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Robert H. Smith 'Feeding the Future' with $15 Million Gift to Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Challenge Grant from Noted Real Estate Developer's Foundation to Lead the

Way in Ending Global Hunger, Improving Nutrition

NEW YORK, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Robert H. Smith Family Foundation has pledged a $15 million challenge grant to transform The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences in Rehovot, Israel. The gift will be the cornerstone of the university's and American Friends of Hebrew University's "Feeding the Future through Sustainable Agriculture" campaign, a $51 million reorganization and expansion plan will broaden and accelerate Hebrew University's cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in plant and animal sciences, biochemistry, nutrition and environmental studies. New buildings, state-of-the-art laboratories and greenhouses will foster collaborative work between four academic Institutes addressing major challenges, among these: hunger and malnutrition, natural resource scarcity and the impact of global warming.

In recognition of the Foundation's generosity, the Faculty will be renamed "The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences." American Friends of The Hebrew University (AFHU) is launching a $15 million fundraising campaign, seeking support from other American philanthropists and foundations.

"Thanks to the friendship and generosity of the Smith Family, The Hebrew University will expand its vital work in the field of agriculture," said George Schieren, president of AFHU. "Through this new challenge grant, Hebrew University will be able to establish two research institutes and propel agricultural research to new levels."

Robert H. Smith of Washington, DC, a visionary philanthropist, is a successful real estate developer who spearheaded the creation of Crystal City, Virginia. Mr. Smith and his family have been involved with Hebrew University and AFHU for decades. A former chairman of Hebrew University's International Board of Governors, he also served as president of the Washington DC chapter of AFHU.

The Faculty of Agriculture, including the Robert H. Smith Institute for Plant Sciences, is a worldwide leader in sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation. Innovations include: drip irrigation techniques adopted worldwide, plant-derived treatments for malaria, aquaculture and genetically enhanced produce and flowers.

"Hebrew University has led the development of technologies and techniques benefiting all semi-arid regions, and students from 155 countries have taken that knowledge home with them," said Peter Willner, AFHU's national executive director.

About The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, located on three campuses in Jerusalem and a fourth in Rehovot, is one of the world's leading academic and research institutions. Faculty and alumni of The Hebrew University have won six Nobel Prizes in the past five years.

The University has consistently been ranked among the top 100 academic and research institutions worldwide in independent surveys, including Newsweek magazine.

The American Friends of The Hebrew University

American Friends of The Hebrew University (AFHU) is a national, not-for- profit organization which conducts fund raising activities in support of The Hebrew of Jerusalem.


David Kaiyalethe Joyce Grossman

Dukas Public Relations 212.607.8540

212/704-7385 ext 119

SOURCE The American Friends of The Hebrew University
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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