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June 06, 2013 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-06-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Detroit Tradition

Founders' children and grandchildren
plan to fund Bar-Ilan medical library.

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Weep
Warbor-
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I

Don Cohen

Contributing Writer

I

t is not their businesses we are
remembering, but their charity
and contributions:' said busi-
nessman and philanthropist Irving
Nusbaum to a May gathering of the
children and grandchildren of many
of the Detroit pioneers who were key
to the founding of Israel's Bar-Ilan
University (BIU).
Now Israel's largest
university, with more
than 33,000 students
on five campuses,
BIU was still just a
4 dream when many
of those pioneers
met for the first-ever
Irving
fundraising event
Nusbaum
in June 1951 in the
lower level of Abe
and Laura Nusbaum's home on Outer
Drive in Detroit.
"They spoke with accents, never
went to college, and many never grad-
uated high school, but they founded a
university:' Nusbaum said, describing
his parents and their contemporaries,
while many of the 60 people gathered
nodded in recognition.
Under the leadership of Philip
Stollman, who would head the
International Committee for Bar-Ilan,
Detroiters provided the majority of
the initial funding for the university.
Walking through the sprawling Ramat
Gan main campus today, a Detroiter
can't help but be proud to see the
Stollman Administration Building,
the Nusbaum Auditorium, the Kanat
Psychology Building, Hechtman
Heroes Road, Borman Plaza, the
Grosberg Education Building, the
Stollman and Muskovitz/Pershin dor-
mitories, the Fetter Research Complex
and the Zlotoff Gardens. A review
of endowed funds shows countless
Detroiters among those supporting

faculty and students.
Dr. Moshe Bar, one of the world's
leading researchers in cognitive neuro-
science, spoke of his decision to leave
Harvard University and Massachusetts
General Hospital to return to Israel
after 17 years in the U.S. He now
directs BIU's Gonda Multidisciplinary
Brain Research Center.
Bar-Ilan has made a dedicated effort
to offset Israel's brain drain by bring-
ing top scientists back to Israel.
"I had many offers from Israel," he
said, "but Bar-Ilan was different. It
is a world-class center, and I thought
I would enjoy it because it is a great
challenge and a great opportunity, and
I felt I could contribute"
While speaking highly of the large
American institutions where he
worked, he noted that "BIU is small
and agile and can do a lot of things,
but it's mostly about the people, and I
am surrounded by great people"
In October 2011, BIU opened Israel's
first new medical school in 40 years
in Safed to help meet Israel's critical
doctor shortage and provide medical
services to the underserved and dispro-
portionately poor Jewish and Arab resi-
dents of the Galilee. The school admits
70 students each year and will soon
have 280 students studying year-round.
"The medical excellence in the
center [of the country] will soon be
available in the North:' said Dr. Merav
Galili, director of Global Resource
Development, who came from Israel to
attend the gathering.
One thing missing on the new cam-
pus is a medical library, though not for
long. Gary Ran, a grandson of Philip
Stollman, who hosted the meeting at
his home, said he and other Detroiters
would raise the money needed to
equip a state-of-the-art library.
For campaign details, contact
Les Goldstein, Midwest director of
the American Friends of Bar-Ilan
University, at (248) 540-9800.



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June 6 • 2013

19

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