Mrs. Lily Safra, Honorary Chairwoman of ISEF, is a prominent philanthropist who shared this commitment with her husband, Mr. Edmond J. Safra, one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished bankers and ISEF’s visionary founder.
Mrs. Safra chairs the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, which was created by Mr. Safra to support projects related to education, science and medicine, religion, culture, and humanitarian relief.
Mrs. Safra has sustained many worthy projects in memory of her husband in the field of education, including the creation of ISEF’s Edmond J. Safra Scholarships, the Edmond J. Safra Campus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. In addition, she supports a number of pioneering educational projects for underprivileged Israeli schoolchildren.
Mrs. Safra is a member of the Board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At the NIH campus near Washington, DC, Mrs. Safra was instrumental in the construction of the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge for patients and their families battling serious illness. In 2006 she established the Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute for Neuroscience in Natal, Brazil, now that country’s most highly-regarded brain research center. With her leadership, the Edmond J. Safra Foundation endowed the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the largest and most ambitious neuroscience project in Israel. Through her efforts, the construction and ongoing enhancement of the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Tel Hashomer, Israel, was made possible, as well as the Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Mrs. Safra holds honorary doctorates from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, Brandeis University, and Imperial College London. She is an Honorary Fellow of King’s College London and of the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is a Commandeur of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Officier de la Légion d’honneur.