Days before Yom Kippur, on scorching hot afternoon, at the Nazarian family magnificent Tuscany style Beverly Hills villa, at an event attended by elegantly dressed crowd of family, friends and supporters, Soraya Sarah Nazarian, an artist, was honored, by the School of The Arts at the University of Haifa.

  
Amos Shapira Haifa U President, Soraya Nazarian, Sharon Nazarian, heads the Nazarian Foundation-Haifa U alumni, Prof. Fred Tauber, Chair Haifa U Board of Governors-Photo Orly Halevy

This school is Israel north leading art institute, training students in visual arts, theatre and music.

University of Haifa is apparently the least funded higher learning institute in Israel; it somewhat suffers a stigma it earned when we saw all too often the anti-Israel, defaming behavior of its Arab students, while the University’s authorities did nothing to clamp it. But the Arabs in Israel are not going to leave any time soon. Therefore, the University of Haifa plays a major part in the development of Israel north, which is longing for massive development and Israeli citizens’ migration to the region.

While on the podium, Dr. Sharon Nazarian, Soraya’s daughter, a member of the university Board of Governors and the Vice Chair of American Society of the University of Haifa, lovingly praised her mother for being a woman of the world and talented artist, this garden event gave its distinguished guests, Amos Shapira, the university President, and Professor Alfred Tauber, the university Chairman of the Board of Governors, the opportunity to shine light on this higher learning institute they lead.

University of Haifa plays a particular and important role in the future of Israel. It is the economic engine of Israel north, which largely inhabited by Arabs. It is thriving to be a model of Israeli collegian integration and coexistence, where Jews and Arabs function harmoniously, Mr. Shapira and Mr. Tauber explained to the audience.

Soraya Nazarian believes that art is one universal language that sees no color, religion or politics. That is why she immersed herself in supporting the University Of Haifa School Of Arts.

The Nazarian family’s financial efforts helped built and renovate the University of Haifa library now named ‘The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Academic Library’, the second in its size after Israel’s national library. Additionally, at the entrance of the campus stands Soraya Nazarian’s Legacy sculpture, dedicated in 2010, which the 18,000 students who come to study in the institute see each time they enter the campus. The magnificent marble piece evokes the story of the Jewish People in Exodus and is a tribute to the Jewish “illegal immigrants” who sailed to Israel’s shores during the British Mandate White Paper era, while it also intended to compliment the recently renovated wings of the Library.

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  Soraya and Younes Nazarian next to Soraya's sculpture, one of many on display in the Nazarians' Tuscany garden-Photo Orly Halevy

The library’s task is to make an indelible knowledge mark on Israeli students. Now the University of Haifa needs to pass the volume of knowledge, inter alia, humane coexistence, tolerance and respect by and for every person in the country, starting with each student who studies there.

With the Nazarian family’s leading by example, the University of Haifa can and should be a leader in Israel working to turn around the country's north, much lacking Jewish communities, to become a scholarly and flourishing region.



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