LOS ANGELES, April 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --Internationally renowned Israeli author, Amos Oz will receive the "UCLA Israel Studies Award" and philanthropists Younes and Soraya Nazarian, the inaugural "Visionary Award," at a gala evening celebrating the five-year anniversary of the UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, May 5, 2015 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills. The Y&S Nazarian Center promotes the study of Israel as a modern Jewish and democratic state.
The evening's program, followed by an elegant dinner, will include a special conversation with Oz by celebrated Israeli journalist, writer and television commentator, Ari Shavit. The Honorary Committee is helmed by Janet Napolitano, President, University of California and Gene Block, Chancellor, UCLA.
Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman will present to Amos Oz. Portman adapted the screenplay and makes her directorial debut with "A Tale of Love and Darkness," a feature film based on the memoir of Amos Oz. Portman also stars in the role of Oz's mother, Fania. The film is slated to premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
The "UCLA Israel Studies Award," which includes a $10,000 prize, was created to recognize individuals of extraordinary character and merit in their chosen fields – whether academia, public service, business or the arts – who have contributed to a greater understanding of Israel or have made outstanding contributions to Israeli society and/or culture.
Younes and Soraya Nazarian are universally recognized for their remarkable professional accomplishments and outstanding humanitarian endeavors. Together, their extensive philanthropic work, conducted through the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, has benefitted a host or worthy causes in the fields of academia, public policy and community-based social and artistic programs.
The UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies promotes the study of Israel as a modern Jewish and democratic state. Through teaching, scholarship and community programs, the Center fosters a deep and nuanced understanding of Israel's rich history, multi-ethnic society, vibrant culture and role in the Middle East and the world. The Center is quickly becoming an international leader in the burgeoning field of Israel Studies. www.international.ucla.edu/israel
SOURCE The UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies