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Celebrity Philanthropy News 2  3

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Black Tie International:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University Gala Dinner

Bernard Lewis

Professor Bernard Lewis

Henry Kissinger

The Hon. Henry Kissinger

Mort Zuckerman

Mort Zuckerman

Professor Bernard Lewis and The Hon. Henry Kissinger

Professor Bernard Lewis and The Hon. Henry Kissinger

The Hon. Henry Kissinger and Jon Gurkoff, Chairman, American Friends of Tel Aviv University

The Hon. Henry Kissinger and Jon Gurkoff, Chairman, American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Professor Fouad Ajami and  former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich

Professor Fouad Ajami and  former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich

Professor Uzi Rabi, Professor Bernard Lewis,  former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich  and Eyal Zisser

Nancy Kissinger

Nancy Kissinger

Jon Gurkoff and Gail White

Jon Gurkoff and Gail White

 Joyce Brooks

 Joyce Brooks


American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Gala Dinner

Celebrates the Career of Historian Bernard Lewis

High Profile Fundraiser Featured the Hon. Henry Kissinger; Mort Zuckerman; Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich; and Harvey Krueger – and a Special Tribute by Professor
 Fouad Ajami

Photos by:  Joyce Brooks


NEW YORK – September 12, 2012 — American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) today celebrated the life and work of world-renowned Middle East scholar and author Bernard Lewis at the Pierre Hotel in New York in honor of the recent publication of his memoir, Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian.  

Dinner Chairs, who were in attendance, included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich, and Barclays Vice Chairman and Tel Aviv University International Board of Governors Chairman Harvey M. Krueger. MacArthur Fellowship winner and Middle East scholar Professor Fouad Ajami also paid a special tribute to Professor Lewis at the event. 

“American Friends of Tel Aviv University is honored to recognize the remarkable achievements of Bernard Lewis,” said Gail Reiss, President & CEO of AFTAU. “Professor Lewis has been a great friend to Tel Aviv University and we’re excited that this evening has brought together such an accomplished and sophisticated group in his honor.” 

Professor Lewis, the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, is widely esteemed as one of the West’s foremost scholars of the Middle East. He is widely regarded — as he continues a prolific sixty year career at age 96 — as the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East

Dinner proceeds will go toward the research and scholarship of Tel Aviv University’s (TAU) Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, an internationally top-ranked think tank with which Professor Lewis has long been associated. Earlier this year, Professor Lewis donated his extensive 18,000 volume library and archive to TAU.

His expertise and counsel have been frequently sought by policymakers at the highest level, including many in the administration of President George W. Bush. The author of 34 influential books, Professor Lewis’ memoirs, Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian, was published in May 2012, to widespread critical acclaim.

The evening included reflections on, and reminiscences of, Professor Lewis’ remarkable life and career, by each of the four Dinner Chairs.

Henry Kissinger is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and served as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Dr. Kissinger is the founder and chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm.

“For decades, Bernard Lewis has been widely considered the most eminent and influential scholar exploring the complex issues of the Middle East. He has inspired a generation of policy-makers, historians and others concerned with this vital region, including myself,” said Dr. Kissinger.

Mort Zuckerman has been the publisher and owner of the New York Daily News since 1993 and has served as editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report since 2007. He co-founded Boston Properties, Inc., in 1970 and serves as the chairman of the board and director.

“Quite simply, Bernard Lewis has been the most insightful and wise analyst and the greatest academic on the subject of the broader Middle East,” said Mr. Zuckerman. “The American people literally have to be grateful to him for the contributions he has made to our understanding of that region on both the academic and the government levels.”

Harvey M. Krueger is a figure of great renown in the investment banking and financial services community who credited with almost single-handedly opening the international capital markets to Israeli governmental and corporate securities. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of Barclays Capital. Mr. Krueger was elected Chairman of TAU’s International Board of Governors in 2010.

Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich served as the Israeli Ambassador to the United States from 1993 to 1996. He is a former president of Tel Aviv University and is currently president of the newly established Israel Institute, a Distinguished Global Professor at New York University, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

“I was honored and delighted by the opportunity to pay tribute to my friend and mentor Professor Bernard Lewis by serving as co-chair of this dinner,” said Ambassador Rabinovich. “During the past forty years, Professor Lewis has been a regular visitor to Tel Aviv University where faculty, students, and the audiences attending his annual public lectures were enriched by his unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the Middle East and the world of Islam.”

The evening was keynoted by a special tribute to Professor Lewis delivered by Professor Fouad Ajami, a former student of Professor Lewis, who considers the professor a mentor, colleague, and friend. Professor Ajami is a highly sought-after media commentator on Middle Eastern issues, frequently appearing on PBS, CNN and CBS.  A senior fellow at Stanford University, he is widely respected as one of the West’s finest Middle East scholars.

"AFTAU honored a towering historian tonight who is revered as a champion of liberty and reason.  Bernard Lewis is a great scholar who has so well mastered the past that he has been able to tell of storms yet to come, and who has served as a guide with a powerful searchlight with respect to America’s role in the Middle East over the past thirty years,” said Professor Ajami.  “I first met Professor Lewis nearly four decades ago when I was a young, obscure scholar. He was an idol of mine then, and he remains so today. A man of kindness fused with incomparable achievement, we don't produce his likes nowadays. I look forward to paying tribute to him on this special occasion.”  


About American Friends of Tel Aviv University ( AFTAU supports Israel’s leading, most comprehensive, and most sought-after center of higher learning. Independently ranked 94th among the world’s top universities for the impact of its research, TAU’s innovations and discoveries are cited more often by the global scientific community than all but 10 other universities. Internationally recognized for the scope and groundbreaking nature of its research and scholarship, Tel Aviv University consistently produces work with profound implications for the future.

joyce brooks

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