Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson met with actor Richard Gere Tuesday night, as part of Gere's stay in Israel as he films the upcoming Joseph Cedar film "Oppenheimer."
During the meeting, held at the Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem, Prof. Ben-Sasson gave to Gere a copy of the Keter Jerusalem Bible, which has been recognized as the official Bible of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israeli Knesset. The Bible has been used as the book on which new MKs swear allegiance to the President of Israel, and a copy was awarded to Pope Francis during his visit last year.
A ceremony for Gere was held in recognition of his long-standing dedication to social causes and his many humanitarian activities for human rights and world peace.
In addition to Gere and Ben-Sasson, the event was attended by Joseph Cedar, HUJI Vice President Billy Shapira, and Vice President of Research and Development Prof. Shai Arkin.
During the meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, ideas were exchanged on the humanities, academia and research, as well as several topics close to Gere's heart. Prof. Shai Arkin also presented him to a variety of new studies being conducted on AIDS.
"I was glad to have this opportunity to meet you and discuss your humanitarian work," Prof. Ben-Sasson stated to Gere at the end of the meeting. "There are many similarities between the academic world of the arts and humanities and the human rights work to which you have dedicated your life."
"The Hebrew University is home to many people who have contributed to humanity because of their wonderful research work and now you are welcome to see it as your own home-away-from-home."
Cedar shot several scenes for "Oppenheimer" at HUJI's Mount Scopus campus last week; HUJI is his alma mater.