BOG 2017 : Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science (ELSC) Gala

Amidst the splendor of the inner courtyard with its retractable roof open to a beautiful Jerusalem nighttime sky, Hebrew University President Menahem Ben-Sasson presented Madame Lily Safra with a scale model of the new home of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science (ELSC) which she was instrumental in bringing to fruition. Joined by award-winning architect Lord Norman Foster and Hebrew University Rector Prof. Asher Cohen (on the left) and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and President Ben-Sasson, Madame Safra then cut the ribbon formally inaugurating the new building.

“Around the tables in this courtyard sit Friends of the Hebrew University from about 20 different countries,” he told her. “All of them are involved in the dream you made a reality.
In this building, ELSC has the power to bring all the scientists and students together around one table, demonstrating the power interdisciplinary thinking to discover the secrets of the brain.”

Responding to the tribute to her as “the woman of the hour, the woman of the decade,” Madame Safra stressed the defining moment of the occasion. “I know my husband Edmond would share my deep sense of pride that our names are associated with such pioneering work and such dedicated and inspiring people.

Turning to Lord Foster, she thanked him for “giving a remarkable community of faculty and students the ability to work.” Noting he was “sharing with everyone here a dream come true,” Lord Foster described the building with its mix of traditional Jerusalem stone and modernistic tracery as “a dialogue between tradition and the future.” 

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat recalled that “just over 30 years ago I was a student at the Hebrew University, then as now, with its cutting-edge technologies, the Hebrew University was able to attract the best talent from all over the world. The success and future of Jerusalem depends a great deal on the success of the Hebrew University,” he said, “and that doesn’t happen alone, The Friends of the Hebrew University invest their efforts in this University – it’s an amazing and rewarding investment.”

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