U of Haifa receives $1.15m. donation to support Israeli musicians

The donation is the latest contribution to the university's broader mission of community building and urban development across northern Israel.

University of Haifa. (photo credit: ZVI ROGER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
University of Haifa.
Haifa University has received a $1.15 million donation to endow scholarships for outstanding music students and increase opportunities for musicians within Israel, especially in the northern part of the country.
The donation was made by The Jack and Minnie Levenson Scholarship Fund and is the latest contribution to the university's broader mission of community building and urban development across northern Israel.
“We’re very happy to have this donation which will secure a bright future for the School and its students,” said Yuval Shaked, Head of Haifa University's School of the Arts.
The Department of Music was established in 2001 and has been part of the University’s School of the Arts since 2008. The school operates on two levels: enriching its students on an intellectual level and producing alumni who are dedicated to giving back to the local community.
The Department of Music offers courses in Western, Mediterranean, popular and jazz music, as well as ethnomusicology, music and computer technologies, music composition and theory, music production, multimedia works and performance. Throughout the year the university offers public performances free of charge, allowing its students to practice in front of a live audience as well as offering free quality entertainment to the public. 
“We’re not just a school, we’re a resource for the community. The School of Arts is already a very influential center of culture in northern Israel. Most of our graduates don’t leave for other regional centers, many stay in the north, go back to their villages and towns and transform their local art scene,” Shaked added.
Graduates of the school have gone on to establish conservatories, choirs, art exhibitions and similar initiatives, while current students volunteer in local community outreach efforts during their studies. Like the city of Haifa itself, the Department of Music is a beacon of coexistence, with Arab and Jewish students playing both Eastern and Western instruments side by side. Additionally, the university’s Arab-Jewish Orchestra is world-renowned and often travels to play for overseas audiences.
The scholarship fund is the latest in a series of major philanthropic contributions to the university over the past two years, which have largely been aimed at supporting the institution’s ongoing mission to redevelop northern Israel. This initiative has included the $10 million donation from American philanthropist and Business Wire founde,r Lorry I. Lokey for a new campus in Haifa’s downtown area, a donation from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to begin building a 20-story “Health Discovery Tower” in partnership with Rambam Hospital and a $10 million commitment to build an artificial intelligence technology center in Haifa in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
“Haifa is not only Israel’s third-largest city, but it’s also a city of opportunities,” said Karen Berman, CEO of the American Society of the University Haifa. “A nexus for innovation and diversity, Haifa is on the cusp of the growth and rapid urban development that we at the University work to nurture and foster. We hope that receiving this latest generous donation in support of the Department of Music will help us achieve the crucial goal of ensuring the city leverages everything that its up-and-coming region has to offer.”