Attorney Daniel Jacobson awards first scholarships of new one million shekel fund in Hebrew literature


Prof. Ben-Sasson (left) and Vice-President Gillon present Daniel Jacobson with a hand-bound facsimile copy of the Hebrew poem ‘I Didn’t Win Light In A Windfall’ by Hayyim Nahman Bialik in the author’s handwriting (photo: Bruno Charbit)January 26, 2012: Longstanding friend, governor and honorary fellow of the Hebrew University Daniel Jacobson last week awarded the first four scholarships of a newly established fund that will award a total of NIS 1 million to outstanding and needy students in Hebrew literature.

In welcoming the new Daniel Jacobson Fund, Dr. Ariel Hirschfeld of the University’s Department of Hebrew Literature said, ''Attorney Jacobson's contribution is a welcome and significant reinforcement to the prizes and scholarships offered by the Hebrew Literature Department.''

Dr. Hirschfeld gave the keynote speech on S. Y. Agnon at the scholarships award ceremony, which was attended by Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Vice-President for External Relations Carmi Gillon and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Prof. Reuven Amitai.

Vice-President Gillon thanked Daniel Jacobson for his new gift and announced that later this year — and in recognition of his longtime generosity — Daniel Jacobson’s name will be inscribed on the Hebrew University’s Wall of Benefactors which is situated on the edge of the Mount Scopus campus and overlooks Jerusalem.

''Literature has always been close to my heart,” said Jacobson. “When I learned that the number of students applying to the Department of Hebrew Literature has decreased over the years, I felt compelled to encourage young people to join the department. We are a people of the book and we must continue to honor this legacy and to remember that books and literature play a large part in shaping human culture.''

In thanking Daniel Jacobson for his support, third-year Hebrew literature and musicology student Talia Ashuri described how her studies in the Department of Hebrew Literature had exposed her to the “new and exciting” world of Hebrew poetry in the Middle Ages, a world whose works she continues to enjoy to read and make new discoveries.

“Thanks to my studies in the Department of Hebrew Literature at the University, I have become acquainted with many modern Hebrew poets and to enjoy even those whose work I still have not completely grasped such as Meir Wieseltier and Shaul Tchernichovsky. For this, I thank my teachers in the department Prof. Hannan Hever and department head Dr. Ariel Hirschfeld.

“I thank you in all our names, Adv. Daniel Jacobson, for the scholarships that you have awarded us and which allow us to focus on our studies and deepen our knowledge in literature and poetry… Today, it is of the utmost importance to encourage studies in the humanistic disciplines — without the humanities there is no substance.”

Daniel Jacobson is a longtime supporter of excellence at the Hebrew University. Last year, he donated a study room for doctoral students in the Faculty of Law and also gave his remarkable collection of letters, greeting cards and other ephemera to the University.

The Daniel Jacobson Fund gift follows the recent announcement that scholarships totaling hundreds of thousands of shekels will be awarded to new students in Hebrew literature by a fund in memory of Zvia and Yerachmiel Berlinsky.

To support Hebrew University students through scholarships, click here