Hebrew University Alumni Address (Full Transcript)
Consul General Joel Lion, Mr. and Mrs. Amsellem, ladies and gentleman:
It is with great pleasure that I address you today on a topic close to my heart: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
I graduated from the Rothberg International School in 2008 and I took with me more than just my Master’s degree. I took professional skills and a solid network to pave an impressive career path. I immerged with a fluent mastery of Hebrew and a profound connection to the State. And best of all, I left with great memories and friendships to last a lifetime.
When I initially heard about the plans to finance a full scholarship at the Hebrew University for a member of our community, I jumped on the opportunity to support this initiative wholeheartedly.
Education is part of our Jewish tradition (Quote). It is our responsibility to pass on this legacy to the next generations. (L’Dor VaDor) And this scholarship gives us a unique opportunity to fulfill the pledge through one of the leading academic institutions in the world.
I won’t bore you with the very long history and statistics of the university, but I would be remiss to speak to you without paying tribute to the leaders who sat on the first board of governors of the university, and shaped its mission. They included trailblazers Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann. The first-class education at the university is a reflection of their intellect and vision.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers a challenging curriculum designed to promote academic excellence. Each of its three campuses are breathtaking and equipped with state of the art facilities. The university offers a range of degree and professional programs on every level. Its courses are taught in English and in Hebrew… and a flurry of languages can be heard throughout the halls. The student body itself is the image of multiculturalism. During my time at the university, there were over 50 countries represented at the school. My roommate was German… and the best Hebrew speaker in my Ulpan class was Chinese.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has ranked at the top of the charts every year and most recently, placed number 22 on the world university ranking system. I am proud to call this my alma mater, and even more so every time I hear of another scientific breakthrough or medical advancement that originates in its laboratories and classrooms.
I can’t conclude this without mentioning the value of studying in Israel… especially because this was the core of my Master’s research while I was at the university. What I discovered is that studying in a long-term program in Israel, deeply emerged in the essence of our Jewish heritage and values, is positively correlated to a strengthened Jewish identity and a commitment to Jewish community.
Of course, its remarkable that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem produces Nobel prize winners and prime ministers… but it’s even more notable to me, that proud Jews with a commitment and responsibility to their community emerge. This is what this scholarship is all about.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve already had the privilege and am still reaping the benefits through a thriving career and a priceless education. Tonight, I pledge to pass on this opportunity to another member of our Montreal Sephardi community.
I encourage you to join me and give generously- because this isn’t a simple donation, it’s an investment and a good one, too. The future is looking bright.
Thank-you for your attention.