Koret makes high-profile appointments to its board

"I have been impressed," said the Palo Alto resident, "by the support Koret has provided to academic institutions and to education, especially Jewish education. It will be a privilege to be part of continuing that advocacy.

"Another area in which I may be able to add something is in furthering the work of Koret in supporting economic development in Israel and the Middle East. I would like to see those programs expanded to include the Palestinian population, when improved circumstances permit, of course."

During his career, Sofaer has been a prosecutor, legal educator, government official and attorney in private practice. As U. S. District judge in New York, he handled several high-profile cases, including the libel actions against Time magazine by then-Israeli general and current prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Yeshiva College and earned his legal degree at New York University School of Law. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University.

Atkinson, head of the U.C. system since 1995, served as chancellor of U.C. San Diego for 15 years, and director of the National Science Foundation. He was a longtime member of the faculty at Stanford.

"The Koret Foundation has been making an important difference in education, health, the arts and public policy for a long time," said Atkinson, a Kensington resident. "I look forward to working with this outstanding organization as it improves lives and strengthens communities."

Atkinson is past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, former chair of the Association of American Universities and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. A mountain in Antarctica has been named in his honor.

The Koret Foundation is among the larger Jewish-sponsored charitable trusts in California. Since its founding, Koret has awarded more than $200 million in grants in the Bay Area. The foundation also supports projects in Israel.