Academic bodies join to raise funds after fraud

Fraudulent financier Bernard Madoff may have disappeared from the headlines since being sentenced to 150 years in jail recently for having swindled billions of dollars out of thousands of investors, but the repercussions of the scam are still being felt in Israeli academic institutions such as the University of Haifa and the Technion, reports With both bodies having lost millions of shekels as a result of the fraud, they have now combined forces to try to find other ways to raise funds - and they hope to rope President Shimon Peres and the Bank of Israel into their efforts. According to the report, the Technion lost NIS 25 million directly after investing the money in Madoff's fraudulent pyramid-investment scheme, while the university did not invest money but lost out when one of its largest donors, the Yeshaya Horowitz Foundation, lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the fraud. The foundation was a significant contributor to institutions of higher education in Israel. The report said that foundation representative Yair Green initiated a meeting between the deputy presidents of the two Haifa tertiary institutions, with the aim of pooling resources and creating a united body to raise funds for all the scientific and medical research in Israel. Green said he was aiming to raise about $500 million over five years from philanthropists around the world, and that he was hoping to get President Shimon Peres to head the fund and the Bank of Israel to manage it. No response to the proposal was reported.