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Philanthropist David Z. Chesnoff receives AFHU Scopus Award

More than $1 million was raised for student scholarships and the Clinical Legal Education Center at the Hebrew University event.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem President Professor Asher Cohen (left) presents the American Friends of the Hebrew University Las Vegas Scopus Award to nationally renowned attorney and philanthropist David Z. Chesnoff at the Encore at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. Credit: Courtesy.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem President Professor Asher Cohen (left) presents the American Friends of the Hebrew University Las Vegas Scopus Award to nationally renowned attorney and philanthropist David Z. Chesnoff at the Encore at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. Credit: Courtesy.

David Z. Chesnoff, a Las Vegas philanthropist and nationally renowned attorney, was honored with the Las Vegas Scopus Award on Jan. 20, presented by American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU). The event was held at the Encore at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

The AFHU Scopus Award event raised more than $1 million to support student scholarships and the Clinical Legal Education Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel’s premier institution of research and higher learning.

Named for Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, the AFHU Scopus Award reflects the university’s highest ideals of achievement, leadership and philanthropic engagement. The Scopus Award is given to individuals with a legacy dedicated to humanitarian concerns.

At the event, AFHU Western Region Board Vice Chair Patricia Glaser said “David has strengthened the connection between Las Vegas and the Hebrew University. He is deserving of this award for his dedication to Israel, his service to the community, and his support of University initiatives.”

Hebrew University President Professor Asher Cohen and Professor Tomer Broude, dean of the Faculty of Law, paid tribute to Chesnoff at an event meet-and-greet for VIP guests. Alex Yemenidjian, chairman of Armenco Capital, LLC presented the Scopus Award to Chesnoff.

David Z. Chesnoff
Nationally renowned attorney and philanthropist David Z. Chesnoff with American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) Western Region Board Vice Chair Patricia Glaser. Chesnoff received the AFHU Las Vegas Scopus Award at the Encore at Wynn Hotel. Credit: Courtesy.

Among local government dignitaries were Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

“I think David deserves this award for the many, many ways he contributes,” Wolfson said in a tribute video. “A lot of people talk the talk, but David walks the walk. He’s a great humanitarian, and his contributions have really made a difference.”

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) sent a video greeting, stating: “We’re here tonight to recognize the work and dedication of my friend, Scopus Award recipient David Chesnoff. Mazel Tov and congratulations, David. Your service to the Las Vegas community, support of Jewish philanthropy in Nevada and around the country as well as your commitment to Israel have made meaningful contributions to the lives of so many.”

“David deserves the Scopus Award because he exemplifies everything the award represents,” said Lombardo. “David brings our community together through his volunteerism, benevolence, and leadership—there is no one more deserving of this award.”

“During these dark and challenging times for Israel, American Friends of the Hebrew University is pleased to pay tribute to David,” said AFHU CEO Joshua Rednik. “He has given so much to Israel and has been a leader in the Nevada Jewish Community. His recent visit to Israel to serve as a hospital volunteer is just one example of his commitment and of why he is so deserving of this accolade.”

Nationally renowned attorney and philanthropist David Z. Chesnoff with American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) Western Region Board Vice Chair Patricia Glaser. Chesnoff received the AFHU Las Vegas Scopus Award at the Encore at Wynn Hotel. Credit: Courtesy.

A leading criminal defense attorney and a partner at Chesnoff & Schonfeld, a top law firm in the United States, Chesnoff counts Hollywood celebrities and well-known public figures among his clients. However, he is deeply committed to helping the underdog prevail against a more powerful entity.

“My role is to see that the Constitution is followed and that every one of my defendants receives the best defense available,” Chesnoff said. “I am humbled to receive this award and that I am being recognized for having tried to be a good person.”

“I feel honored to be named the 2024 recipient of the AFHU Scopus Award,” he continued. “Israel needs us now more than ever and amidst these turbulent times, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem stands as a beacon of hope, offering students a world-class education and enabling economic and social mobility for young people from all walks of life.”

Previous Scopus Award recipients include Barbra Streisand, Leonard Bernstein, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Elie Wiesel, among others.

The event co-chairs were the Joyce Brandman, Sharyn & Jay Brown, Lissa & Adam Chesnoff, Stephen J. Cloobeck, Darin Feinstein, Peter Feinstein, Patricia Glaser & Sam Mudie, Honorable Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Former Mayor Oscar Goodman, Kitzia & Richard Goodman, Bill Hornbuckle, Soogie & Don Kang, MGM Resorts, James Pisanelli, William Richardson, James Robinson, Larry Ruvo, Brian Sheth, Bui & Herb Simon, Wynn Resorts, Arda & Alex Yemenidjian, The Yuman Family, and May & Richard Ziman.

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About the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s premier academic and research institution. Serving over 23,000 students from 80 countries, the University produces nearly 40% of Israel’s civilian scientific research and has received more than 11,000 patents. Faculty and alumni of the Hebrew University have won eight Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal. For more information about the Hebrew University, visit: http://new.huji.ac.il/en. 
About American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU): American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) is a national, not-for-profit organization based in the United States. AFHU is headquartered in New York and has seven regional offices working in close partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. AFHU provides supporters, Hebrew University alumni, and the public with stimulating programs and events and organizes missions to Israel. The organization’s activities support scholarly and scientific achievement at HU, create scholarships, fund new facilities, and assist the university’s efforts to recruit outstanding new faculty. For more information, visit: www.afhu.org.
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