President Rivlin with Van Leer Prize winners, 26 May 2019..
(photo credit: MARC NEYMAN/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin met with winners of the The Van Leer Prize for Excellence in the Humanities 2019 on Sunday.
This is the fifth year the president has participated in meeting with the winners.
Executive Director of the Van Leer Institute, Professor Shai Lavi, and Director of the Advanced Studies Department, Dr. Yochi Fisher, also participated in the event, which included the president viewing the winning works.
“I am happy and proud to host you here the President's House," Rivlin said. "I’m excited to meet the young guard of the humanities. Your research topics astounded me: Nassredin Hodja and Hershel of Ostropol, Romans in Arabic, pirates, morality in the free market, Meir Ariel, Kant, ancient Egypt, the ‘rotten business’, minorities in the west. A real mosaic, rich and wonderful, of humanities. The papers you wrote are profound, rich and perhaps most of all pique the appetite to know more, to research more. That is the true greatness of research.”
The president noted that in recent years Israel has seen a lack of funding of humanities, as "we see major university departments in the humanities close because of lack of funding and of students. When departments like these dwindle so much, we need to ask what kind of society do we want to create here? Your presence here is a guarantee of the continuation and the renewal of the humanities, even in your generation."