Happy Birthday Dear Lady: Lady Davis Fellowship Trust Celebrates 40 Years Of Activity

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The trust has given over $12 million worth of research scholarships over the years

Lady DavisJerusalem, Feb. 21, 2013 – Forty years of activity in bringing leading researchers and scholars from around the world to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology will be celebrated by the Lady Davis Fellowship Trust at a festive celebration to be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem.

The celebration will be attended by the Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie, the Canadian Ambassador to Israel Paul Hunt and others.

The Lady Davis Fellowship Trust was established in 1973 to enable scholars from around the world to come to the Hebrew University or the Technion for a period of time in order to conduct research and teach.

Over the years, the trust has brought to Israel roughly 1800 foreign scientists and 200 Israeli scientists who were working abroad, among them Israeli Ambassador to the United States Dr. Michael Oren, Israel Prize laureate in sociology for 2013 Prof. Yoram Bilu, Hebrew University Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Prof. Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi and jurist Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer.

Since its establishment, the trust has allocated more than $12.5 million. This year, an estimated several hundreds thousand dollars will be allocated to 29 researchers who will be coming to the Hebrew University and 19 to the Technion.

The Lady Davis Fellowship Trust has two tracks. The visiting professors track is for prominent scholars who have research connections with fellow scientists in the Hebrew University or the Technion. They come to Israel to conduct research and collaborate with their counterparts, and even take part in guiding students. The post-doctoral track is for young scholars who come to Israel for one to two years to do their post-doctorates. Israelis who are abroad and wish to come back and young Jewish scholars wishing to make aliyah can also be found in this track.

Secretary-general of the trust Prof. Esther Shohami says, "The researchers who came to Israel with help from the trust contributed to the high level of research conducted here, and were themselves enriched by it. Many of them continued their academic relationship with their local hosts. Many young scientists stayed in Israel, and those who went back to their native countries became goodwill ambassadors for Israel and the excellent science they encountered here." Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson adds that "the Lady Davis Fellowship Trust enables young scientists from around the world to grow and advance and to work in an absolutely independent manner.”

Lady Davis was a philanthropist of institutes of education. She passed away in Montreal in 1963. The Bloomfield Family conceived and nurtured the fellowship program.  Bernard Bloomfield was not just an executor of the will of Lady Davis.  He, with his brother Louis, worked tirelessly to solidify and expand the Trust, and by skillful administration and faithful loyalty to its mission, made it into one of the most important and most effective channels of support for Israel and for its educational, academic, and cultural institutions.  Upon his death, Bernard Bloomfield was succeeded as Chairman of the Lady Davis Trust by his wife Mrs. Neri Bloomfield who has played a significant leadership role in Canadian philanthropy and community service.  Their children, Evelyn and Harry, are continuing the family tradition of support for, and an abiding interest in the Trust.

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