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YIVO to Honor Lawrence H. Summers at 83rd Annual Benefit Dinner on May 13, 2008

PRESS NEWS – for immediate release            
Press Contact:  Elise Fischer (212.294.6131 or
(New York City – April 16, 2008)  The YIVO Institute for Jewish research is proud to announce that it will honor Lawrence H. Summers, past president of Harvard University and former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, on May 13, 2008 at its 83rd Annual Benefit Dinner.

This year the Dinner Chairs are William A. Ackman along with Martin Peretz, who is also chair of the YIVO Board of Overseers. The 2008 Dinner Committee includes among the Honorary Co-Chairs four Nobel laureates in Economics: Kenneth J. Arrow, Gary S. Becker, Paul A. Samuelson and Robert M. Solow, as well as Yo-Yo Ma and Lily Safra.

Lawrence H. Summers, the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard, served as the 27th president of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006.  From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Summers served as Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.  He was Chief Economist of the World Bank from 1991 to1993, and in 2006 he was a member of the Panel of Eminent Persons, which reviewed the work of The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Prior to this service, Dr. Summers was a professor of economics at Harvard and MIT. His research contributions were recognized when he received the John Bates Clark Medal in 1993, given every two years to the outstanding American economist under the age of 40. Dr. Summers was the first social scientist to win the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation for outstanding scientific achievement in 1987.

YIVO is proud to honor Dr. Summers for his unique mastery of scholarship and public policy, and the interplay of economic policy and world events in both the micro and macro spheres. Bruce Slovin, Chairman of the YIVO Board, notes, “In these ways Dr. Summers is a perfect fit with YIVO – he is someone who values learning and research, and living institutions. YIVO is such an institution; YIVO is in the very forefront of preserving Jewish history and culture, while also training new generations of scholars, and providing accessible programming and research services to academics and the public.”

The cocktail reception will begin at 6PM.  The Award Ceremony will begin at 7:00 PM in the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, Manhattan For reservations or for more information, please call (917) 606-8287. The dinner couvert is $1,000.

YIVO, founded in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1925,  and headquartered in New York City since 1940, is the preeminent scholarly institute for the study of Ashkenazic history and culture. YIVO has a library of more than 385,000 volumes and an Archives holding over 23,000,000 pieces, including 200,000 photographs. YIVO is a global resource center for Eastern European Jewish Studies, Yiddish language, literature and folklore, and the American Jewish immigrant experience. YIVO offers public programs, symposia, exhibitions, scholarly publications and research fellowships.