BOG 2016: Yoran-Sznycer Scholarships Awarded
The annual Scholarship Awarding Ceremony of the Yoran-Sznycer Research Fund in Jewish History marking the trailblazing work of students of Jewish and Holocaust history was held at the Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies.
The ceremony recognizes annual scholarships founded by TAU Governor Varda Yoran and the late AFTAU Honorary Director Shalom Yoran. The event was attended by Chair of the Jewish Studies School Prof. Tamar Sovran, Yad Vashem Chief Historian and Head of TAU's Kantor Center for Contemporary European Jewry Prof. Dina Porat, TAU Vice President Raanan Rein and other key faculty members, alumni and students.
This year’s scholarships were awarded to graduate students Anat Shmoni and Dor Sa'ar and researchers Prof. David Asaf, Prof. Yoram Erder, Dr. Rachel Stepak and Dr. Tal Kogman.
“What my grandparents have done is impressive. I really look up to them,” said Kori Yoran, the Yorans’ grandson, just before the ceremony. “They are a great model of how to give back, and how to provide other people with the chance to succeed.”
Opening the ceremony, Prof. Sovran pointed to a poster of select books and publications on Jewish History produced by Yoran-Sznycer scholars, saying, “This simply would not have been possible without the generosity of the Yoran family.
“Shalom Yoran was an emblem of Holocaust and rebirth,” Prof. Sovran said. “He was just 14 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and fought as a partisan in an all-Jewish unit in the forests of Belarus. He came to British Mandate Palestine in 1946, became a pilot in the Air Force and was instrumental in building Israel’s aviation industry from the ground up. We cherish the memory of Shalom, our dear friend.”
Prof. Porat, who sits on the committee that selects award recipients, offered a few personal words. Turning to Mrs. Yoran, she said, “We have known each other for 30 years. This is the time to thank you, as a family. Every time you have visited Israel over the years, we would go out to dinner, and Shalom would offer his deep thoughts. He had great insight and intuition into the status of those who fought as partisans in WWII. There is still so much to be learned about Jewish solidarity, about an entire culture and society that disappeared. This award is vital for maintaining scholarship on a subject that requires great balance.”
The event’s keynote address by scholarship recipient Anat Shimoni, “Boys and Girls of Auschwitz,” delved into the harsh reality and the specific hardships experienced by young people aged 12-18 in the Nazi death camp.
Varda Yoran said, “Among all the people I see here today, I see the faces of the people, the partisans, the close friends we’ve lost,” she said. “They will always stay with me. The Nazis thought that by erasing names, putting numbers on arms, they would erase identities – they did not. They thought by shoving them into hell on earth, they would deprive them of their humanity – they did not. It is so important, so crucial, to continue writing and researching.”
Dr. Tal Kosman thanked Mrs. Yoran on behalf of the scholarship recipients, saying, “Thank you for supporting and encouraging study of the Holocaust and the rich Jewish world that existed prior to it. We are beyond grateful.”
From left: Kori Yoran, the Yorans' grandson and scholarship recipient Anat Shmoni
All photos by Israel Hadari.