Edited by: TJVNews.com
Stage, screen and television actor Richard Kind, was the Host and Honoree of the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) Ribbons of Hope Virtual Gala Celebration on August 10, along with ICRF Chapter Honorees Cynthia Perl, William Meyers, Cindy Pogrund, and Marjorie B. Cohen, Z”L, Inspirational Speaker Joseph Shamie, and ICRF-Funded Scientist Dr. Jacob Hanna. Special appearances included Michael J. Fox, Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, Susie Essman, Paul Rudd, Jeff Garlin, Gilbert Gottfried, Steven Weber, Ayla Schwartz and Azi Schwartz. The gala raised more than $1.5 million to support cancer research in Israel.
“I am so honored to accept this award, “ Richard Kind said, “and when someday a scientist funded by ICRF makes a huge breakthrough, I will point to that scientist and tell my friends, ‘I had little bit to do with that’.”
The evening combined comedy, as well as special presentations by a cancer survivor and a cancer scientist. Jacob Shamie, Co-President of Delta Children and a beloved member of the Brooklyn/Deal community, spoke about how “cancer affects almost all of us whether it be directly or indirectly through a loved one’s suffering. And I hope that my support of ICRF tonight will help to raise the necessary funds to one day find a cure for cancer.”
ICRF-funded Scientist, Jacob Hanna, MD, PhD, who is a recipient of an ICRF Research Professorship Grant, spoke about the importance of ICRF in his career development. “My lab has been supported by ICRF for the last ten years, since day one of its establishment. It’s the first grant I ever received and it has been so crucial because it offers many types of programs that are longer term. Having this stability allows researchers to take on riskier projects, more challenging projects, which I think is critical. Moreover, the ICRF reputation is very positive and I’ve often felt that my Research Professorship Grant has facilitated my ability to apply for other grants as well.”
“The gala was a unique opportunity to tell the story of Israel’s truly world-class research to a national audience,” said ICRF President David Abramson. “We hope to inspire hope for cancer patients and their families worldwide and generate critical dollars in support of Israel’s brilliant cancer research.’’
Beryl Chernov, National Executive Director, added: “The Virtual Gala exceeded our expectations in so many ways, the most important of which is that the funds raised will enable us to continue to support the very best cancer research being conducted by ICRF-funded scientists.”
Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) was founded in 1975 by a group of North American physicians, scientists and lay leaders who sought to ensure adequate funding for high-potential cancer research investigations while helping to prevent the loss of Israel’s most promising cancer researchers to overseas institutions due to a lack of funding. ICRF has chapters in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Palm Springs/Coachella Valley, Chicago, Connecticut, and Jerusalem.
ICRF grants are selected after an intensive peer review by a distinguished Scientific Review Panel (SRP) composed of leading physicians and scientists from the U.S. and Canada. Modeled after the NIH’s review process, the SRP bases its selection criteria on the scientific merit of the project, the demonstrated ability of the investigators and the suitability of the institutions in which they work. With the 2020-2021 grants, ICRF funding has now surpassed 2,500 grants totaling more than $77.7 million. The efforts of Israeli cancer researchers have contributed to some of the most significant cancer breakthroughs of recent years and have resulted in collaborations with major international cancer organizations, including the Cancer Research Institute and City of Hope.