“I wish more people appreciated how this university grew from only a glimmer of hope on the horizon in the late 19th century, to its spectacular founding in the early 20th century, to the academic powerhouse it is today,” Pamela Nadler Emmerich, the next president of American Friends of the Hebrew University, told JNS.
Emmerich has served in several AFHU positions before the board elected her as the new leader of the nonprofit, which raises money for and otherwise supports the university. She is also an attorney by trade.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Emmerich earned an undergraduate degree from McGill University, a bachelor of laws at the University of Toronto and an L.L.M. at Columbia University Law School. Going back to school more recently, to pursue a master’s in Hebrew Bible and its interpretation at Jewish Theological Seminary, where she is now pursuing a doctorate, in 2017 has reimpressed the importance of academia upon her.
“This may sound trite, but my re-entry into the world of scholarship and what I have learned over the past few years from my professors has given me a newfound appreciation for those who dedicate their lives to teaching, and for their students,” she told JNS. “It is hard work; the professors at Hebrew University deserve all the support we can give them to finance their research, and their students equally deserve our support to help them finance their education.”
Emmerich told JNS that it will take some time for her to get a lay of the land before formulating goals. But she aims to raise the university’s profile and cultivate new donors while remaining in close contact with existing ones. “I firmly believe that to know the Hebrew University is to love it,” she said.