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Bridge of understanding: How Werner Levy's foundation continues to have an impact at Freie Universität today

News from Jan 04, 2024

Since the 1970s, the Levy Foundation has been funding German-Israeli academic exchange and student exchanges at Freie Universität Berlin. The origins of the foundation go back to Dr. Werner Levy, son of the Jewish pharmacist Ernst Isidor Levy.

In 1965, Werner Levy donated 30,000 German marks to Freie Universität, which originally came from restitution funds for his father, who died in 1961. Ernst Isidor Levy had owned the Diana Pharmacy in Berlin’s Moabit district Turmstrasse since 1907, which he was forced to sell in 1939. He had already emigrated to Scotland with his family the previous year. Through several years of research, Ansgar Koch and Hans-Martin Meis have been able to learn more about Werner Levy's moving family history, about which little was known at Freie Universität until recently.

The lasting impact of the Levy Foundation is also evident at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. The departmental direct exchange between our institute and the Noah Mozes Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is supported by funds from the Levy Foundation: Since 2019, five Israeli students have been funded during their exchange semester in Berlin.

Further information and details on the history of the Levy Foundation can be found here.

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