AFHU provides supporters, Hebrew University alumni and the general public with stimulating programs, events and missions to Israel. These events help support scholarly and scientific achievement at HU, create scholarships and new facilities, and assist the university’s efforts to recruit outstanding new faculty.

A description of AFHU’s leadership recognition awards is located at the bottom of this page.  Click on the thumbnails to view photos from each event.

AFHU Recognition Awards

NATIONAL SCOPUS AWARD

The National Scopus Award is the highest honor the American Friends can confer.  Named for MountScopus, where The Hebrew University’s first cornerstones were laid in 1918, the Award has come to symbolize the University’s highest ideals.  It is awarded to individuals who demonstrate humanitarian concerns throughout their careers.  The Award, originally designed as a representation of MountScopus, now calls to mind the MountScopus campus of the HebrewUniversity, which sits like a crown atop Jerusalem – a fitting site for “The University of the Jewish People.”

Some recipients of the award include Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Elie Wiesel, Itzhak Perlman, Peter Ueberroth, Harvey M. Krueger, Stanley M. Bogen, Gerald Ford, Nancy Reagan, Frank Lautenberg, Edward Kennedy, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Milton Friedman, Neil Simon, Barbara Walters, Zubin Mehta, Frank Sinatra, Steven Spielberg, Carl Levin, Saul Bellow, Benjamin Netanyahu, George Schultz, Joseph Antonini, Alex Grass, Quincy Jones, Henry A. Panasci, Jr., Billy Crystal, Tom Ridge, Jack Rudin.


TORCH OF LEARNING AWARD

This award is conferred as a mark of recognition of leading men and women in business and the professions who have influenced the course of higher learning in the United States and Israel.  The award itself was originally a bronze statuette of a boy holding the torch that

Is the symbol of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and it was signed by the noted artist, Chaim Gross, who designed the award.  In 1992 a new award was designed – a large crystal torch sitting atop an inscribed square base. 

Some recipients of the award include Max Kampelman, John Lindsay, Nelson Rockefeller, Frank Church and Ronald Reagan.

In conjunction with an annual fundraising event, regions have been encouraged to establish annual Torch of Learning Awards for lawyers, with the award named for a prominent lawyer in the region, preferably someone associated with Hebrew University/AFHU as has been done in New York with the annual George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award, established in 1971, and the Harvey L. Silbert Torch of Learning Award, established in 2002 in Los Angeles.  The Midwest region has Torch of Learning fundraising events but is as yet unnamed.  A Humanitarian Torch of Learning Award was given to Fran Drescher in LA in 2003.


JUDAH L. MAGNES AWARD

This high award originally known as the Judah L. Magnes Gold Medal is named in honor of Rabbi Judah L. Magnes who was one of the original founders and the first President of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  The award is conferred upon individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to education and cultural life in the United States and Israel.  Inscribed on the award is the now famous personal credo of Judah Magnes, which become the credo of The Hebrew University as well: “Seek truth without fear.”

Two recipients of the award were Hubert H. Humphrey and Alan Cranston. 


MAIMONIDES AWARD

This award established in 2005 is conferred by AFHU and the LautenbergResearchCenter to honor philanthropic commitment to pioneering medical research conducted at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Maimonides Award recipients are distinguished by their humanitarianism, communal leadership and work in support of research breakthroughs that will benefit mankind.

This elite honor has been named in memory of Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), the legendary physician and philosopher whose insight has dominated Jewish thought for eight centuries, and whose wisdom has been studied throughout the generations.  Maimonides’ prayer, which is second only to the Hippocratic Oath in its influence on medical ethics, states: 

“Thou hast endowed man with the wisdom to relieve the suffering of his brother, to recognize his disorders, to extract the healing substances, to discover their powers and to prepare and to apply them to suit every ill.”


EINSTEIN AWARD

American Friends of The Hebrew University’s Einstein Award pays tribute to the singular contributions of leaders and intellects who have made a profound, far-reaching impact on the course of modern science and technology and whose philanthropic activities improve the lives of people throughout the world.

Established by AFHU in 2008 and first awarded to Bill Gates, the award honors the multifaceted legacy created by Albert Einstein, one of the world’s most brilliant minds. A pioneering physicist and founder of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Albert Einstein, throughout his life, supported the causes of human rights and intellectual freedom. His scientific and humanitarian influence has extended far beyond his lifetime, and his achievements continue to affect humanity in positive ways.


LEADERS OF DISTINCTION AWARD

This honor is awarded to leaders and humanitarians who have made an impact in their local communities and on behalf of the State of Israel. 

Established by AFHU and first conferred by its Southeast Region, Leaders of Distinction Award recipients exemplify the ideals of commitment and achievement.  Their dedication and enduring efforts have enhanced Jewish life, fostered Jewish continuity, helped to assure Israel’s strength and stature, and benefited humanity in lasting ways.

As well as Leaders of Distinction Awards, which may be awarded to men or to women, AFHU likewise offers a Women of Distinction Award.   


WOMEN OF DISTINCTION AWARD

This honor is awarded to deserving women who are recognized leaders and humanitarians, and have made an impact in their local communities and on behalf of the State of Israel. 

Established by AFAHU and first conferred by its Southeast Region, Women of Distinction Award recipients exemplify the ideals of commitment and achievement.  Their dedication and enduring efforts have enhanced Jewish life, fostered Jewish continuity, helped to assure Israel’s strength and stature, and benefited humanity in lasting ways. 


THE TRUMAN PEACE PRIZE

The Truman Peace Prize was established by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to highlight the commitment of The Hebrew University to the cause of world peace and the importance of this vision to Jerusalem and to the Jewish people as a whole.  Awarded only to outstanding leaders and activists who have supported peace efforts, the Truman Peace Prize has been conferred upon:

Simone Veil(1991) – member and former President of the European Parliament for her work to foster peace in Europe

Johan Jorgen Holst (1994 – posthumously) – Norwegian Foreign Minister for his role in the Oslo Accords

George Mitchell (1999) – former Senator for his role in attaining peace between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland

Richard Holbrooke (2001) – former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations  for his work as chief negotiator for the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia  

Colin L. Powell (2006) – former U.S. Secretary of State for his efforts to conduct the “war against terrorism” through diplomatic as well as military means, and to avert regional and civil conflicts in many parts of the world

Dennis Ross (2008) – former US Ambassador and Middle East peace negotiator for his contribution to human rights throughout the world

Sir James D. Wolfensohn (2011) – former President of the World Bank Group in recognition of his contribution to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians; in appreciation of his exceptional insight and leadership with regards to the diplomatic process; and in tribute to his concern for the well being of Israel and the Palestinian people.

George P. Shultz (2013) – former US Secretary of State and the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford distinguished Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, for leadership, public service, and efforts to advance co-existence in the Middle East and other parts of the world