July 12, 2022
Dear Governors and Friends,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem community, including our Friends around the world, mourns the passing of Mrs. Lily Safra (z”l), and sends our deepest condolences to the Safra family.
Mrs. Lily Safra z”l, who headed the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation for over two decades after the passing of her beloved husband, Edmond J. Safra, was a distinguished philanthropist, humanitarian, and patron of the arts. She devoted herself to assisting the disadvantaged, promoting scholarship, and advancing medical research to benefit humanity. Her tremendous support enabled the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to significantly expand its research capacity, whether through endowing the science campus at GIvat Ram, naming it in her husband’s memory as the Edmond J. Safra campus, or whether through her leadership gift to establish the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC). Lily Safra, together with her husband Edmond, also granted educational scholarships to thousands of young Israelis from economically disadvantaged backgrounds through the International Sephardic Education Foundation (ISEF), creating a new generation of leaders across Israeli academia and beyond.
Mrs. Safra served as a member of Harvard University’s Center for Ethics and the Professions and on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Somerset House Arts Fund, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. She was a Benefactor of the Hebrew University.
Through the work of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, Lily Safra, together with her husband Edmond and later in his memory, strived to provide hope and opportunity to those whose lives have been visited by hardship or marked by special challenge, and to give them not only compassion but to offer them, too, an enhanced Dignity.
In tribute to her achievements and her service to the Hebrew University, Israel, and humanity, Mrs. Lily Safra was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University in 2005.
Mrs. Safra passed away on July 9th, surrounded by family and friends. She is survived by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, to whom she was always deeply devoted.
We know that you join us in extending our deepest sympathies to the Safra family. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
יהי זכרה ברוך