Francis Minkoff: Patron of Legal Studies

Swiss TAU Governor and Honorary Doctor's instrumental role in strenghthening the Buchmann Faculty of Law
27 November 2012
Francis Minkoff
TAU Governor and Honorary Doctor, Francis C. Minkoff

Carrying on a tradition of giving to Israel and TAU established by his late father, André, Francis Minkoff and his wife, Marie-France, have been instrumental in realizing some of the most important projects at TAU's Buchmann Faculty of Law: the W. A. Minkoff Building, established in memory of his father, which houses the faculty's law library and academic staff offices and the Francis and Marie-France Minkoff Wing, which provides a home for the faculty's cutting-edge legal scholarship. The family has also provided continuous support for the law library including providing advanced computers and has supported scholarships for students at the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Legal Studies.


The wing's spacious, elegantly designed and well-equipped premises create an optimal environment for the Faculty's main mission of cultivating future generations of legal leaders and experts for Israeli society and academia. "We enrich the curriculum. "We offer a range of unique programs for advanced students who wish to study law at an international level and we enrich our curriculum, both by bringing some of the world's best legal minds to teach at the center, and by sending research students to the world's top institutions, such as Harvard and Yale law schools," said former Faculty Dean and Israeli Supreme Court Justice Prof. Daphne Barak-Erez.   


Francis Minkoff was born in Switzerland in 1944 into a family of Zionists: his great-grandfather left Russia for Eretz Israel in 1890 and Minkoff's father, André, was born in Jaffa. The family was among the founders of Rehovot and owned orchards there. The family moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where André made a career in real estate. He strongly believed, however, that it was his task to help Israel and he passed this tradition on to his children.  


A businessman, real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist, as well as an engaged and influential leader in the Geneva Jewish community, Francis visits Israel regularly and has become personally involved in the institutions and projects he supports.


Francis said that his father taught him that "education, access to knowledge and research in science and technology are an essential guarantee for the progress, prosperity and spiritual standing of Israel." He and his wife were committed to passing on this family tradition to their own children, he said.


Francis chose to support the law faculty as a way of paying posthumous tribute to his second mentor and wife Marie-Claire's father, Prof. Jean Graven, a famous criminal lawyer, Judge of the Supreme Court of Switzerland and Rector of the University of Geneva, who was an initiator of the establishment of the International Criminal Court.


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