Seventy-sixth Board of Governors meeting commences with Convocation, awarding of honorary degrees

Clockwise from top left: Prof. Sidney Altman, Pierre Falcone, Daniel Jacobson, Prof. Mauro Perani, Dr. Leonard Polonsky, Prof. Marina Ratner, Chanita Rodney, George A. Schieren, Prof. Michael Walzer, Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de LeónJune 17, 2013: Former president of Mexico Dr. Ernesto Zedillo, University supporters Daniel Jacobson, Pierre Falcone and Dr. Leonard Polonsky, public intellectual Prof. Michael Walzer, Nobel laureate Prof. Sidney Altman, mathematician Prof. Marina Ratner, Enosh founder Chanita Rodney, Jewish studies scholar Prof. Mauro Perani and American Friends of Hebrew University leader George Schieren were conferred honorary doctor of philosophy degrees at the Convocation ceremony marking the opening of the 76th meeting of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s annual Board of Governors on Sunday 16 June.

Today, Barbra Streisand will be awarded an honorary doctorate in a separate ceremony.

At Sunday's Convocation, the Hebrew University conferred a record 375 doctor of philosophy and doctor of law degrees — the most doctorates awarded since the Hebrew University was established — at the Convocation. This number also represents the largest graduating class in the State of Israel.

This was the second consecutive year in which more women than men received doctoral degrees, and the first year that more women than men received a doctorate in the exact sciences: 120 women compared to 104 men. Outside of the exact sciences, more women than men received doctoral degrees: 85 women compared to 66 men. In total, 205 women and 170 men received doctoral degrees. A total of 224 degrees were awarded in the exact sciences, and 151 in other disciplines.

The Convocation, which took place at the Rothberg Amphitheatre of the Mount Scopus campus, included the awarding of the Solomon Bublick Prize to Prof. Ruth Gavison and the Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education to Aharon Yadlin. Honorary doctorates were awarded to:

  • Prof. Sidney Altman: Nobel laureate in chemistry Sidney Altman molecular biologist and Nobel laureate in chemistry at Yale University, USA
  • Pierre Falcone: international entrepreneur and supporter of brain sciences, Hong Kong
  • Daniel Jacobson: attorney, jurist and longtime Governor and friend of the Hebrew University, Israel
  • Prof. Mauro Perani: Jewish studies scholar and director of the Italian Genizah Project, Italy
  • Dr. Leonard Polonsky: international business leader and educational visionary, UK
  • Prof. Marina Ratner: mathematician in the field of homogeneous dynamics, UC Berkeley, USA
  • Chanita Rodney: founder and member of Enosh, the Israel Mental Health Association, and supporter of medical research, Israel
  • George A. Schieren: attorney and former president and chair of the American Friends of the Hebrew University, USA
  • Prof. Michael Walzer: political theorist, philosopher and public intellectual at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA
  • Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León: former president of Mexico and leading international economist, Mexico.


The legendary actress, singer and philanthropist Barbra Streisand will receive an honorary doctorate in a separate ceremony today (June 17). Also receiving an honorary doctorate, but not attending the events, is influential painter and conceptual artist Moshe Gershuni of Israel.

On June 18, at the Israeli Presidential Conference, the Hebrew University will celebrate the public launch of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) in the presence of President Shimon Peres and Mrs. Lily Safra. A new exhibition at the Presidential Conference, “Tomorrow: State of Mind,” will highlight the role of Israeli scientists in international brain science research, with interactive exhibits featuring scientific breakthroughs from senior Israeli researchers, and the work of young researchers from universities throughout Israel.

The 76th Meeting of the Hebrew University’s Board of Governors is taking place in conjunction with the annual Israeli Presidential Conference, an international event which will celebrate the 90th birthday of the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres.

The Board of Governors meeting commenced on June 13 and ends on June 18, with a festive celebration honoring President Peres and marking the opening of the Presidential Conference, which will continue until June 20.

For full schedule of Board of Governors events, click here

For coverage of the Convocation, click here

Source: Media Relations