Lord Weidenfeld’s Memorial Service
On September 24th, Oxford University hosted a memorial service for Lord Weidenfeld. Celebrating the unique contribution of Lord Weidenfeld to life at Oxford, the service featured tributes from academics and students, including three scholars from the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust. Held in the splendid surroundings of the Sheldonian Theatre, the audience – including a number of Weidenfeld-Hoffmann alumni – enjoyed recollections of Lord Weidenfeld’s humour and warmth, his powerful desire to bring about positive change, and his commitment to education as a way to improve the world. The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust have produced a short video of the service, which can be viewed below.
The Humanitas 2015-16 annual report is now available to read online. Click HERE to read it.
On April 25th 2016, Professor of English Sally Shuttleworth delivered the annual Humanitas Passau lecture. Following the success of last year’s speaker, Chris Clarke, this event was keenly anticipated and a large crowd turned out to hear Professor Shuttleworth discuss ‘Diseases of Modern Life: Stress, Strain and Overload in the Nineteenth Century’. By drawing upon literature and media, Professor Shuttleworth explained how the challenge of modernity was experienced on an individual level as the new technologies and working habits of the nineteenth century began to impact the lives of ordinary people in the United Kingdom.
You can find more Humanitas lectures on a range of topics on the Humanitas YouTube channel
Senior Academic Fellow sought for Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships & Leadership Programme
Salary: dependent on experience
Hours: Part time – approx. 25% post
Contract type: one year renewable
Solid track record of academic/professional experience required
Closing date: 7th March 2016
Would you be interested in joining a dynamic young group of scholars and working with them on a leadership programme which runs alongside their graduate studies in Oxford?
The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) is an educational charity based in Oxford and working closely with the University. Established in 2007, the Scholarships & Leadership Programme provides talented young graduates from developing and emerging economies with full scholarships to the University of Oxford, alongside a tailor made leadership training programme focusing on skills needed to become leaders in whatever fields they choose on a national and global scale.
We are looking to appoint an Academic Fellow for the Scholarships & Leadership Programme. The role will begin in September 2016 but ideally the chosen candidate would have some input in the selection of the 2016-17 cohort of Scholars in April 2016.
Over the years since its inception this programme has become one of the most sought after scholarships in the University. For further information about the Programme, see our website: http://whtrust.org/
The ideal candidate for this post is someone who would enjoy interacting with an energetic and proactive group of scholars who relish the chance to widen their horizons and learn. The job could be combined with other work either at the University or outside opportunities. The role includes the following specific tasks:
- Coming up with texts and working on the overall timetable and staffing for the moral philosophy seminar which takes place at the end of September as part of the five day induction to the programme and to Oxford. There are three follow up sessions over three afternoons which also require similar input
- Delivering workshops through the rest of the academic year to help scholars with essay writing, exam preparations and any other aspects of their academic work which require extra input.
- Working with other members of WHT and the University to come up with a short list of applicants for future scholarships, attending the interview and helping with the final selection of candidates.
- Maximizing any contacts inside and outside the University to bring scholars into contact with business, and other leaders from whom they can learn and seek advice on their future careers
- Providing practical support to the scholars in twice a year one to one meetings and other informal ways and references once they reach the end of their time at Oxford.
To apply for this post, please send your CV and a covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line of your e-mail should read “Application for the position of Academic Fellow”
Interviews will take place on the week commencing 14th March in London/Oxford.
Lord Weidenfeld’s funeral
Alexandra Henderson, CEO and Director of the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust, recently attended Lord Weidenfeld’s funeral in Israel, and has shared her impressions of the day.
A small group of us close friends joined the family to witness George being taken to his last resting place on the Mount of Olives. A few years ago George had told me that his friend, Jacqui Safra, had suddenly announced that he had secured a very special present for him and Annabelle – burial plots for them both in Jerusalem. Although it seemed impossible that his body could be spirited there within forty eight hours, this is just what happened.
By Friday morning a group of around thirty had arrived from different corners of the world and we set off from Tel Aviv in a convoy of people carriers. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day and as a newcomer to the country I was struck by the stark landscape that we drove through. Suddenly we found ourselves in a traffic jam winding our way around the hillside outside the walls of the city, tiny roads full of honking horns and impatient travellers whilst on each side, behind stone walls and gates was a sea of white. We stopped the traffic as we went up and down looking for the right gate. Eventually we saw a small group of people in sombre clothes and guessed we were at the right spot. We joined others who had come from Tel Aviv and then, just behind Annabelle, were two young men carrying the simple shroud which they put down, quite roughly, on a trolley feet away from the grave.
We gathered round and there followed a series of wonderful tributes: Israeli politicians joined former ambassadors, friends and relations – all highlighted how George had personally touched their lives: from friendship, to advice both personal and professional, from publishing their books (his mantra on meeting anyone was: ‘I am sure you have a book in you’), to memories of the legendary parties he gave. Above all, they reflected his interest in people: introducing people to each other, bringing people together for all his myriad projects, trying to build bridges wherever he could and all the time enjoying life to the full.
