TAU Lays Cornerstone for the Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building

A new world class visitor building is celebrated as "gateway" to university community

Parviz Izak Nazarian, TAU President Prof. Joseph Klafter, and Pouran Nazarian

On August 19, 2012, the cornerstone of the new Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building was laid in an official ceremony on the campus of Tel Aviv University. Surrounded by their children, grandchildren and University officials, including President Joseph Klafter, Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian were honored for their unwavering commitment to TAU and Israeli society.

The stunning new pyramid structure will house the new Yechiel Ben Zvi Visitors' Pavilion and provide a permanent home for The Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI), a non-profit organization which seeks to create a stronger, more stable society through research and education. The building promises to be an essential pillar of the TAU campus and the community at large.

"It will represent our community spirit, our sophisticated campus and our advanced research, teaching and public outreach capabilities," stated President Klafter at the ceremony, praising the generosity of the Nazarian family.

Artist's rendering of Nazarian building

Parviz Izak Nazarian responded, "We are honored to provide a gift to benefit the students of Tel Aviv University, tomorrow's future leaders. It is important to give back to Israel so that the country will remain strong and safeguard Jews everywhere."

Prior to the ceremony, Israeli Home Front Defense Minister, Avi Dichter, presented Parviz Izak Nazarian with the "Ot Ha'Kommemut," a prestigious military medal awarded only to those who had served in Israel's War of Independence, an honor which further highlighted the Nazarian family's valuable contributions to the State of Israel.

Pouran Nazarian commented, "Our love and devotion to Israel knows no bounds. We are thrilled that this beautiful building will be able to enhance the TAU campus and make a positive difference in the life of the university, its students and the community."

The Nazarian family gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony

Support of education has always been a priority for Parviz Izak Nazarian. Throughout his life, he has maintained strong support of many universities in Israel. In May of 2003, he received a Doctorate of Philosophy Honorary Degree from Tel Aviv University in recognition for his spirit and resourcefulness in transforming himself from a destitute child into a successful entrepreneur, community leader and philanthropist.

In 1997, the Nazarians established The Pouran and Parviz Nazarian Chair for Modern Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University in recognition of the need to better understand Iran and the Islamic regime's influence in the Middle East.

Dora Kadisha, daughter of Pouran and Parviz Nazarian and Executive Director of CECI, shared her belief that the building would serve to inspire community involvement. "For our family, TAU has been a home away from home for many years. We are happy to build a monument that will serve as a permanent location for CECI and will host our research facilities and many important events to promote citizens’ empowerment."

Highlighting social contribution

The Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building, featuring a striking glass pyramid facade, is located adjacent to the Miriam and Adolfo Smolarz Auditorium. The structure will transform TAU's current Visitors' Facility, serving as the point-of-entry to welcome all guests to the TAU campus. The Visitors' Pavilion inside will include a gallery for exhibitions, highlighting the University's history and research achievements, a 120-seat auditorium hall and a training room for tour guides.

Referring to the building as an icon in the making, President Klafter noted that it would be a "physical symbol for the tremendous contribution of the Nazarian family to Israeli society and advancing the security and prosperity of the country."

Yoram Eldan, the TAU architect who designed the building, commented, "The design of the building was chosen to balance old and new, referring on one hand to the ancient Egyptian pyramids, and on the other hand recalling the contemporary glass pyramid of the Parisian Musee du Louvre."

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