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.
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.”
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.
proceeds will go toward the research and scholarship of
Aviv University’s (TAU)
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.
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.
evening included reflections on, and reminiscences of,
Professor Lewis’ remarkable life and career, by each of the
four Dinner Chairs.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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
Stanford University, he is widely respected as one of the
West’s finest Middle East
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.