Steinmeier, Ninth Israeli President Peres Among Dignitaries To Be Honored and Speak at Hebrew University Convocation

26/05/2015

Dr. Steinmeier to present major address on German-Israeli relations

Honorees include former president of Brazil Supreme Court Dr. Joaquim Barbosa, filmmaker Ronit Elkabetz

Germany’s foreign minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the former president of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court Dr. Joaquim Barbosa are among eleven dignitaries who will be awarded honorary doctorates in recognition of their contributions to society, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s annual Convocation. Hebrew University students will be awarded Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Law degrees at the ceremony.

Marking the opening of the 78th Meeting of the Hebrew University's International Board of Governors, the Convocation will take place on Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m., at the Rothberg Amphitheatre of the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus.

Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, will be awarded an honorary doctorate, and will deliver a major address on the subject of German-Israeli relations. Dr. Steinmeier will be honored in appreciation of his advancement of close ties between Germany and Israel, his constant and vociferous condemnation of all acts and forms of antisemitism, and his diplomatic efforts towards the Middle East Peace Process.

Dr. Joaquim Barbosa, former president of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court, will be honored in recognition of his outstanding public service in the Supreme Federal Court, his unwavering opposition to public and political corruption, and his resolute support of multiculturalism and judicial equality. Named one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2013 by Time magazine, he is an outstanding public figure whose story of triumph over inequality and staunch opposition to corruption has inspired millions.

Ronit Elkabetz, a prominent and highly acclaimed filmmaker in the national and international arenas for over 20 years, will be honored in recognition of her outstanding achievements as an actress and a creative force in film whose profoundly sensitive works have enriched Israel’s social discourse, and in appreciation of her role in establishing an international status for Israeli cinema.

The 2015 Solomon Bublick Prize will be awarded to Ninth Israeli President Shimon Peres, who will also deliver a public address. Shimon Peres will be honored for his outstanding contributions to the State of Israel, the pursuit of peace, higher education, and science and technology. He is a longstanding friend of the Hebrew University who has taken the utmost interest in advancing its research in the fields of nanotechnology and brain sciences. In 1985, he was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the Hebrew University.

The 2015 Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education will be awarded to Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, in recognition of his longstanding commitment to nurturing Jewish and Israeli culture and his achievements in the Israel Defense Forces and the Ministry of Education and Culture; and in profound appreciation of his outstanding efforts to encourage Holocaust remembrance in Israel and throughout the world through innovative educational and technological projects.

The distinguished Honorary Doctorate recipients include:

Prof. Robert Alter (USA) is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding Director of its Center for Jewish Studies. A renowned scholar who has made far-reaching contributions to the fields of literary studies, biblical studies and biblical translation, he has undertaken the translation into English of the Hebrew Bible, giving full expression to the literary beauty of the Hebrew text. He maintains longstanding ties with the Hebrew University, dating back to his graduate studies in 1959-60; he was a fellow at the University’s Institute for Advanced Studies in 1982-83 and has held visiting fellowships and given lectures across the Faculty of Humanities. Robert Alter is a generous friend of many Hebrew University scholars who continue to enjoy an enduring and fruitful dialogue with him.

Prof. Bruce J. Baum (USA) is widely acclaimed as the leading scholar of gene therapy in dental medicine. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) Scientist Emeritus at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, he recently retired as director of the NIH Clinical Center’s Medical Research Scholars Program. He has earned international recognition for his groundbreaking work on gene transfer strategies using the salivary glands for both localized treatments and as a systemic biological pump, and his research has resulted in innovative therapies that use tissue engineering and salivary gland stem cells. He is a longtime friend of the Hebrew University, where he was a Lady Davis Fellow in 1984 and the Goldstein Visiting Professor in 1990, and he continues as a visiting professor at the Faculty of Dental Medicine.

Marc Besen AC (Australia) is a retail magnate, property developer and renowned humanitarian who has extended his generous support to Jewish and cultural causes in his home city of Melbourne, throughout Australia, and in Israel. Through the Besen Family Foundation, which he established together with his wife Eva, Marc Besen has shown extraordinary generosity in addressing disadvantage and inequity, and promoting social inclusiveness, community connectedness, and health and well-being. His commitment to the Jewish community and Israel includes support for the Hebrew University, where he and his family have assisted students and scholars through such funds as the Isador and Ira Magid Special Fund for Scholarships and the Golda Meir Fellowship Fund.

Joyce Brandman (USA) is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a key leader of the American Friends of the Hebrew University. Her commitment to helping others, notably through the work of the Saul and Joyce Brandman Foundation, has extended to the University’s facilities and activities, including the Saul and Joyce Brandman Science Laboratory Building, the Brandman Foundation Chair in Cardiac and Pulmonary Disease, equipment for the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, the Manya and Morris Brandman Garden in the Scopus Student Village, and student scholarships. Joyce Brandman received an Honorary Fellowship from the University in 2010, and she is the immediate past president of the American Friends’ Western Region.

Prof. Caroline W. Bynum (USA) is a world-renowned scholar of religious ideas and practices in medieval Europe. The first woman to be named University Professor at Columbia University, Prof. Bynum’s groundbreaking studies have shed light on previously unexplored elements of medieval life, including concepts of gender, women’s piety, the body, and personal identity. Prof. Bynum played an invaluable role in helping to develop the Hebrew University’s Cornerstones humanities program and she continues to be a frequent visitor to Israel where she mentors and advises scholars and students at the Hebrew University and at the country’s other institutes.

Prof. Jacques Drèze (Belgium) is one of the outstanding economists of our time. A leader of European higher education and the founder of the prestigious Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, he has made groundbreaking contributions to an extraordinarily diverse range of areas in economics, introducing important innovative concepts into fields such as general equilibrium theory, theory of contracts, the economics of uncertainty, game theory, Bayesian econometrics, decision theory, and public economics. Jacques Drèze is a longtime collaborator with Israeli economists, and has hosted many Israeli postdoctoral fellows at CORE. He maintains the closest ties with Hebrew University scholars, co-authoring papers with them and frequently attending conferences in Jerusalem.

Prof. Gene E. Robinson (USA) is the incumbent of the Swanlund Chair of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Director of its Institute for Genomic Biology and its Bee Research Facility. Prof. Robinson’s work has contributed to the elucidation of the role of genes, hormones and neurochemicals in the mechanisms and evolution of social behavior and, thereby, the molecular basis of social life. He did part of his postdoctoral training at the Hebrew University as a Lady Davis Fellow, and later received a Fulbright Fellowship to spend a sabbatical in the Alexander Silberman Institute for Life Sciences of the Hebrew University. Prof. Robinson has trained many Israeli postdoctoral and graduate students and maintains the strongest of ties with the Hebrew University and Israel’s other academic institutions.

Alvin Cramer Segal OC OQ (Canada) is an outstanding business and community leader, a gifted entrepreneur and a generous supporter of the Canadian Jewish community and Israel. In addition to overseeing the largest supplier of men’s tailored clothing in North America, he has extended his generosity to a variety of causes in the arts, health, care and education, and in the Montreal Jewish community. Segal is a devoted friend of the Hebrew University, where he has supported the Revivim Honors Teacher Training Program in Jewish Studies through the establishment of the Alvin Segal Family Revivim Fellows, and has taken an active role in ensuring support for the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC). This year, Alvin Segal was honored with the Scopus Award of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University.

Highlights of the 78th Annual Board of Governors meeting will include:

—The dedication of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

—A visit to the official residence of the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin

—A presentation of the exhibition "All This Has Come Upon Us," featuring forty-two prints by artist Mark Podwal, previously exhibited at the Terezin Ghetto Museum (exhibition sponsored by Mr. Kenneth Stein)

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German FM Steinmeier, Ninth Israeli President Peres Among Dignitaries To Be Honored and Speak at Hebrew University Convocation