This year's Summit showcased Rambam’s national strategic role as exclusive provider of Level-1 trauma emergency medicine to Northern Israel.
Pictured r-l are Rambam Award 2012 recipients Joan and Sanford Weill with Prof. Rafi Beyar, Director and CEO, RHCC; Prof. Yehuda Hayuth, Chairman, Israeli Friends of Rambam Medical Center; and Prof. Karl Skorecki, Director of Medical and Research Development, RHCC
The first day began with a reception in Cathedral Hall, one of the lovely, vaulted rooms of the oldest building on campus, a Carmelite monastery built in 1894. Participants then toured the dramatic West Campus building site, where construction of the hospital's five newest medical and research facilities is underway.
Rambam Award 2012 recipient Prof. Richard L. Popp
Day One's crowning event, presentation of the Rambam Award for contributions to medicine and humanity, was held at the Madatech National Museum of Science, Technology & Space. The museum is housed in another of Haifa's historic architectural gems. The cornerstone of the ornate sandstone edifice, first home of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was laid precisely a century ago, in 1912.
Rambam Award 2012 recipient Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
The awards ceremony took place in two of the museum's seven terraced courtyards. Balmy breezes and a full moon radiant as a geode helped make the evening delightful.
This year's Rambam Awardees are Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which has raised and distributed over half a billion dollars for Israel and Jews in need around the world; clinical cardiologist Richard L. Popp, Prof. of Medicine (Emeritus) at Stanford University, who pioneered the development of ultrasound technology to detect heart diseases, and under whose leadership tens of mid-level Israeli clinicians came to Stanford for career-transforming sabbaticals; and philanthropists Sanford and Joan Weill (he is Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup, Inc, and they are known for focused, sustained, and effective giving to education, healthcare, culture and the arts).
Present to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Weill to the audience was Prof. Stanley Fischer, Governor of the Bank of Israel.
In 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation made a commitment of $10 million to support and name the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Department within the Ruth Rappaport Children's Hospital at Rambam, and the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Israeli-Palestinian Friendship Center at Rambam.
The Awards Ceremony is Rambam's way of giving thanks, but all four awardees delivered extraordinarily gracious speeches making clear that the gratitude flows both ways. "I feel privileged, humbled, honored," Rabbi Eckstein said, a huge grin playing across his boyish face. Prof. Popp said, "I'm humbled by [Rambam's] outpouring of affection." Mrs. Weill, her voice musical with emotion, told her listeners, "I feel like my grandparents and my parents are here with me tonight." Said Mr. Weill, "I feel incredibly fortunate to be associated with Rambam, which does so much for so many people," adding, "Rambam shows that people from different walks of life and backgrounds can get along together."