AFHU LEAD Newsletter Welcome

Welcome to the first addition of the AFHU LEAD Newsletter. We hope that these newsletters will give you a glimpse into the world of AFHU and the Hebrew University, and help to keep us connected across the country.

In my (almost) ten years here at AFHU, I have witnessed an explosion of knowledge and research at the Hebrew University. I have met with, learned from, and watched with great awe the amazing professors and researchers who are changing the way in which we view the world. I have had the great pleasure of working with lay leaders whose passion, energy, and philanthropy are making a global impact. And I have worked alongside wonderful colleagues whose dedication and creativity have helped to move us all forward. In all of this, one of the most important and critical factors is the personal connection. When a professor comes into town for a series of meetings, you can often find me driving the professor from a meeting in Miami to a lunch in Palm Beach to a dinner in Boca Raton. That “car time” has become very sacred to me. I have the opportunity to learn about a professor’s research, their needs and priorities, the students in their labs, but also about their families, their dreams, and their hopes for Israel. I have formed wonderful connections and even special friendships with professors over the last ten years, and I take such pride when these professors make a breakthrough, win a prestigious grant, or mentor a young student onto their next opportunity. On the same token, I have developed wonderful working relationships with our AFHU leaders. Whether partnering together on an event, exploring how to connect one’s interest to a philanthropic goal, or introducing a leader to a professor who can help make their dreams a reality, these are the connections that drive our organization and our university forward.

And it is these connections that have sustained and propelled AFHU during these challenging times. Despite a global pandemic, a national lockdown, and an economic downturn, our AFHU family has supported HU with an astounding $8.5 million in new gifts. These funds will support the 60 ongoing research teams working on covid, including the establishment of the National Biosafety Level 3 lab. These meaningful gifts are the result of relationships developed over the years with our professional team, with HU researchers and leadership, and with a firm love for the Hebrew University.

Many of you witnessed these relationships and connections during our first meeting in Palm Beach. Whether listening to Ruth Lorisso’s inspiring story, having lunch with Barak Ben-Eliezer, or getting the inside scoop from HU Chairman, Dan Schlessinger, these bonds are just the beginning of your connection to HU. And even more so, your connections with each other will be the future of our organization. I feel very lucky to play a small part in this role, and I thank you for placing your trust in us and for giving of your time, your leadership, and yourselves. We look forward to continuing our LEAD journey together, to creating deeper connections, and to building a strong and dynamic future for AFHU and the Hebrew University.

With great appreciation,

Laura Abrams

Leadership Development Director

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