Oh What a Night!

Professor Feuerstein celebrates 90 in style!

 

April 17, 2012, was a night to remember, as friends, family and admirers of Professor Reuven Feuerstein gathered at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem to celebrate the Professor's 90th birthday. It was an exciting and unforgettable evening, filled with emotional moments and inspiring and moving speeches given by friends and supporters of the Professor. The evening also served as the kick-off of the campaign for the establishment of the Feuerstein Institute International Campus.

 

The evening, sponsored by Feuerstein Heritage Foundation chairman, Claude Bassou, and by Mrs. Zehava Adiri, began with the very first meeting of the Feuerstein Institute's International Board of Governors. The Board consists of an illustrious group of academic and public figures, and is the main body to advance the activities of the Feuerstein Institute.

 

Immediately following, guests gathered for cocktails, where many old friends of the Feuerstein Institute from all over the world mingled, reacquainted, shared a few quick words and well wishes with the Professor and signed the beautiful Campus Charter designed by artist Ya'akov Boussidan.

 

The Professor was honored and toasted by many notable guests; among them Claude Bassou, Sheikh Jabari of Hebron and Rabbi I.M. Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. Chief Rabbi Lau recalled for the audience a conversation he had with Teddy Kollek, former mayor of Jerusalem, twenty years prior at the Institute's inauguration. Chief Rabbi Lau had said; "Reuven is seventy years old, why is he starting all these new projects?" To which Teddy Kollek answered; "You will see - not only is Reuven going to start these projects, he will accomplish them and start new ones as well." Sure enough, Professor Feuerstein has, and Chief Rabbi Lau finished his speech by saying; "Today, Reuven (acts and thinks) younger than me. He has many more dreams. He is going to accomplish them."

 

Nir Barkat, mayor of Jerusalem, rounded out the roster of speakers. He addressed those assembled not only as a mayor and a friend of the Feuerstein family, but as a parent. He discussed how strongly he believes in the Feuerstein method, and how important the goal of integration is. He stated that his connection to the Feuerstein Institute has strongly influenced the way he views learning and education policies.

 

At the conclusion of the speeches, Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein called up the Institute's leadership, and had each of them hand Professor Feuerstein a rose, symbolizing that they stand strong together. This was followed by musical performances by noted Israeli performer Shuli Rand, Professor Feuerstein's nephew, and musician Boaz Sharabi.

 

The evening concluded with all of the Professor's grandchildren performing a play for their grandfather. Elchanan, the Professor's 22 year old grandson who has Down Syndrome, had forgotten his script and improvised his line, closing with, "Saba (Grandfather), for all these years you took care of me. Now, I will take care of you."

 

The evening was truly a fitting celebration of the man through the recognition and appreciation of his life's work.

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