Hebrew University of Jerusalem awards honorary doctorates to two prominent Canadians: Rick Hansen and Janice Gross Stein

The work of celebrated spinal cord injury activist and leading political scientist illustrates the benefits of strong Canada-Israel relations

TORONTO, June 12, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (CFHU) today announced that Mr. Rick Hansen and Prof. Janice Gross Stein were awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at a ceremony held in Jerusalem on June 10. Mr. Hansen was chosen to deliver the convocation address to 2012 PhD graduates at the opening session of the 75th meeting of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Board of Governors.

Last year, Rick Hansen signed an agreement with the Institute for Medical Research Israel Canada (IMRIC) of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to further advance research into spinal cord injury (SCI). Specifically, this agreement broadens the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry, an international database used to collect and analyse information related to SCI and subsequent clinical treatments.

"I am very proud to have received an Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew University of Jerusalem," says Rick Hansen. "For the last 25 years, I have dedicated my life to finding a cure for SCI. This work has given me the opportunity to meet inspiring and passionate people from all over the world, including many research scientists and medical professionals. The IMRIC team at Hebrew University are world-class. I have consistently been impressed by their vision of bringing together the best minds in research science, across disciplines, across borders and irrespective of race or religion. As a Canadian, I am proud of the relationships that we have built with Israeli institutions and the personal friendships I now enjoy with many Israelis. I am particularly proud of the academic and research ties that unite our two countries. I would strongly urge any Canadian organization pursuing scientific research to reach out to IMRIC in order to investigate collaborative potential," adds Mr. Hansen.

As a scholar specializing in conflict resolution, Janice Gross Stein has forged strong ties between the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Toronto. Prof. Gross Stein's work has directly contributed to Canadians' understanding of politics and life in the Middle East.

"As an academic, I have devoted more than 40 years to the study of politics in the Middle East," continues Janice Gross Stein. "During that time, my work has permitted me to travel extensively throughout the region. I began working with scholars at Hebrew University many years ago. Over time, I have developed collaborative partnerships and personal friendships with members of the faculty. I have been impressed by the intellect, commitment and vision of these scholars seeking innovative solutions to enduring conflict. My research has focused on the psychological underpinnings of decision making and I have worked closely with scholars in Israel to deepen our knowledge and to inform public policy. As a Canadian, it is my hope that our research can help shape policy at home and especially in the Middle East, where conflict is entrenched," notes Prof. Gross Stein.

"The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is proud to recognize two very distinguished Canadians," says Menahem Ben-Sasson, President, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Rick and Janice come from very different worlds. But, both have pursued their life's work with great perseverance and conviction. And, we at Hebrew University have had the good fortune and the honour of getting to know each of them. In the spirit of acknowledging individual accomplishment and advancing Israel-Canada relations, we are delighted to welcome Rick Hansen and Janice Gross Stein as Honorary PhDs of our university", concludes Prof. Ben-Sasson.

About The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, founded in 1918, is Israel's first university. The university's founders, including: Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, Martin Buber and Sigmund Freud, were leaders, thinkers and humanitarians whose genius inspired their vision of a great university that would have no limits or borders. The founding charter declared that the institution would be open to every qualified man and woman irrespective of religion, race or nationality. Ranked as one of the world's leading research universities, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's faculty and researchers are at the forefront of the international scientific and academic communities. Many top prizes and awards have been won by its graduates and faculty including eight Nobel Prizes. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is a pluralistic institution where science and knowledge are advanced for the benefit of humankind in an atmosphere free of discrimination and prejudice. For more information, please visit: www.huji.ac.il/huji/eng/.

About the Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Canadian philanthropist Allan Bronfman founded the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (CFHU) in 1944 to promote awareness, leadership and financial support for The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A national not-for-profit organization with chapters across Canada, CFHU facilitates strategic academic research partnerships between Canada and Israel as well as establishing scholarships, supporting research and recruiting Canadian students to attend the Rothberg International School. Another key CFHU initiative is the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) at Hebrew University (www.imric.org). For more information, please visit: www.cfhu.org.

About Rick Hansen

In 1973, at the age of 15, Rick Hansen was involved in an accident that paralyzed him from the waist down. Rick went on to become one of Canada's most decorated Paralympic athletes. In 1985, Rick Hansen set off on the 'Man in Motion World Tour': to wheel 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries to prove the potential of people with disabilities. Afterwards, he established the Rick Hansen Foundation to find a cure for spinal cord injuries and create more accessible communities. Since 1988, the Foundation has leveraged the $26 million raised during the Tour into $252 million in investments. For more information, please visit www.rickhansen.com.

About Janice Gross Stein

Janice Gross Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science and the founding Director of the Munk School for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She holds degrees from McGill (BA and PhD) and Yale (MA). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was the Massey Lecturer in 2001 and a Trudeau Fellow, and was awarded the Molson Prize by the Canada Council for an outstanding contribution by a social scientist to public debate. Janice Gross Stein is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. She was Visiting Professor in the Department of International Relations and a holder of the Bullock Chair at the Hebrew University. She has published more than a hundred books and articles in strategic studies and the Middle East.  Her most recent book is Diplomacy in the Digital Age.

Note to editors: High resolution photographs of Mr. Hansen and Prof. Gross Stein receiving their Honorary Doctorates are available upon request. Please contact: Mark Lowe, Seefeld Group, mark.lowe@pragcom.com, (514) 576-2519. 

SOURCE Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Seefeld Group
E-mail: mark.lowe@pragcom.com
Mobile: (514) 576-2519

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