New “San Diego –Israel Initiative” to be named for Murray Galinson

New “San Diego –Israel Initiative” to be named for Murray Galinson
February 1, 2017—The Leichtag Foundation, in partnership with a growing consortium of funders that care about deep, multi-faceted education about Israel, has launched a new collaborative, the Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative, announced Charlene Seidle, Executive Vice President.
“Murray Galinson was a cherished leader and philanthropist in the San Diego community,” said Seidle. “Murray was a passionate champion of the work and well understood the far-reaching benefits for better understanding of the complexities of Israel, and the opportunities for meaningful, cross-country partnership, especially for making sure that there were opportunities for more nuanced, academically sound understanding and discourse on campus.”
The goal of the Murray Galinson San Diego-Initiative (MGSDII) is to strategically promote and support knowledge, discourse and interaction on the modern state of Israel through scholarship, engagement and collaboration. The Initiative provides a spectrum of opportunities to connect San Diego to the State of Israel and its people from a variety of perspectives. The Initiative partners with universities in San Diego and Israel, local law schools, the Israel Institute based in Washington DC and Tel Aviv and others.
When the Leichtag Foundation first started to study this area and experiment with funding, Murray was the lead board member involved and applied his significant experience as the chair of the California State University system. He became a strong advocate for the importance of Israel Studies on campus.
Susan Lapidus will direct the MGSDII, working closely with Mitchell Price who serves as Program Associate. Susan and Mitchell formerly managed the U.S.-Israel Center at the Rady School of Management at UCSD and bring years of experience, knowledge and relationships to the program. The Initiative will leverage the expertise of Israeli visiting professors, artists, social entrepreneurs, business and political leaders, build relationships based on interest alignment and inform the San Diego university community about Israel’s culture, global contributions, diversity competencies and challenges.
The Initiative’s first program brought Yonatan Winetraub, founder of Space IL to speak at three San Diego universities reaching hundreds of diverse students and faculty.  In late 2017, Winetraub will be part of the team that will accomplish not only the first Israeli mission to the Moon, but also the world’s first private lunar mission. Landing a spacecraft on the Moon will make Israel the fourth nation to do so, following the success of the three superpowers (U.S., Russia, and China).
“Through luminary guest lectures such as Space IL, as well as academic exchanges, conferences, internships, academic travel experiences and visiting faculty it is our hope that our collaborative efforts result in breakthroughs and relationships that change the world for the better,” said MGSDII director, Lapidus.  “The classroom and/or immersive experience becomes a safe space to ask questions and challenge assumptions. Students emerge with more knowledge about Israel, its key successes and challenges, and its complexity.”
Upcoming projects include an Israeli film and television symposium, San Diego student participation in international academic competitions in Israel, a water-recycling workshop with Hebrew University students and UCSD students, and a combined faculty, student and community member trip to Israel for the Jerusalem Biennale arts exhibition this October.
“My Dad was a huge proponent of social justice and postsecondary education. He loved collaboration of any kind and would be so proud to have seen his idea come to fruition,” said Murray’s daughter, Laura Galinson. “The SDII is so important to me so that his legacy lives on for generations to come.”
For those interested in supporting the Initiative, Murray Galinson San Diego Israel Initiative Funds are open at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego as well as the Coastal Community Foundation.

Susan Lapidus
Mitchell Price