Stephen Grand, a longtime supporter of ISRAEL21c as well as the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Weizmann Institute of Science, passed away on March 21 in California.
“Steve Grand was one of the most altruistic, humble and funny people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” said ISRAEL21c President Amy Friedkin. “His legacy lives on across the landscape of Israel.”
Upon receiving a Technion honorary doctorate in 2010, Grand related that when he was growing up in Detroit in the 1950s, his father Sam was president of the local American Technion Society chapter, and that both his parents loved Israel.
He and his wife, Nancy, were keenly interested in medical and environmental research.
At the Technion, they endowed the Nancy and Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program, the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute, the Grand-Holdstein Drone Competition, and the Ciechanover Research Lab and Protein Degradation/Ubiquitin Nobel Research Lab.
At the Weizmann, they established the Nancy and Stephen Grand Center for Sensors and Security and the Nancy and Stephen Grand Israel National Center for Personalized Medicine. The institute bestowed an honorary doctorate on Grand in 2016.
Diagnosed in 2005 with a fatal blood cancer, multiple myeloma, Grand credited Velcade — which he described as a “breakthrough drug based on Israeli research” at the Technion — for helping him live way past the initial prognosis of two years.
The Grands also have supported such projects as the Family House in San Francisco, which provides temporary lodging to low-income families of pediatric cancer patients undergoing treatment; and the Jewish Cultural Center in Odessa, Ukraine.
A successful real estate developer, Grand was a major benefactor of ISRAEL21c.
He once wrote to fellow philanthropist: “Remember a few years ago when the big complaint was that Israel didn’t know how to do PR and that all the news was bad? ISRAEL21c is filling the bad news void with great stories about Israel and I truly think they are making a difference.”
We at ISRAEL21c mourn the passing of this remarkable philanthropist and look forward to reporting on the ongoing fruits of his generosity.