Cover Feature

Champions of Israeli-Medical Innovation

The Suzanne and Charles Goodman Brain Sciences Building at The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Photography courtesy of the AFHU

by Joyce Grossman

American Friends of the Hebrew University’s 2020 Scopus Award Gala Honors Roberta & Paul Kozloff

American Friends of the Hebrew University supporters will gather at the Breakers on January 18 for its 2020 Scopus Award Dinner, honoring Roberta and Paul Kozloff, Palm Beach, Florida community leaders.

Paul Kozloff, Roberta Kozloff, Roberta Bogen and Stanley Bogen | CAPEHART Photography

Professor Asher Cohen, president of the Hebrew University, will present this year’s national Scopus Award to the couple in tribute to their humanitarianism and proactive engagement in the university’s growth.

“Roberta and Paul Kozloff epitomize the passion of American Friends for supporting Israel’s scientists and scholars and for helping our university to educate visionary leaders,” Cohen said.

Dedicated to Israel and advancing higher education, the Kozloff’s support the work of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel’s foremost academic and research institution.

Roberta and I are excited to receive this prestigious award, which means so much coming from our Palm Beach community,” said Paul Kozloff. “Our gala will benefit laboratory research at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) and help devise new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. I’m proud that our community is creating the Palm Beach Memory & Cognitive Research Fund at ELSC.”

Rothberg Amphitheatre
Rothberg Amphitheatre

The Palm Beach Memory & Cognitive Research Fund fosters laboratory research targeting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia and stroke. Teams of ELSC scientists conduct these investigations in the new, state-of-the-art Suzanne and Charles Goodman Brain Sciences Building on the Safra campus. Taking a “laboratory to patient bedside” approach to brain sciences, eminent senior faculty and outstanding newly recruited faculty are working toward gaining a deeper understanding of the human brain in states of health and pathology. They aim to achieve earlier diagnosis, benign and effective interventions, and new drugs and therapies.

The multi-disciplinary concentration on brain sciences is just one example of Hebrew University’s scope and the extent of its ambitions as a top-ranked research institution. Each year, the university educates approximately 23,000 students from 90 countries; it produces a third of Israel’s civilian research and is ranked 12th worldwide in biotechnology patents and commercial development. Faculty and alumni have won eight Nobel Prizes, seven awarded since 2000. Leading Alzheimer’s and cancer drugs have been developed in Jerusalem, among them Exelon and Doxil.

Roberta Bogen, Palm Beach Scopus Gala dinner co-chair and an AFHU national board member, has been active on behalf of the university for years, along with her husband Stanley, an honorary chairman of AFHU’s national board.

“We are proud to honor Roberta and Paul Kozloff for their philanthropy and advocacy in support of faculty and students,” said Bogen. “Their participation in AFHU’s mission is inspiring and helps to amplify our outreach and effectiveness locally and nationally. We know that what we achieve today in support of these talented innovators in Israel will enable them to improve and save lives on a widespread basis.”

Dinner chairpersons for the AFHU 2020 Scopus Gala include Diane Belfer, Roberta and Stanley Bogen, Sherry and Kenneth Endelson, Marjorie and Stephen Fiverson, Lori and Bruce Gendelman, Michelle and Joseph Jacobs, Lisa and Michael Rome, Barbara and Richard Rothschild, Judy and Robert Snyder, and Robbi and Bruce Toll. Event chairpersons are Marjorie and Robert Emden. In recent years, other lively Palm Beach events and missions to Israel have fostered this pioneering research, funding projects such as the soaring Palm Beach Courtyard at ELSC’s Goodman Brain Sciences Building, scholarships and the resources needed for new faculty recruitment.

This year’s Scopus Award laureates, Roberta and Paul Kozloff, are well known within the Palm Beach community for their work on behalf of many organizations and institutions. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Roberta attended Memphis State University and Boston University. Initially working as a licensed life insurance agent, she subsequently nurtured her creative side by launching what was to become a successful jewelry company, Temptations. A patron of the performing arts, Roberta partnered in the ownership and operation of the famed Charles Playhouse in Boston, home of America’s original comedy club, Comedy Connection, and Shear Madness. She produced more than 20 shows and created Roberta’s Show Biz Café, which remains a theatrical institution in Boston. She sold the business in 1995.

Moving to Palm Beach in 1999, Roberta became integrally involved with a spectrum of nonprofits, supporting and promoting the arts and culture, healthcare organizations and social service charities. She served as gala chair for the Palm Beach Opera Gala, worked to help build awareness of AIDS, was a committee member with Dana Farber and co-chaired the Morse Life Gala for three consecutive years.

As Roberta became acquainted with AFHU in the Southeast Region, she developed an acute sense of its pivotal role in advancing higher education and research in Israel. A national, not-for-profit organization with regional offices throughout the U.S., AFHU provides U.S. supporters, Hebrew University alumni and the public with stimulating activities and events showcasing the institution’s brain trust and its achievements across seven academic faculties. Educational programs featuring Hebrew University faculty, such as the Annual Leadership Educational Forum (ALEF) in Palm Beach during January, highlight the university’s expertise and solutions to global challenges. In 2018, AFHU celebrated the 100th anniversary of Hebrew University’s founding and its century-long partnership with this educational and research powerhouse.

