The annual lecture on political philosophy in memory of Michael and Esther Avineri was established and initiated by Professor Shlomo Aivineri, who donated part of his 2013 Emet prize to establish the program in memory of his parents. The program annually invites one of the world’s leading thinkers in the discipline of political thought for a public lecture in which s/he will present the theory and will hold a class for advance students in the department.
The lecturers in this program have so far included Professor Michael Sandel (Harvard), Professor Klaus Offe (Berlin), and Professor Quentin Skinner (London).
In his opening lecture, Professor Avineri mentioned that when his family immigrated to Israel in 1939 his parents lived through difficult times, but they never lost their optimism even when his father Michael, who had been an accountant in Poland, was working as a milkman, and his mother who had been the managerial secretary of an industrial factory was working as a housekeeper and waitress. “They always hoped for better days,” Avineri said. “My education was their first concern, they always supported me in my studies despite the harsh conditions”.