Ambassador Gabriela Shalev Received : 2010 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), presented the 2010 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize to Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The award was presented at the HUC-JIR/New York Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, April 29 at 4 pm at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York, 10 East 66th Street, New York City.

Rabbi Ellenson said, “Born in British Mandate Palestine, Ambassador Shalev is a member of the founding generation of the modern State of Israel and an eye-witness to its creation.  Now, as Israel’s representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Shalev employs her extraordinary skills to strengthen Israel’s diplomatic relations with the nations of the world and to advocate for Israel’s right to security and peace.”

Ambassador Gabriela Shalev has served as Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations since September 8, 2008. Previously, Professor Shalev served as President of the Academic Council and Rector of Ono Academic College in Israel. Until her early retirement in 2002, she was a full professor of contract law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  She has taught contract law and comparative law in universities across the United States, Europe, and Canada, and is a leading expert in Israel in the fields of contract law and procurement contracts.

Professor Shalev has provided legal advice and has written legal opinions for public institutions, arbitrators, and lawyers, in Israel and around the world. She was the Chief Legal Editor of the Judgments of the Supreme Court of Israel and Legal Editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia. She has been awarded numerous awards for academic legal research, including the Sussman Prize for Law (1989), the Zeltner Prize for Law (1991), and the Israel Bar Association Prize (2003).

Professor Shalev has written nine books and over one hundred articles in Hebrew and in English, mostly on contract law. Her most recent books include "Contract Law – General Port" (published in 2005) and "Contract Law – Remedies for Breach" (published in 2009). Ambassador Shalev's contract law textbook is the standard textbook used in law schools and law offices throughout Israel.

In addition to her academic achievements, Professor Shalev has substantial experience in the public and private sector. Prior to her appointment to the U.N. Mission, she served as Chairperson of the Audit Committees of Bank Hapo’alim and the Israel Electric Company, as well as on the Boards of Ma’ariv; the Hadassah Medical Organization; Fibi Holdings Co.; Koor Industries; Osem Investments; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; and Delek Ltd. Group.

Ruth O. Freedlander, Co-Trustee of the Dr. Bernard Heller Foundation, will present the prize. The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize in Arts, Letters, the Humanities, and Religion is an international award presented to an organization or individual whose work, writing, or research reflects significant contributions in these areas. Previous recipients include Dennis B. Ross, Special Middle East Coordinator in the U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, chief negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords; Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and advocate for Holocaust restitution;  Count Folke Bernadotte, posthumously, for rescuing thousands in the concentration camps during the Holocaust; and Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel, for his exemplary leadership, wise statecraft, and moral leadership for over sixty years.

The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize was established by the Co-Trustees of the Dr. Bernard Heller Foundation to honor Dr. Bernard Heller's memory, life, and belief in the Jewish tradition. Dr. Bernard Heller was ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1949, served on the faculty as Visiting Professor of Jewish Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion at HUC-JIR/New York, was the Director of Restitution of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., the agency charged with the restitution of cultural property seized by the Nazis from European Jewry and Jewish institutions, and served the only liberal Jewish congregation in India, the Progressive Union of Bombay. Dr. Heller pursued his interests in business as one of the founders of the predecessor to the United Brands Corporation and the West Indies Investment Company in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu