2012 Gala Raises Awareness and Support for The Open University of Israel

Gala Chair Mimi Hass-Perlman, left, and Open University Foundation President Ingeborg Rennert.

Gala Chair Mimi Hass-Perlman, left, and Open University Foundation President Ingeborg Rennert.

December 11, 2012 – The 2012 Open University Foundation Gala Celebration at The Pierre Hotel on Monday, December 10 set new records for attendance and support for the Open University of Israel.  Nearly 300 guests enjoyed the festive evening, which featured a cocktail reception and dinner and dessert buffets.

“We’re delighted that so many of our friends and supporters joined us to celebrate the extraordinary progress and vital importance of the Open University in Israeli

society,” said Mrs. Ingeborg Rennert, President of the Open University Foundation.  “We were proud to recognize outstanding individuals who have made important

contributions to education in the State of Israel and Jewish life here in the U.S.”

Honored at the Gala were:

  • Senator Joseph Lieberman and Hadassah Lieberman, who received the Yigal Allon Award – Senator Lieberman, completing his fourth term in the U.S. Senate, and his wife, Hadassah, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, have addressed America’s most pressing issues – education, the environment, national security and equal opportunity for all – during their distinguished careers in public service.
  • Galia Maor, presented with the Max Rowe Award – A member of the Open University Council for 24 years, Ms. Maor is one of Israel’s most prominent banking and financial leaders.  She was President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank Leumi Group from 1995 to 2012, guiding the bank through the recent financial crsis to re-emerge as the largest bank in the State of Israel.
  • Alberto Sutton, winner of the Young Leadership Award – Mr. Sutton, a Founder and Principal at Middlegate Securities, is a leader in the Sephardic Community in New York City.
2012 Gala Honorees -- from left, Senator Joseph Lieberman and Hadassah Lieberman, Galia Maor and Alberto Sutton.

2012 Gala Honorees — from left, Senator Joseph Lieberman and Hadassah Lieberman, Galia Maor and Alberto Sutton.

Professor Hagit Messer-Yaron, President of the Open University of Israel, extended greetings and provided a brief overview of the Open University’s new programs.  Gillat Kol, an Open University graduate and now a doctoral candidate at the Weizmann Institute, spoke about how scholarships to Open University funded by American donors transformed her life.

“I thank our wonderful Gala Committee and all our honorees, friends and supporters for helping us exceed our goals,” said Gala Chair Mrs. Mimi Hass – Perlman.  “The funds raised will help Open University achieve its mission of extending access to higher education to all segments Israel’s population.”

Professor Hagit Messer-Yaron, President of the Open University of Israel, with OUI graduate Gillat Kol.

Professor Hagit Messer-Yaron, President of the Open University of Israel, with OUI graduate Gillat Kol.