Yehuda Elkana, Israeli Scholar, Dies at 78

By JTA

Published September 27, 2012.
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Distinguished Israeli scholar Yehuda Elkana, who headed the Central European University, died at the age of 78.

A survivor of Auschwitz, Elkana died in Jerusalem Sept. 21 after a battle with cancer, the Budapest-based Central European University, where Elkana served as president and rector from 1999 to 2009, announced.

The statement called Elkana an academic pioneer who had led the Central European University for nearly half the life of the university.

“I want to express my deepest appreciation for all he accomplished. I admire the courage with which he faced his illness and, eventually, his death,” said University Founder and Honorary Chairman of the Board George Soros.

Born in 1934 in Subotica in what was then Yugoslavia, Elkana and his family were deported to Auschwitz in 1944, but survived. He immigrated to Israel in 1948.

Elkana was a historian and philosopher of science who taught at Harvard University and served as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University (1973-1974) and a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1977-1978). He served as director of both the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute (1968-1993) and the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University (1981-1991), and held other senior academic positions.


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