$35 million Diller Cancer Center to open at UCSF Monday

A new cancer center at the University of California at San Francisco that was built with a $35 million gift to the school given by Helen and Sanford Diller was set to open Monday, according to the San Francisco Gate.

The Dillers have given away more than $200 million since opening their family foundation in 1999, according to the Gate. Some of that money has gone towards creating Jewish Studies programs at U.C. Santa Cruz and U.C. Berkley, and to the building of a Jewish preschool at the JCC in San Fran.

The Dillers say that their charity is an expression of their Jewish identity.

From the Gate:

Helen Samuels watched her father work his way up from clothing salesman to shop owner. She listened to her parents, Jews who had immigrated to San Francisco from Poland, speak of the importance of giving back.

Helen Samuels is now Helen Diller and – with her husband, real estate developer Sanford Diller – has become one of the great philanthropists of the Bay Area. Tuesday marks the opening of a new cancer research facility at Mission Bay, named after Helen Diller and made possible by the family’s $35 million gift.

"There is a Hebrew expression, ‘Tikkun olam,’ which means to repair the world," Diller said, sitting in her Woodside home. "My parents did things in a small way because that is what they could do. Now we are doing what we are able to do."

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