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  Article published by the Jewish United Fund-
    Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago,
    in October, 2003.

 

 

A life and a legacy that endure

 
To honor the legacy of David Diego Ladowski, a victim of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem bombing on July 31, 2002, the David Diego Ladowski Memorial Fund was created. The Fund award is given to gifted and talented young students of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's School of Public Policy who are committed to a lifetime of public service and working for world peace and excellence. It is administered by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

At the June 11, 2003, graduation ceremony at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Diego's brother, Chicagoan Gabi Ladowski, delivered the following speech:

"Good evening, everybody, and welcome to this event that is so important for all of us, not only for what it is, but also for what it represents. Today is a very sad day for many of us, but at the same time, it is a happy moment, because we are celebrating the life of an extraordinary man and continuing his legacy by allowing others to fulfill their dreams.

My brother, David Diego Ladowski, was a very special human being, a pacifist and humanist who just loved being at the University. He was always eager to learn more and more to reach a level of perfection. That's why he couldn't choose any other place to study. 

The Hebrew University is the most reputable university in Israel. This is the place where people like 
Dr. Weizmann, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Lord Rothschild, our current U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, and so many more have been a part of.

David Diego was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and at the age of 3 1/2 already knew how to read. In 1992 he decided to make aliyah in Israel and then to become a diplomat.

When he arrived he was a foreigner who could not speak the language. He learned Hebrew so well that he was able to speak and write at an academic level where professors were astounded about the richness of every piece of work he delivered.

While studying, he also worked at the University. He received his bachelor's degree in communications in 1996, then completed his army service as an academic officer, during which time he obtained the rank of lieutenant. Later he joined the Israel Foreign Ministry's diplomatic cadet program.

So you have an idea, there are about 2,500 applicants from which only 20 are selected. They have to pass extensive tests to be accepted. He came within the first four! Simultaneously he was pursuing a master's degree in public policy. At the time he already spoke fluently and wrote in five languages Spanish, Hebrew, English, German, and French and could communicate in Russian.

People here at the University remember him as an extremely resourceful person, with a smile on his face and ready to help anyone who needed it. 

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he found his dream come true. He met and interacted with high-caliber international personalities from all over the world, and everyone in the diplomatic world learned to love him as well. After only two years he was appointed second secretary, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Israel in Lima, Peru. No one can remember a cadet coming from a foreign country who was assigned to such an important job in such a short period of time.

So when you are talking about such an extraordinary person, you can't just ignore his accomplishments and what he still would have achieved. For that reason, my family, along with professors at the University who created the David Diego Ladowski Fund in the United States, are here this evening to award students that have been selected to be the recipients of a special merit scholarship.

It's our hope that the awarded students will be very successful in their careers and committed to a lifetime of public service and working for world peace and excellence.

On this evening we are honoring David Diego's memory and also what this University stands for, and I will quote Professor Magidor's words, who said: To create a society that is based on reason and mutual understanding, and to work as a community of researchers and students which welcomes Israelis of all backgrounds and guests from all over the world.

I want to particularly thank the president of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Professor Menachem Magidor; the rector of the University, Professor Haim Rabinovich; the head of the School of Public Policy, Professor David Dery; the people at the University who helped make this event possible, and all the people who made generous contributions to the foundation.

We believe that the best way to face the challenge is turning a bad situation into something good. That is what my brother was working for. His example will be a legacy for a better world.

Congratulations to the students, Shalom, and thank you all."

 

Article, © 2003 All Rights Reserved.  Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

  © 2002-2016 Gabriel H. Ladowski