Institute supporters from many countries recently came together in Paris to pay tribute to the Chairman of Weizmann's European Committee, Mr. Derrick Kleeman, a central figure in the Institute's development for the last quarter-century.
Kleeman's devotion to Israeli causes goes back even further, as reflected in his Chairmanship of the U.K. Joint Palestine Appeal (later the Joint Israel Appeal) and his key role in the first Israel Economic Conference, held in Jerusalem on the initiative of then Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.
But when Kleeman was brought into the Institute's orbit by Israel Sieff -- his friend and an Institute founding father -- his focus shifted. Thereafter, he held a variety of Institute posts, including, from 1983 to 1992, the Deputy Chairmanship of its Board of Governors. Moreover, Kleeman has served as an advisor on financial matters to several Institute Presidents.
Kleeman has devoted so much time to the Institute because he regards it as "a jewel in the crown of Israel," adding that, in his view, "its scientists are more effective ambassadors of Israel than the country's professional diplomats."
Contributions from Hella and Derrick Kleeman made possible the creation of three professorial chairs, the construction of the Schmidt Auditorium and the establishment of an endowment fund for the purchase of vital scientific equipment. Moreover, their children, Peter and Judy continue the Kleeman tradition of devotion to the Institute.