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.

February 28, 2013 02:51
1 minute read.
Harry Bloomfield (left) and Prof. Raphael Mechoulam

Harry Bloomfield (left) and Prof. Raphael Mechoulam. (photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)


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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 in Haifa.

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.

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