Tribute to Robert Parienti in Paris

Date: Sunday, March 26, 2017

On November 22, the Weizmann Institute celebrated the life and career of Robert Parienti, Delegate General of the French Committee who retired after over four decades. Nearly 600 people attended the event, which took place at the Palais Brongniart in Paris. David Weizmann replaces Robert in that role as Executive Director.


Mr. Parienti was born in Tunisia and moved to Switzerland, and then Paris. He was introduced to the Weizmann Institute by the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, who suggested that he become the Institute’s representative in France. He took on that role in 1974.


“He had a scientific mission, but he also had another idea, which was to show people a different face of Israel at a time when the atmosphere was particularly unfavorable,” says Prof. Michel Goldberg, a leader of the French Committee. To that end, and with the help of French Health Minister Simone Veil, he initiated a major collaboration between the Pasteur Institute and the Weizmann Institute, which became a gold standard for scientific collaborations by Institute scientists. Mr. Parienti is also responsible for recruiting major philanthropic gifts for the Institute from French donors for buildings, research, scholarships, and more, and he held galas in Paris that drew the elite of French society.