A Peek at the 2016 Winner of the Haas/Koshland Memorial Award

“In my eyes, Israel is a thriving and diverse ecosystem that brings together opposites: the strong-minded individual and the greater collective, the desert and the metropolis, the religious and the secular, the startup nation and the war-weary nation.”

Shirley Yarin

It’s easy to see how Shirley Yarin, a recent Stanford University graduate now working as a research assistant at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, was selected as the 2016 recipient of the annual Haas/Koshland Memorial Award, which provides up to $20,000 to an outstanding college student – from or attending school in the Bay Area – to support a year of personal development in Israel.

Although Shirley spent her early years in Israel before moving to the United States, it was not until she arrived at Stanford that her connection to Israel came into focus. Her transformation happened mostly through her involvement with the Jewish community on campus, following “long and grueling discussions about Israel’s right to exist in the context of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign,” she explains.

Shirley plans to use her Haas/Koshland Memorial Award to engage with The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at Hebrew University. Her earlier experiences in Israel made her eager to return and continue doing work in behavioral economics. “The year of research in Jerusalem will not only enrich my academic scope but also add complexity and perspective to my developing relationship with Israel as my birthplace, my historic home, and an active part of my future.”

About the Haas/Koshland Award

The Haas/Koshland Memorial Award was established in 1982 in memory and honor of Walter A. Haas, Sr. and Daniel E. Koshland, Sr. In their life-long generosity, these men helped shape the structure of our Jewish community. Their keen interest in quality education and young people made them well-known and well-respected in the Bay Area and throughout the world. A great deal of their time, diligence and generosity was directed toward the intellectual, medical and social betterment of the community.

Their legacy lives on in the motivation and talent embodied by candidates for the Award. "There are no strings attached to the award,” says Frances Geballe, Koshland's daughter and former chair of the Haas/Koshland Committee. “We simply want to create a program that is of value to students, their universities and Israel – all of which were important to Daniel Koshland and Walter Haas."

For more information on the Haas/Koshland Memorial award, contact Camille Menke, or call 415.512.6228.


April 20, 2016


Camille Menke