Looking around as we stood right amongst the hundreds of stone graves with olive trees and palm trees beyond and high up above us the ancient walls of the city, I couldn’t think of a more perfect place for George to be buried. The burial was a swift business – just placing the shroud in the ground, putting slabs of stone on top and adding bags of soil. It could not have fitted the words dust to dust more aptly.
We each added a clod of earth or a stone and took a last look at the beautiful surroundings. Before long we were spirited off to the King David hotel where Annabelle had arranged a welcome buffet and we did what George liked so much – we ate, we drank and we talked. We were only sad he wasn’t with us, as he would have enjoyed it all so much.
I have known George for over forty years but only got the chance to work with him in the last few, most recently to set up the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust to oversee the scholarships and leadership programme for graduate students from emerging economies to study in Oxford, and the Humanitas programme of visiting fellowships in both Oxford and Cambridge. I shall miss the frequent phone calls, a rather breathless voice starting with: ‘I have just had a VERRRY interesting meeting/lunch…’ followed soon after by: ‘And what news do YOU have’. That last question urged me on and now it is up to me and my colleagues to keep that focus. We have laid the foundations, which, thanks to the great generosity of George’s friends, guarantees that there will be Weidenfeld-Hoffmann scholars in perpetuity, but we have much to do to increase the numbers and cement the leadership programme along with continuing our Humanitas events, which attract interest from across the world.
Lord Weidenfeld’s final resting place on the Mount of Olives
Lord Weidenfeld (1919 – 2016)
We at the Weidenfeld Hoffmann Trust were very saddened to hear the news of Lord Weidenfeld’s death. We have lost a great supporter of international education and debate. Through great personal effort, he gave scholars from across the world a unique opportunity to study in a world class institution at Oxford and thereby changed their lives. Their contributions, both to Oxford and to the countries they live in, will provide a lasting legacy of dialogue, discussion and, above all, peace. He was extremely proud of all of the scholars he supported, and we look forward to continuing to provide these opportunities in his memory.
Among many other projects, Lord Weidenfeld devised the Humanitas programme of visiting professorships to Oxford and Cambridge. Through his incredible network of friends and contacts, he gave the universities unparalleled access to the most interesting names in the field of Humanities – all have given generously of their time to lecture, take part in conversation and share their expertise with audiences in both universities and, now, online communities across the world.
Lord Weidenfeld with a group of past and present scholars
Johan Rockström’s New Book: Big World Small Planet
“If you have time to read one book on this subject, I highly recommend the new Big World, Small Planet, by Johan Rockström, director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, and Mattias Klum, whose stunning photographs of ecosystem disruptions reinforce the urgency of the moment.”—Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
Big World, Small Planet probes the urgent predicament of our times: how is it possible to create a positive future for both humanity and Earth? We have entered the Anthropocene—the era of massive human impacts on the planet—and the actions of over seven billion residents threaten to destabilize Earth’s natural systems, with cascading consequences for human societies. In this extraordinary book, the authors combine the latest science with compelling storytelling and amazing photography to create a new narrative for humanity’s future. Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum reject the notion that economic growth and human prosperity can only be achieved at the expense of the environment. They contend that we have unprecedented opportunities to navigate a “good Anthropocene.” By embracing a deep mind-shift, humanity can reconnect to Earth, discover universal values, and take on the essential role of planetary steward. With eloquence and profound optimism, Rockström and Klum envision a future of abundance within planetary boundaries—a revolutionary future that is at once necessary, possible, and sustainable for coming generations.
Johan Rockström was the 2014-15 Humanitas Visiting Professor in Sustainability Studies. Watch his lectures HERE.
(source: Yale Press)
The Humanitas 2014-15 annual report is now available to read online. Click HERE to read it.
The line-up for the Humanitas Programme 2015-16 is filling up fast, with 11 Visiting Professors set to take up their tenure at either Oxford or Cambridge University.
Although not all of the dates for each series have been fixed, the following PDF gives an overview of what to expect in the year to come: Current Line-Up for Humanitas Programme 2015-2016
Philippe de Montebello, our previous Visiting Professor in Museum, Galleries and Libraries has been appointed the new chair of the Hispanic Society Museum, New York.
As former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Montebello intends to increase awareness of this museum, whose low profile does not reflect the collection it houses. The Hispanic Society Museum maintains the world’s leading collections of art and manuscripts from Spain, Portugal and Latin America in its Washington Heights museum and library.
In an interview Montebello said, “I am on a mission to lift the profile of this museum” and, with 31 years of experience at MOMA, the Hispanic Society Museum can expect an increase in visitors and in the size of the museum itself. Indeed, one of his first goals is to raise $5 million to renovate an adjoining location- once home to the Museum of the American Indian- so that the museum can host exhibitions.