Letter from Our CEO

February 2022


Dear Friends,

Last week, on January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University (TAU) presented its annual report to President Isaac Herzog. The Kantor Center tracks antisemitism globally and every year presents a report with their findings, which is used to shape policy, protect Jewish communities, raise awareness, and make recommendations for organizations and governments to enhance their fight against antisemitism.

We know that antisemitism is on the rise and incidents such as Amnesty International's ill-informed and dangerous report, or Whoopi Goldberg's ignorant and infuriating comments, happen way too frequently. This year's Kantor Center report, however, shared many positive steps that are being taken in the international fight against antisemitism. According to Professor Uriya Shavit, Head of the Kantor Center, it was important to present a positive report "for three reasons: expressing appreciation for those already active; impelling more governments and organizations worldwide to initiate similar activities; and promoting a discussion on concrete proposals for improving existing programs." This made me reflect on Elie Wiesel's wise words: "Even in darkness it is possible to create light."

Today is World Cancer Day. It is a reminder that every day leading researchers at The Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research are making strides through research that has the potential to save lives. I encourage you to watch this video featuring Dr. Vered Padler-Karavani as she talks about her work related to cancer and sugar.

The innovative methods being implemented at TAU International to expand education and access to Tel Aviv University is always a topic that I am proud to discuss. This week, TAU International announced a new International BA in Management and Liberal Arts. This joint program between TAU's management and humanities faculties culminates in students receiving a double major. The multi-disciplinary academic instruction will provide graduates of the program with a competitive edge when they leave TAU. The school has also announced a new program offering collaborative international courses between TAU and global universities — these provide opportunities for students to learn from leading professors at universities worldwide. Ten courses have been developed with institutions in Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA, and Spain, and others are in the works.

Tel Aviv University continues to shine bright and create light through research, students, and the alumni who impact the world in so many positive ways. On Tuesday, February 15th, we will host Yifat Oron, Senior Managing Director/Head of Blackstone Israel and a TAU alum, in our next TAU TALKS webinar series. Join us for "Smashing the Glass Ceiling: Tech, Banking, and R&D for the IDF" and learn why The Jerusalem Post refers to Yifat as "Blackstone's secret weapon."

I invite you to join my team and me for Cycle for Scholarships, an exciting initiative to ride your bike (inside or outside) and make a difference. Help us raise much needed scholarship funds for students to ensure that Israel's brightest minds have access to the top-notch education at TAU. It's easy to join — you choose the miles, how you want to ride, stationary or on the open road — and ride anytime between April 3-10, 2022. Our collective global goal is to raise $500,000 to fund 250 scholarships. Please also follow us at @cycleforscholarships on Instagram and Facebook for ride updates and to learn what athletes, celebrities, and alumni have joined the ride. We'll follow you back and look forward to seeing your ride updates too. I know that together we can reach our goal and, as always, I'm grateful for your partnership.

Shabbat shalom.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer