Hundreds honor legacy of long-time University benefactors.
Tel Aviv University inaugurated the Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building on May 15 in honor of the distinguished TAU benefactors and long-time friends, as part of the 2022 Board of Governors meeting. The building provides world-class facilities for visitors to the University. It also houses the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI), which Parviz Izak initiated, and TAU Online – Innovative Learning Center.
“Today, we’re not just celebrating the inauguration of a building, but a dream come true—a hub, a center for new ideas, for creative plans and important strategies to forge new paths for the future of our country,” said Dora Nazarian, in recognition of her parents. “I know my father is looking down on us with satisfaction at this beautiful building.”
The Los Angeles-based Nazarian family and TAU share a decades-long friendship. Parviz Izak, who passed away in 2017, was an Iranian-born American businessman, investor and philanthropist. His wife, Pouran, has held leadership roles at several organizations that advocate for education, Jewish causes and women’s rights in Iran and the US. The couple, both TAU Honorary Doctors, have a dedicated record of supporting Israel and higher education. Parviz Izak was a TAU Governor, and Pouran and Dora are both current TAU Governors. The Nazarian family’s contributions to TAU over the years include an endowment for the Parviz and Pouran Nazarian Chair for Modern Iranian Studies at the Entin Faculty of Humanities.
“In an expression of their deep love for Israel, Pouran and her family are synonymous with supporting the rights of Israel’s citizens and preserving democracy and academic excellence,” said TAU Vice President Amos Elad. “What better way to support and recognize the importance of all these elements than to unite them under one roof!”
In 2003, Parviz Izak founded the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel, an NGO which aims to improve the performance of the country’s government and public sector by providing tools to make government operations more accessible to the public. It also produces academic studies, surveys and events, with the goal of boosting civic awareness and oversight of public systems. Dora Nazarian is president of the organization.
The inauguration ceremony at TAU took place in the presence of Pouran Nazarian, her children, Dora, Dalia, Daphna, and Benjamin, and grandchildren Eliott, Ethan, Ryan, and Alexa.
During the festivities, the family unveiled the plaque with the building’s name and a bust of Parviz Izak. They also held a mezuzah-hanging ceremony. Nearly 200 people attended the event, including TAU leadership and former prime minister Ehud Olmert, TAU Prof. Ronni Gamzu, head of Ichilov Hospital, and several former ministers.
Prof. Gamzu, a Board Member of the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel and TAU alumnus, said: „I only knew Parviz during his last years. But I understood the power of his and Pouran’s vision…which the Center is fulfilling to strengthen governance to make Israel a better place.” He added, “The legacy of Parviz, and your legacy Pouran, will prevail and continue to change the way we live in Israel.”
Former minister Moshe Kahlon, who has held the communications, welfare & social services and finance portfolios, also spoke at the event: “I thank the Nazarian family for their great contributions to the State of Israel domestically and abroad.” He added that “Izak didn’t hesitate to use his connections to strengthen Israel,” noting the late industrialist’s support for matters ranging from Israeli industry to aliyah services. “He touched on every important aspect in Israel.”
Featured image: The Nazarian family at the inauguration of the Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building. (Photo: Chen Galili)