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November 6, 2017

YRF and American Friends of Hebrew University Announce Second Rabin Fellow

NEW YORK, November 6, 2017 - The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation and American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) announced the selection of Yair Amitai as the second Rabin Democracy Fellow in the Advanced Graduate Studies Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Department of Political Science. In 2016, the Yitzhak Rabin Foundation established the first graduate-level fellowship in Yitzhak Rabin’s name at the university in order to perpetuate Yitzhak Rabin’s legacy and vision through democracy education.  

Professor Reuven Hazan, Chair of Israeli Democracy and Politics in the Department of Political Science, stated: “It has been nearly 22 years since Rabin was assassinated. His legacy can only continue to thrive if we educate Israel’s youth on democracy. Rabin’s impact on Israel, particularly on the democratic foundation of our country, is indisputable. We are proud to offer a second fellowship in graduate democracy studies to our students in his name.”

The inaugural Rabin Fellow, Ofir Hadad, a Hebrew University graduate mentored by Professor Menachem Hofnung, chairman of the Department of Political Science, previously earned an LLB in Law and served as a captain in the intelligence corps of the IDF. His studies explore multiple aspects of Israel’s immigration policy regarding Palestinian informers in the context of Israel’s security policies and commitment to human rights.

The second Rabin Democracy Fellow, Yair Amitai, served as an officer in the IDF Infantry Corps for five years prior to obtaining a B.A. degree in Political Science and History at Hebrew University. He won the Rector’s Prize for academic excellence. In his second year of the Advanced Graduate Studies Program, Amitai’s research as a Rabin Democracy Fellow examines the challenges of growing political polarization in Israel and other countries.

Jeannie Gerzon, former Executive Director and member of the Governing Board said, “The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation is proud of the Rabin Fellowships program at Hebrew University and is especially pleased with the recipients selected as Fellows. The endowment will enable Hebrew University, Israel’s preeminent institution of higher learning, to perpetuate the legacy of Yitzhak Rabin by supporting students like Ofir and Yair, and other students like them to make important contributions to Israeli society.”

Beth Asnien McCoy, National Executive Director of AFHU, stated: “We are honored to have the support of the Yitzhak Rabin Foundation, which is dedicated to upholding the legacy of a leader whose influence continues to impact Israel’s democracy.  The Rabin Democracy Fellowship awarded to exceptional Hebrew University graduate researchers, creates a tradition of scholarly excellence in the service of Israel’s democracy.”

About the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's leading academic and research institution. Serving 23,000 students from 90 countries, it produces a third of Israel’s civilian research and is ranked 12th worldwide in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development. Faculty and alumni of the Hebrew University have won eight Nobel Prizes, seven of which were awarded since 2000, and a Fields Medal. The Hebrew University has 320 academic agreements with institutions in 57 countries; 78 competitive research grants from the European Research Council (ERC) since 2007; student exchange arrangements with 95 institutions in 35 countries; 90 courses for the study of some 30 languages; 220 postdoctoral researchers from 26 countries; and an annual enrollment of approximately 2,000 overseas students at the Rothberg International School. For more about the Hebrew University, see http://new.huji.ac.il/en.

About American Friends of the Hebrew University

American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) is a national, not-for-profit organization based in the United States. AFHU is headquartered in New York and has seven regional offices working in close partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. AFHU provides supporters, Hebrew University alumni and the general public with stimulating programs and events and organizes missions to Israel. The organization’s fundraising activities support scholarly and scientific achievement at the Hebrew University, create scholarships, new facilities and assist the university’s efforts to recruit outstanding new faculty. For more information, please visit http://www.afhu.org.

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