received an honorary doctorate from Weizmann Institute in Rehovot on Nov. 17, 2008, in recognition of "his life’s work to revitalize Judaism and strengthen Jewish identity among Jews the world over; above all, of his gift of vision and action, faith and scholarship, toward building a more pluralistic, tolerant, and enlightened Israeli society."
The ceremony, with the theme “Milk, Honey and Science; Celebrating Israel’s 60th,” marked the 60th annual general meeting of the Board of Governors at Weizmann Institute.
Rabbi Hartman joined a distinguished list of honorees that includes: Dvora Ben Dror, founder of Agudat Adi for organ donations (Israel); Professor Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel laureate in chemistry (Israel); Ernst Cramer, German-Jewish journalist and leading editor; Robert Joseph Drake, businessman and philanthropist (The Netherlands), Professor Peter Goldreich, eminent astrophysicist (USA), Donald L. Kirk, businessman and philanthropist (USA), Lorry I. Lokey, businessman and philanthropist (USA), Israel President Shimon Peres, Professor Helmut Schwarz, eminent chemist (Germany), Joshua Sobol, noted playwright (Israel), and Nobel Peace Prize winner and author Elie Wiesel.
The ceremony was an especially festive and formal one, complete with an academic procession and live musical accompaniment. The master of ceremonies, journalist Arad Nir, will call Rabbi Hartman to the stage, where he was outfitted with cap and cowl. A scroll was read in English and Hebrew and handed to Rabbi Hartman, who then addressed the crowd in English. The keynote speaker for the evening was honoree President Shimon Peres.
David Hartman was the keynote speaker on the day preceding the ceremony, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, at 12:30 p.m at a luncheon marking the 10th anniversary of the Clore Garden of Science, at which the Sir Charles Clore Prize will be awarded to Dr. Rotem Sorek of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute. This meeting of Jewish philosophy and science is sure to be a fascinating one.