Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute
The Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute (SFAI) is a unique research facility, located at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History. It connects researchers from Israel and abroad with advanced technologies that enable them to make new and exciting discoveries about humankind's past. Together with promoting high-tech based studies of past human populations, the Shmunis institute has undertaken the task of creating an anthropological digital database collection, the Shmunis Virtual Library of Hominin Fossils. This library will facilitate the sharing of knowledge with other researchers.
The Institute aims to foster new research, both by initiating new collaborations in Israel and abroad, and by joining researchers from various fields into multidisciplinary studies.
In addition to the scientific endeavours of the Institute, it also strives to connect the public with local scientists, making knowledge accessible and encouraging curiosity in youth.
The SFAI was founded by a generous contribution from the Shmunis family. Vlad and Sana Shmunis are Ukraine-born American entrepreneurs. After coming to the US as teenagers, they founded several successful software companies. Vlad is currently Chairman and CEO of RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE:RNG), a company he founded in 1999. RingCentral is currently the world's largest and fastest-growing provider of unified communications as a service.
Vlad and Sana, with the support and involvement of their grown children, Carolyn and Ellen, endowed SFAI as a way to contribute to the study of human origins, in the hope that learning from the past will help us navigate the present for a better future. Additional goals include supporting the State of Israel and its leading academic institution, Tel Aviv University, as well as fostering closer ties between Israeli and International academic communities.
Vlad and Sana would also like the SFAI to serve in memory of Vlad's late parents, Gregory and Svetlana Shmunis, without whose sacrifices and life-long unwavering support and guidance Vlad and Sana's American Dream would never have been possible.