CNN commentator Jeff Greenfield,
Weizmann president Haim Harari and
board chairman Gershon Kekst

Aya Azrielant and artist
George Chemeche

Dr. Ruth Westheimer and
Scott David Greenberg, president of
Environmental Community Development.

Martha Loewenstein

Debbie and Richard Goldhair of Allied
Office Products.

A Great President Must Raise
Money to Fund His Programs

Story and Photos by TIM BOXER

EFF GREENFIELD was incredulous. “A gala? A celebration? Hey, bombs are falling!”  On the day the U.S. began bombing the Taliban bases in Afghanistan, Greenfield, the CNN political analyst, was at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria to emcee a national gala of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.

“Yes,” Greenfield said. “Weizmann is not only to be supported but to be celebrated.”

He said New York, after the World Trade Center attack, should learn from Israel. People there have been living with terror for many years, but they don’t cower behind closed doors. They go about their normal life.

“If you’ve driven in taxis with Israeli drivers, then you may know the meaning of fear – but they don’t.”

The guest of honor at the dinner was Prof. Haim Harari who was retiring next month after 13 years as president.

Committee chairman Robert Asher praised Harari’s ability as a fund-raiser.

Before the dinner, Harari was in the men’s room where he saw someone he recently met. The man turned to his friend and said, “Meet Prof. Harari. He came to my office and it was a very expensive visit.”

In fact Harari’s fund-raising abilities were noticed two days before at a seminar at Rockefeller University.

Harari related that when he became president, Weizmann was $40 million in the red. Nevertheless, he decided to build a new state-of-the-art semi-conductor research center. It would cost $16 million.

He went to Chicago where a man, who had never been to Weizmann, had left $7 million to the institute. The man was in a coma, and expected to die in 24 hours.

“I never found out why he left us that money,” Harari said. “But that’s how you become a successful fund-raiser.”

During his tenure at the helm of the Weizmann Institute, Harari raised $1 billion.

“He makes me envious,” remarked Dr. Arnold Levine, Rockefeller University president.

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