New J’lem institute promotes expat Israeli academics' return

Cornerstone for NIS 100m. center to be laid today.

By
May 30, 2010 05:15
2 minute read.
Dr. Leonard Polonsky and Dr. Georgette Bennett

Dr. Leonard Polonsky and Dr. Georgette Bennett 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The cornerstone for an institute that aims, among other things, at bringing back home young Israeli scholars in the humanities and social sciences will be laid on Sunday, right next to the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and a short distance from Beit Hanassi. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will attend the ceremony.

The target date for completion is early 2013.

The Polonsky Academy for Advanced Studies will cost NIS 100 million, which has been donated by Dr. Leonard Polonsky and his wife, Dr. Georgette Bennett. They have also set up a NIS 100m. endowment fund to finance 30 post-doctoral fellows from Israel and other countries at the new institute.

Every fellow will enjoy a fellowship worth $200,000 for up to five years, making it possible for outstanding scholars to focus on their research and develop their academic standing in an incubator-like atmosphere, until they find a post at an Israeli academic institution. The donors hope that the new institution will become a vibrant center of academic research and an intellectual home where the scholars can pursue their work without disturbance.

Van Leer director and initiator of the idea, Prof. Gabriel Motzkin, noted that the Polonsky Academy will be an important new factor in promoting research and cultivating top-level young scholars who will go on to be leaders in their fields and create new knowledge, develop thought and forge a better society.

The future institute’s neighbor, President Shimon
Peres, will hold a reception for the donors at his home before the ceremony, which will be attended by the donors, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities president Prof. Menahem Yaari, Motzkin and university heads.


Polonsky, a businessman in the UK, grew up in New York, completed his undergraduate studies at age 18 and acquired his Ph.D. at the Sorbonne. He then taught languages for several years before turning to a successful career in financial services. He devotes much of his time and efforts to philanthropic work in education and art and is a trustee of several universities around the world, including the Hebrew University, giving scholarships to Ethiopian-Israeli students.

Bennett, a sociologist, journalist, marketing expert and author, is the founder and president of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding in New York.

The new building, which will occupy the southern edge of the Van Leer compound, will blend into the existing structures and preserve the design principles of the area and the Talbieh neighborhood in which it is located. It will contain 30 offices for fellows, opening onto inner courtyards, an academic research library, seminar and conference rooms, an auditorium, gym and cafeteria.

As work proceeds on the building, Van Leer will speed up the process of awarding stipends until the full roster of 30 fellows a year has been filled; so far, seven fellows have been chosen, including Dr. Salman Bashir, a Druse scholar who is studying mysticism, and Dr. Michal Raz, who is focusing on deficiencies in medical care.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN