Bernard-Henri Levy among ten to receive honorary doctorates from Hebrew University
French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy delivers his acceptance speech at the Hebrew University (Photo: Rebecca Zeffert)
French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy, was one of ten distinguished figures to receive an honorary doctorate today from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as part of the 71st meeting of the university's Board of Governors on Sunday June 1 2008.
In his acceptance speech, Lévy called the Hebrew University a symbol of a miracle, describing it as the place where the Hebrew language took shape and where it saw its resurrection. He also said that the university is the place where Israel and the Diaspora are reconciled through universal values.
However, Hebrew University President Prof. Menachem Magidor opened the ceremony by referring to the government's cuts in the higher education budget, saying, ''We have to ask ourselves whether the spirit of the people who laid the university's cornerstone stone - which represented a commitment to long-term investment in study and research - is fading.''
This year's other honorary doctorate recipients were international human rights lawyer Catharine MacKinnon, Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, American scientist Prof. Charles J. Arntzen, Israeli artist Michal Rovner, American scientist, Prof. Harry L. Swinney American philanthropist Heidi Rothberg, British pioneer of education Fred Worms OBE , German historian Prof. Werner Eck, and Australian business leader Harry Triguboff.
During the Convocation, tribute was also paid to the late US congressman Tom Lantos, who was conferred an honorary doctorate posthumously in February of this year.