The American Society of the University of Haifa (ASUH) celebrated “New Discoveries for Israel . . . and the World” at its New York Gala on October 28, 2014 at the American Museum of Natural History, Columbus Avenue and 79th Street.
Two hundred friends and supporters of the University of Haifa enjoyed engaging remarks on the University and the current situation in Israel from Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel to New York, Special Guest Professor Alan Dershowitz(at left) and Keynote Speaker Geraldo Rivera (above right). The sold-our crowd in the Powerhouse Room including business leaders from across the country, dignitaries, celebrities and the press. Two generous benefactors – Audrey Gruss and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust — received the University of Haifa’s prestigious Carmel Award of Merit. The Award is presented to those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of the University of Haifa and the State of Israel.
“We were delighted to provide an opportunity for the many friends of the University of Haifa in Greater New York,” said Warren Gleicher, Chair of the ASUH Board of Directors, “to celebrate the remarkable scientific achievements of the talented faculty and students of the University and to pay tribute to dedicated supporters of ground-breaking research.”
Three-time Tony Award winning producer, Jamie deRoy, was Master of Ceremonies. University of Haifa Vice President Yariv Sultan (at right) and Professor Alfred I. Tauber, Chairman of the University of Haifa Board of Governors, provided perspective on the latest developments at the University. The event included a musical performances by award winning Israeli pianist and composer Guy Mintus and Israeli opera star Maya Yahav Gour.
Audrey Gruss and her husband Martin established a private philanthropic foundation to support a wide range of charitable activities, especially focusing on the cultural arts and education. Mrs. Gruss founded the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) in honor of her mother, Hope, in 2006.
At the University of Haifa Mrs. Gruss established the Institute for the Study of Affective Neuroscience (ISAN). ISAN promotes original research and, through sharing and dissemination of knowledge, is enabling scientists in Israel and around the world to move closer to understanding the causes and developing new treatments for emotional brain disorders. The University of Haifa awarded Mrs. Gruss an honorary doctorate in 2007 for her leadership and visionary giving.
“I thank you for this Award,” Mrs. Gruss said in her acceptance speech. “I am deeply moved to receive it. To me it represents the essence of what the University of Haifa embodies –intelligence, motivation, tenacity, and the teamwork that leads to progress.”
“I salute, in particular,” Mrs. Gruss continued, “ISAN’s gifted leader, Gal Richter-Levin, who embodies the humanity and the spirit of the University of Haifa as a vibrant and growing institution committed to making progress in the last frontier of medicine – the mind and brain.” (See a video about Mrs. Gruss).
In the photo at right, Carmel Award winners Audrey Gruss, second from left, and Sandor Frakel, center, represent the Helmsley Charitable Trust and congraulated by Professor Alfred Taiber, left, Mrs. Ruth Franlel and Yariv Sultan.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional nonprofits and other mission-aligned organizations in the U.S. and around the world in health, selected place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Launched in 2010, the Trust’s grantmaking program in Israel has provided more than $120 million to leading institutions and initiatives that seek to strengthen Israel’s leadership in scientific, technological and medical research, its health care preparedness, and its standing in the world.
At the University of Haifa, the Trust established The Helmsley Mediterranean Sea Research Center: Deep Sea and Shallow Water Research Infrastructure to provide Israeli scientists with the modern research and academic infrastructure required to address recent offshore energy and coastal developments. The Center will establish a national facility for housing, maintaining and developing unmanned underwater vehicles and other deep-sea equipment, construct coastal marine research facilities, upgrade Israel’s deep sea and shallow water research equipment, and construct laboratories equipped with modern analysis capabilities to support the interdisciplinary research agenda.
“We are delighted that this effort will further establish the University of Haifa as one of region’s leading marine research facilities and provide an invaluable resource for scholars and scientists throughout Israel,” said Sandor Frankel (at left), a Trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust who accepted the Carmel Award of Merit on behalf of the Trust. “And we look forward to the many advances in marine science, energy development and other related subject areas that will emanate from the new Center for years to come.” (See a video about the Hemsley Charitable Trust).
In photo at left, honored guests Paul and Herta Amir (left) are welcomed to the New York Gala by Dr. Paula Fredriksen and Professor Alfred Tauber, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of Haifa. At right, the guests at Esther Muller’s (back row, second from right) table enjoy the evening.