Dr. Miriam Adelson, the distinguished physician, scientist, and philanthropist who was awarded the 2018 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump, has now received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University at a gala ceremony on its campus in Ramat Gan. The ceremony took place on Tuesday evening, June 4.
Dr. Adelson is recognized for her contributions to medicine, philanthropy and humanitarian activities. Specializing in diseases linked to drug use, she established two research centers in Israel and the United States dedicated to fighting addiction. With her husband, Sheldon Adelson, she established the Adelson Medical Research Foundation, focused on the prevention of serious diseases. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, in 2018.
The Honorary Doctorate ceremony was attended by the American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who placed the ceremonial hood around Dr. Adelson’s shoulders. Others senior Bar-Ilan University leadership participated, including President Prof. Arie Zaban.
“Dr. Adelson has practiced internal and emergency medicine and has spent the better part of her professional life in research into finding a cure for the disease of drug addiction. She founded two highly reputed research centers in this field. Beyond that, she and her husband Sheldon’s momentous humanitarian support for worthwhile projects in Israel make her an ideal candidate to receive this special honor,” said Prof. Zaban.
Among the notable previous recipients of Bar-Ilan University’s highest accolade are Prof. Elie Wiesel, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, author Herman Wouk, author Cynthia Ozick, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and others.
Born in Israel, Adelson grew up in the city of Haifa, where her parents settled after fleeing Poland prior to the Holocaust. After graduating high school she earned a BSc in microbiology and genetics from the Hebrew University. She subsequently completed her mandatory military service and received her medical degree with honors from Tel Aviv University. Dr. Adelson went on to become the chief internist in an emergency room at the Rokach Hospital in Tel Aviv. In 1986, she served as an associate physician at Rockefeller University in New York, where she studied chemical dependency and drug addiction, with a specific focus on the spread of HIV among drug addicts.
The Adelsons are among the leading supporters of innovative initiatives in Israel and Jewish identity programs in the US. Dr. Adelson is the publisher of Israel’s daily newspaper Israel Hayom.