Thirty post-doctoral students from Israel and abroad will soon have a well-equipped base from which to further their academic work. On Sunday the cornerstone-laying ceremony of the new Polonsky Academy for Advanced Studies was held on the grounds of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Construction and subsequent operation of the new NIS 100 million center is being funded by Dr. Leonard Polonsky and his wife, Dr. Georgette Bennett. The couple have also set up an endowment of NIS 100 million to fund the post-doctoral fellows at the new institute. The institute – whose full name is The Polonsky Academy for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences – will provide each academic who does research within its walls with a fellowship worth $200,000 for up to five years.

British-born Polonsky, who grew up in New York and studied at NYU and Oxford before obtaining a doctorate at the Sorbonne, taught languages for several years before making his fortune in global financial services. He maintains numerous philanthropic endeavors in education and the arts and is a trustee of several universities around the world, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His wife is the founder and president of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding in New York.

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