Entertainment & Arts

Barbra Streisand to receive honorary PhD in Jerusalem

Barbra Streisand is 71 years old

Barbra Streisand is to receive an honorary doctorate of philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The singer and actress will be awarded the PhD when she visits Israel next month, where she also will perform in the country for the first time.

The award is in recognition for her human rights work and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people.

Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, said they were "deeply proud" to honour her.

"Barbra Streisand's transcendent talent is matched by her passionate concern for equality and opportunity for people of every gender and background," he said.

Rights for women

"Equally important, her love of Israel and her Jewish heritage are reflected in so many aspects of her life and career."

In 1984 Streisand established a building for Jewish studies on the University's Mount Scopus campus, which she dedicated to her late father Emanuel.

In 1983 she starred in the award-winning movie Yentl, in which she played a young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to study Talmud, the comprehensive written version of Jewish oral law.

Streisand said she was pleased that women could now "pursue Jewish studies without having to disguise themselves as men".

She will receive her PhD in a ceremony on 17 June, after which she will perform for President Shimon Peres's 90th birthday and play two dates in Tel Aviv.

The performer already holds an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

She has also received many awards during her career, and is one of just a few stars to have won all four major US awards - an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and an honorary Tony.

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