Opening Event celebrates Prof. Michael and Sara Sela

Special events

Date: December 4, 2019
Weizmann Direct Dec. 2019
L to R: Prof. Michael Sela, Sara Sela, Prof. Daniel Zajfman

L to R: Prof. Michael Sela, Sara Sela, Prof. Daniel Zajfman

The Opening Event of the 71st Annual General Meeting of the International Board marked the opening of the Michael Sela Auditorium and celebrated Prof. Michael and Sara Sela. More than 500 people were in attendance. It also marked the start of the last Board event in Prof. Daniel Zajfman’s 13-year term as President.


Institute Professor Michael Sela of the Department of Immunology and his wife Sara are pillars of the Weizmann community. Prof. Sela’s scientific advancements in immunology have led to breakthrough drugs including Copaxone for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, and a series of cancer drugs. They gave a visionary gift to renovate the former Anna and Michael Wix Auditorium, with the generous consent of the Wix family of the UK. The new state-of-the art Sela Auditorium will be a hub for scientific meetings, Board meetings, and cultural events on campus.


“I owe much more to the Institute than anything I did for the Institute. I owe my life to the Institute,” said Prof. Sela. “I thank Daniel Zajfman for everything he has done for the Institute,” he added, and he deeply thanked Sara for her work on the auditorium refurbishment.


The Board events were compressed by missile fire from Gaza, which shut down the Institute for a full day. Nevertheless, a long series of donors were honored for their contributions and friendship, and Prof. Zajfman’s leadership, and that of his leadership team, was marked throughout the week of events. Incoming President Prof. Alon Chen, who began his term on December 1, gave an inaugural speech at the Open Session of the Board, in which he discussed his vision for the future.

The event included a performance by the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.