Letter from Our CEO

May 6, 2022


Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, Israel observed Yom HaZikaron, a solemn and meaningful day, and on Wednesday night Yom HaZikaron ended and Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) began.

Thursday was a celebratory day in Israel, marking the country's 74th year of independence. In 1956, eight years after Israel was established, Tel Aviv University (TAU) was founded when three research institutes — the Tel Aviv School of Law and Economics (established in 1935), the Institute of Natural Sciences (established in 1931), and the Institute of Jewish Studies — joined together to form the University. Since it opened its doors 66 years ago, TAU has become a global research institution and a world-renowned university that excels in many areas including medical research, climate change, humanities, the arts, engineering, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Tel Aviv University researchers and professors are often experts in guiding policy and advising various government ministries. The University's Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry just published their annual report on Antisemitism Worldwide, which sadly showed that antisemitism peaked in 2021. Despite the efforts and resources invested in combating antisemitism, Jews around the world acknowledge new fears and and increased awareness of antisemitism. I encourage you to watch the video report featuring Professor Uriya Shavit, head of the Center, and Professor Dina Porat, the Center's founder.

It is especially encouraging to think about the positive relationships that Israel and Tel Aviv University have built with Arab countries in the region. Following the warming of relations between Israel and Turkey, TAU will enjoy new academic collaborations with three leading Turkish universities and has created an "Academic Bridge Initiative" which includes academic collaborations, exchange programs, and joint research initiatives.

If the founders of Israel and Tel Aviv University could see the evolution of their vision, I know they would be incredibly proud and amazed. Breakthroughs such as an ultimate solution to global warming that accelerates an industrial transition to sustainable energy, technology that could prevent repeat heart valve surgery, and new research that offers hope to help people with paralysis walk again are game-changers. You can even find TAU technology in your car and in your pocket. If you drive, you have surely depended on Waze to help you with directions. If you've taken a selfie on your phone, you were able to do that because your phone has a dual camera. Both technologies were created by TAU alumni.

This Shabbat feels like a fitting time to acknowledge and celebrate Israel's independence and Tel Aviv University's ingenuity and creative spirit. Wishing you a Shabbat shalom,

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer