Chicago Chapter eNewsletter
Donate  Tell-a-Friend View on the Web     


Melvin and Randy Berlin Honored

Berlins and Gaines
Melvin and Randy Berlin with their Star Stream award that was presented by Chapter President Mark Gaines (right).

Chicago residents Melvin Berlin and his wife, Randy Lamm Berlin, were honored at the ATS Chicago Chapter Annual Gala Event for their generous support of the Technion. Chicago Chapter President Mark Gaines and his wife, Nina, and Nadine and Rick Woldenberg co-chaired the event, which was held at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park on October 31. The keynote speaker was Jonathan Medved, C.E.O and Director of Vringo, the company hailed by the New York Times as “the next big thing in ringtones.”

The 165 attendees enjoyed the heartfelt video message to the Berlins from Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie. In his message, President Lavie said he “fell in love with the Berlins almost instantly,” and called them a “warm, open and caring couple who are among a small group of Technion supporters I consider to be the elite.”

The couple recently gave a major gift to the Technion to fund research activities in the university’s stem cell and tissue regeneration research laboratory. The laboratory, which is home to stem cell pioneer Professor Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor, will be renamed the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Laboratory for Stem Cell and Tissue Regeneration Research.

“This research provides hope that there might someday be cures for cancer, Parkinson’s and other dreaded diseases,” said Melvin Berlin.

Berlins at Podium
The Berlins at the podium

Professor Itskovitz-Eldor, who will lead the projects in the laboratory, was one of the first to isolate and cultivate human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), a scientific breakthrough that ushered in a new phase of stem cell research and development. Part of the Berlins’ funding will help improve the culturing of hESCs so that they can be generated more efficiently, that is, in quantities plentiful enough for large-scale clinical trials. In a second project, Professor Itskovitz-Eldor and his team are devising new ways to use stem cells to promote new blood vessel growth, which can improve treatments for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“This exciting event — starting a center of research for stem cells and regenerative medicine — will put the Technion at the forefront of universities studying stem cells and their applications,” said President Lavie.

“I’ve always identified with Israel, perhaps because there is a personal parallel,” said Berlin. Growing up during the Depression, he waited on customers in his father’s grocery store, worked summers as an assistant auctioneer, and, like Israel, struggled to continually better his situation.

Melvin Berlin left college to marry Randy Lamm (his wife of 62 years), and in 1957 formed his own company, selling commodities to food manufacturers and metal products to farm stores. In 1959, he entered a partnership with a metal service business. Eight years later, he bought his partner’s shares, becoming Berlin Metals. In 1987, he purchased a small distributor of rigid packaging containers based in the United States. Today, that company, Berlin Packaging LLC, has 60 locations worldwide.

Melvin Berlin and his wife, Randy, a retired lawyer and currently a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, also support 20 post-combat Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.


A Message from Chicago Chapter President Mark Gaines

Mark Gaines
Mark Gaines

One of my greatest pleasures, as President of the Chicago Chapter, is the privilege of reporting on the huge success of our Oct. 31st Annual Gala at Northmoor Country Club. It was a true honor to take part in our chapter’s recognition of Randy and Melvin Berlin and their family, and their extraordinary generosity and support of the Technion. As our chapter’s newest Guardians, the Berlins continue the tradition of commitment to the Technion, and to Israel, that informs all our supporters, past and present.

Jonathan Medved, co-founder and CEO of Vringo and one of Israel’s leading high tech venture capitalists, was more than deserving of the title “keynote speaker.” His fascinating presentation left the audience cheering. The warm mood, abundant food, and the enjoyment of sharing a morning with friends and family cannot be measured. So, I am delighted to honestly report that, by any measure, “a good time was had by all.”

To watch the video shown at the ATS Annual Event, please click on the following link:




Annual Tax and Estate Planning Seminar — Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the Chicago Chapter Planned Giving Committee will once again offer financial planners the opportunity to attend our Annual Tax and Estate Planning Seminar. The 7:45 am breakfast meeting, co-sponsored by Northern Trust Bank, will be hosted at Northern’s 50 South LaSalle Street  location in downtown Chicago.

This highly anticipated annual event is greatly valued due to our success in securing Russ Sullivan, Staff Director, U.S. Senate Finance Committee, once again to be our keynote speaker. As in the past, Russ promises to share his insider view on current trends and upcoming tax legislation. For the Chicago Chapter, the seminar provides a valuable opportunity to inform the estate planning community about work being done at the Technion so that they can share the information, and the importance of the Technion, with clients during the estate planning process.


Technion Professor Moris S. Eisen visits Chicago — Thursday, Dec. 2 and Friday, Dec. 3, 2010

Professor Moris Eisen
Professor Moris Eisen

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Moris Eisen, who has earned the reputation as an outstanding teacher and researcher at the Technion, will be visiting Chicago in early December. Prof. Eisen is Dean of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry since 2008 and the Director of the Technion’s Institute of Catalysis, Science and Technology. He is the incumbent of the Samuel O. Friedlander Academic Chair. Although his time is limited, we are scheduling private meetings for those interested in learning more about his work. If you would like to meet Prof. Eisen, please contact our Chicago office at 312-553-2222 or


Wining and Dining Chicago Chapter Mission Presentation — Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

Paris banner

On January 20th, the very French ambiance of the Sofitel Hotel, 20 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago, is a fitting location to kick off the Chicago Chapter recruitment for the ATS National Mission to Paris and Israel, May 29 - June 10, 2011. In addition to mouth-watering French food and specially selected Israeli wines, the French Consulate of Chicago has graciously agreed to provide materials and up-to-the-minute tour information exclusively for our dinner guests who are considering joining the Mission.

Enjoy the City of Lights on our Spring 2011 mission, during which we will offer ATS members exclusive panoramic tours, including visits to seminal sights that define France’s 2,000-year-old Jewish history. Visit the Jewish quarter, Le Marais, and the new Holocaust museum, and engage in discussions with the country’s prominent leaders. Be a guest at the Synagogue de la Victoire, an artistic and architectural masterpiece, and also of the French Technion Society, whose most prominent members will round out our tour.

And finally, join us in Israel for tours of major cities and meetings with the country’s influential leaders and experts. See Israel’s bright future being forged at the Technion, where you will meet with students and faculty in laboratories, classrooms and at dedications of ATS projects. You will be inspired by their stories of both personal and scientific triumphs and challenges from students, faculty and alumni.

For more information or to register, visit

For more information on any of the upcoming events please contact our office at 312-553-2222 or email

Click here to unsubscribe. Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn

American Technion Society
111 W. Washington, Ste. 1220 | Chicago, IL 60602
Tel: (312) 553-2222 | Fax: (312) 553-2223




powered by CONVIO
nonprofit software