Landmark Smolarz Auditorium Celebrates 10 Years
An all-Beethoven concert was held to mark 10 years of the Miriam and Adolfo Smolarz Auditorium, Tel Aviv University’s largest and principal cultural venue. The event, which was the musical highlight of the 2013 Board of Governors meeting, was held in honor of three generations of the Smolarz family, who have worked tirelessly since 1980 to promote TAU in their home community of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and throughout Latin America.
The concert was performed by Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Oratorio Choir and the Swiss Friends Choir, with a guest appearance by the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir. Prof. Ze’ev Dorman, Head of TAU’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music and formerly of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, was conductor.
The Miriam and Adolfo Smolarz Auditorium has a central role in the intellectual and spiritual life of Tel Aviv University, the City of Tel Aviv-Yafo and Israel. It has won renown as a beautiful and prestigious venue for academic, artistic and public events that have featured leading figures from around the world including Nobel Prize laureates, statesmen and politicians, business leaders and scientists, world-class musicians, actors and authors.
Welcoming statesmen and scientists
In his opening greetings, Chairman of the Board of Governors Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel said, “Tonight we are recognizing the contribution of this magnificent hall to enhancing the standing of Tel Aviv University as a world-class center of learning and achievement.” He praised Adolfo Smolarz as a “pillar of his community in Argentina and an ardent Zionist and friend of the State of Israel, who has committed himself to perpetuating Jewish culture, tradition and continuity.”
Prof. Frenkel noted that the performers included many of Israel’s most talented young musicians and praised Mr. Josef Buchmann, founder of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, for recognizing the potential of the University’s music academy to become a world-class music school.
TAU President Joseph Klafter welcomed Mr. Smolarz, his daughter, Aida, and grandson, Tomas, saying, “We are delighted to have the next two generations of the Smolarz family here in this auditorium of which we are so proud.” Miriam Smolarz was unable to attend.
In his reponse, Mr. Smolarz said:
“When I was 18, a book by Mary Berg, a young Jewish girl who had experienced the atrocities of the Warsaw ghetto, caused a complete revolution in my soul. I abandoned all other ideologies and became an ardent Zionist. Nothing interested me more than Israel and the survival of the Jewish people. During Israel’s War of Independence, Miriam and I were active in aiding the war effort. Since then, we have visited Israel every year and witnessed Israel’s wonderful progress. Each new visit fills us with immense joy and pride. During these years, we also fell in love with Tel Aviv University and I am very happy about that. I hope my descendants will follow in my footsteps.”
- Adolfo Smolarz
Renovations for the Gitter-Smolarz Library of Life Sciences and Medicine
The second floor of TAU’s flagship library for medicine and life sciences has been upgraded to provide a beautiful and modern space with 57 additional computer workstations and 10 group study rooms. The Gitter-Smolarz Library for Life Sciences and Medicine serves TAU’s large biomedical community, receiving an average of 36,000 visitors a month – about 1,500 a day.
From left: TAU President Joseph Klafter, Chairman of the BOG Prof. Jacob Frenkel, President of the Argentinean Friends Association Polly Mizrahi de Deutsch, Tomas Maliar Smolarz, Aida Smolarz and Adolfo Smolarz
The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of Mr. Adolfo Smolarz and family. The library was dedicated by TAU in 1997 in honor of Mr. Smolarz and the late Chairman of the Board of Governors, Benno Gitter.
TAU President Joseph Klafter praised Adolfo and Miriam Smolarz for playing a central and active role in the Argentinean Friends Association, “opening their home and hosting events that draw key members of the community.”
“The Argentinean Friends of TAU, led by Polly Deutsch, is a model for all our Friends associations worldwide, said Prof. Klafter.
Director of the Library Miri Lipshtein noted that the purpose of the Gitter-Smolarz Library is to “help and support TAU students along the path to becoming not only doctors, but also scientists, biologists and health professionals.”
Prof. Martin Kupiec of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, who is originally from Argentina, said, “on my visits to Buenos Aires I have always been welcomed warmly by the Smolarz family. They are warm and caring people who are passionate about scientific research and intellectual challenges,” he said.