The Palm Beach community has much to choose from in the way of engaging activities that build networks and support. Roberta and Paul Kozloff have participated in Palm Beach Missions to Israel. During October 2019, the couple joined the Palm Beach Mission to Silicon Valley, where the delegation met with dynamic entrepreneurs, some of whom are Hebrew University alumni with flourishing Bay Area startups. Roberta co-chaired the initial AFHU Palm Beach Scholarship Luncheon that introduced Hebrew University to this receptive community. She and Paul graciously hosted last fall’s kick-off reception for the 2019 Scopus Award Gala honoring Robert and Marjorie Emden.

“We enjoy bringing people together to advance meaningful causes,” Roberta said. “Paul and I are privileged to belong to a close-knit and caring community with the means, insight and drive to make the world a better place.”

Born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, Paul Kozloff earned his B.S. degree from Temple University in business administration and went on to launch a wide variety of startups. The successful entrepreneur has long been an angel investor, fostering diverse industries and creative business approaches. His ventures have included beverage distribution, equipment leasing, machine manufacturing, outdoor advertising, women’s apparel retailing, men’s apparel manufacturing, product fulfillment and recreational vehicle manufacturing. Currently, Paul’s business focus is in the area of meat processing: his company produces a product line that serves the U.S. military and is stocked by groceries throughout the country.

While living in Reading, Paul embraced volunteer leadership roles in support of critical organizations. Among these were the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Federation, Lancaster Country Day School, the Board of Governors at Albright College, the board of the Reading Community Foundation, the Reading Community College, Temple Oheb Sholom and the Young Presidents’ Organization. He received awards and accolades for public service. When Paul and Roberta relocated to Palm Beach, Paul adopted exciting new causes. He became vice chair of the Palm Beach Opera, a member of the Jewish Federation Board of Palm Beach County and a mentor for The Solomon Mentor program sponsored by Palm Beach Synagogue. Paul and Roberta are devoted to their extended family, including 12 grandchildren, yet always make time to fulfill volunteer leadership positions that make the community stronger and vibrant in its outreach and breadth of interests.

Always curious, Paul has enjoyed associating with Hebrew University faculty and alumni and learning about the latest developments in areas ranging from Artificial Intelligence to cybersecurity and entrepreneurship.

Wall of Benefactors at The Hebrew University
Wall of Benefactors at The Hebrew University

“I’m a big fan of Israeli innovation,” he said. “We need cost-effective new technologies that conserve natural resources, protect our planet and will be helpful to future generations.”

“The generosity and commitment of Roberta and Paul — and our Palm Beach community as a whole — has resulted in well-equipped high-tech laboratories in Jerusalem, student scholarships and the addition of brilliant young faculty,” said Beth Asnien McCoy, chief executive officer of AFHU. “Our leaders are special individuals who care about fostering social and economic good on a global scale while simultaneously helping the people of Israel. Their giving and doing is doubly effective.”

The Hebrew University has embarked on a Tradition of Innovation seven-year fundraising campaign with future-oriented priorities that reflect pressing needs affecting Israel and our world. These areas of growth include High-Tech Jerusalem, Sustainable Planet, Human Health, A Better World, Leadership for Tomorrow, Internationalization and Globalization and Building Capacity. A High-Tech Jerusalem park will be constructed on the Safra Campus to nurture startups and boost Jerusalem’s status as a major tech ecosystem. Computational medicine also plays to the university’s strengths; this burgeoning field is leading the way toward customized medicine. Experts in computer science and biomedicine are joining forces and leveraging the tools of big data to create more individualized therapies.

Opening of the academic year 1981-1982
Opening of the academic year 1981-1982

“We enjoy bringing people together to advance meaningful causes. Paul and I are privileged to belong to a close-knit and caring community with the means, insight and drive to make the world a better place.” Roberta Kozloff

Hebrew University has Israel’s only degree-granting programs related to agriculture, environmental studies and veterinary medicine. On the Rehovot campus, the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment is confronting issues such as food security and water management. Faculty, domestic and international students, and visiting researchers also work on problem-solving. Eco-friendly agricultural and environmental technologies are being developed, and have been, dating back to the university’s invention of drip irrigation for crop production.

Hundreds of innovations, whether linked to agriculture, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals or dental medicine, are commercialized through Yissum, the third technology transfer organization to be established in the world. Founded in 1964, it has generated hundreds of commercial licenses and patents to protect and further develop Hebrew University intellectual property. This productive tech transfer arm nurtures many of the startups that contribute to Israel’s innovation economy.

Opening day in the Reagan Plaza on Mt. Scopus, Frank Sinatra International Student Center in the background
Opening day in the Reagan Plaza on Mt. Scopus, Frank Sinatra International Student Center in the background

The university’s reach extends beyond the sciences and technology. Founded by luminaries such as Albert Einstein and Chaim Weizmann years before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Hebrew University has always broken new ground in the service of Israeli society and the global Jewish community. The Faculty of Law is the oldest and most prestigious law school in Israel, with alumni including Israeli Prime Ministers, justices on Israel’s Supreme Court, Knesset members and attorneys general. Equally proud of its vast repository of knowledge in Jewish Studies and the Humanities, the university lays claim to The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, known for scholarly excellence. Reflecting yet another dimension of the university’s mandate to educate and preserve Jewish heritage and culture, its Revivim Honors Program produces outstanding Jewish educators for the 21st century.

American Friends is crucial to this world of friends, functioning at the heart of a constellation of international groups, all committed to perpetuating Hebrew University’s legacy of achievements. Millions of dollars are raised each year in the U.S. thanks to the generosity of American supporters who recognize the extraordinary and unique qualities of this Israeli center of learning. Within AFHU, the Palm Beach community plays an essential role in expanding the capabilities of a world-class institution that has something valuable to offer virtually every society.