The Scopus Award is presented to an individual or to an association who have excelled in their respective fields and whose humanitarian endeavors and outstanding commitment contributed to the betterment of the Hebrew University, the State of Israel, the Jewish people and the Humanity.
This year, according to Dr Gabriel Goldman, Chairman of the Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Uruguay, the Board of Governors of the HUJ approved the request from the Uruguayan organisation to grant this award on its behalf. The prize is represented by a shofar inlaid in gold and silver, mounted on a wooden base.
During the presentation, Dr Goldman shared the reasons for deciding to give the first Scopus Award to Prof. Charlotte de Grünberg, referring to the Director General’s career since arriving in the country in 1952, highlighting her role in the creation of the Universidad ORT Uruguay, her participation in the coordination of international projects in underprivileged neighbourhoods of Montevideo and her work as coordinator of World ORT for Latin America.
Then, before an audience of almost a hundred relatives and friends who affectionately accompanied the Director, a video was shown featuring Mr Yossi Gal, Vice President for Development and External Relations of the Hebrew University, who congratulated Prof. Grünberg and emphasized her personal history, her career as an educator and her support for the university.
The Director received the award from Dr Goldman together with the Ambassador of Israel in Uruguay, Galit Ronen and Prof. Edwin Seroussi, winner of the Israel Prize 2018. Prof. Seroussi, who this year received the highest award bestowed annually by the State of Israel, is Professor of Musicology and director of the Jewish Music Research Centre at the HUJ, arrived in Uruguay –his country of birth– especially to represent the University in this tribute.
Moved by what she saw as an "unexpected" distinction, in her acceptance speech (transcription in Spanish and English), the Director General of ORT Uruguay stressed the importance that education has had for the Jewish people and especially the role of the HUJ.
“Since the project was launched, almost unthinkable at the time, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem began to expand its activities that today encompass virtually all areas of human knowledge, and have become a driving force for innovation” highlighted the professor.
She also stressed that 138 years ago, that same fighting spirit permeated among a group of Jewish thinkers in Russia. “This is how ORT was born”, she stated.
“Both the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the ORT project managed to attract the attention of Albert Einstein and other important figures, who accompanied the two initiative from their outset. (...) Our institutions owe a great deal to all these tenacious visionaries and generous figures of science and the Jewish world of the time who supported these two ambitious dreams”, she affirmed.
To conclude her speech, she mentioned her family and her brother Raymond; also giving thanks to Ruperto Long, a personal friend and author of the biographical novel "The Girl who Watched the Trains Depart", along with her “colleague and friend" Dr Adrián Moscovich, Executive Director of ORT Argentina, and President Luis A. Lacalle (1990-1995), Doctor Honoris Causa of the HUJ, also present at the gathering.
“I was greatly moved by this award, but even more so by the atmosphere and the affection of everyone here”, said Prof. Charlotte de Grünberg, who received dozens of congratulations, including that of Mr Avi Ganon, Director General of World ORT.