Dear friends,

I hope you will enjoy this 26th issue of the Leon Recanati Center for Maritime Studies newsletter. It comes to you from our basement floor, which over the past year has undergone extensive renewal, modernization and expansion, including new laboratories and research facilities. This is stage one, on the road to a completely renovated three-story maritime wing at the University, which should be completed in the near future. This project will provide the academic, administrative and technical staff of the Center with an effective and aesthetic working environment (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Adv. Assa Abramsky, Secretary, The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation, unveiling the plaque at the ceremony marking the renovation of the CMS  (Photo: A. Baltinester)

 The first stage of the renewal was made possible due to the generous contribution of the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin De Rothschild Foundation. We would like to thank this foundation for its invaluable ongoing support. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts made by Prof. Yehuda Hayuth, President of the University, and Ms. Yael Metser,
Vice-President for Development, in promoting the Center in general and its renovation in particular. Thanks are due also to Prof. Aharon Kellerman, Vice-President, and the staff of the Maintenance Department at the University for their on-the-job performance.

 We are delighted to announce that the University authorities have given their approval to the change of status of the CMS, from center to institute. The official name of the center will now be- The Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies (RIMS).
 Another very important development is the contribution of $1,000,000, from the Yahel Foundation, for the establishment of a special endowment fund at the Leon Recanati Center for Maritime Studies. The fruits of this fund, which is to be completed within five years, will be used for fellowships for young marine scientists and to support marine research within the framework of the Leon Recanati Center for Maritime Studies.

 During this academic year the first fruits, in the amount of $11,000, will be available for this purpose. We are grateful to the Chairman of our Board of Directors, Mr. Ariel Recanati and the Recanati family for their generous support. This is a proper way to commemorate Mr. Ya'acov Recanati, who for many years served as an active member of our board of directors, supported the center and was aware of the need for promoting young marine scientists at the center.

 We are very proud that our dear friend and long time supporter of the maritime units of the University,Sir Maurice Hatter, was knighted by the Queen of England. We send him our congratulations.

 Congratulations are also extended to Ezra Marcus and Ya'acov Kahanov. Ezra Marcus received his Ph.D. from Oxford University and Ya'acov Kahanov received his Ph.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Haifa.

 This issue highlights some of the recent research activities at the CMS. We have also continued the tradition established in the previous CMS Newsletter (issue 24 - 25, 1998) and included abstracts of the research theses of some of our recent MA recipients at our Graduate Department of Maritime Civilizations, the teaching arm of maritime studies at the University of Haifa. The teaching activities of the graduate department go beyond the boarders of Israel, including study cruises in the Mediterranean and study trips to the Red Sea. During the recent academic year, the Center organized for the first time, a unique study trip to Jordan.

  The future generation of outstanding marine researchers continues to be our first priority. The Maurice Hatter Endowment Fund enabled us in 1999, as in previous years, to give 5 fellowships to outstanding students, in the field of Man and the Sea (Fig. 2). These students have already submitted research plans for their theses. Fellowship
recipients include three graduate students in the advanced stages of their studies towards their MA degree, one Ph.D. student and one postdoctoral fellow.

Fig. 2. Mr. Maurice Hatter awarding one of the Hatter research prizes to
Dr. E. Marcus of the CMS and the Department of Maritime Civilizations (Photo: A. Baltinester)


 The generous donation of fellowship funds, given by our dear friends Sir Maurice and Lady Irene Hatter, has already produced clear results. We are proud of the professional achievements of the past recipients of the Hatter fellowships who are continuing scientific marine activities within the framework of professional and academic institutes in Israel and abroad.

 In the previous issue of the CMS newsletter I emphasized the need to encourage new graduate students from the beginning of their studies. The idea was to locate resources in order to provide fellowships for outstanding graduate students, to permit them to work full-time on interdisciplinary study and research in the field of Man and the Sea. Happily, this campaign is bearing its first fruits. We are grateful to Mr. Richard Scheuer who has made possible the first three year subsistence fellowship from the Scheuer Foundation in New York to be given to an outstanding new MA student at the Department. We hope that more sources for such subsistence fellowships will be found to enable the recruitment of more talented new graduate students.

 Since the publication of the last issue we have lost two dear friends -  Mr. Rafael Recanati, a long time supporter of our center and Prof. Moshe Dothan, an active member of the academic staff of the CMS and the Department of Maritime Civilizations for many years (including service as Chairman of the Department). We mourn their loss and hope that the development of the Center and the advancement of marine research and teaching at the University of Haifa will be a suitable memorial to these dear friends.

Ehud Spanier


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