Lady Davis Fellowships are a boost to science
Anniversary event celebrates 4 decades of Lady Davis Fellowships that is hailed as big boost to science in Israel.
Harry Bloomfield (left) and Prof. Raphael Mechoulam Photo: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
Over 40 years, nearly 2,000 visiting professors, postdoctoral and doctoral
students from abroad have received generous funding from the Lady Davis
Fellowship Trust to enable them to teach, study and conduct research at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology
The LDFT has also sent around 200 Israeli scholars to study
abroad and return home.
The anniversary event was marked on Tuesday at
Jerusalem’s Bible Lands Museum, where Canadian philanthropist Harry Bloomfield
greeted over 100 guests, including the young students and researchers. His
mother, Neri Bloomfield, who founded the trust with her late husband, Bernard,
is too ill to return to Israel.
The LDFT, he said, has greatly enriched
the HU and the Technion by constantly introducing exceptional talent into their
academic environment and by linking these two institutions, through human
bridges, with the world network of science and scholarship. The fellowship
program was named for Lady Davis, who provided the endowment. Childless, she was
a distinguished philanthropist and benefactor of educational institutions, who
died in Montreal exactly 50 years ago. Harry and his sister Evelyn continue the
family tradition of support for the trust.
The Bloomfield family
conceived and nurtured the program, and Bernard Bloomfield was not just an
executor of her will, but he and his brother Louis worked hard to solidify and
expand the trust. As a result, said HU medicinal chemist Prof. Raphael Mechoulam
– also vice president of the Israel Academy of Sciences – LDFT is one of the
most important and most effective channels of support for Israel and for its
educational, academic and cultural institutions.
Lady Davis fellowships
are awarded to outstanding scholars of all backgrounds after a rigorous academic
review process by a senior academic committee.
Outgoing Science and
Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Herschkowitz, a mathematician who worked at the
Technion before entering politics, HU president Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson,
Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie and Canadian Ambassador Paul Hunt were
also present at the event.
The popular Bloomfield Science Museum, also
founded by the family in 1992, is a short distance away from the Hebrew
University’s Givat Ram campus.