Letter from Our CEO

November 4, 2022


Dear Friends,

I think we are all aware of the increased antisemitism our community is experiencing, both from the left and the right. I am both saddened and angered to have to acknowledge this in my monthly letter to you. Just this week, we learned about Kyrie Irving's antisemitic tweets and the NBA's silence and lack of adequate response. The despicable comments Kanye West made a few weeks ago and his public "dare" to Adidas led to him being dropped by the talent agency representing him, the multiple major brands carrying his lines, and a public outcry condemning his hate speech. Some argue that he is mentally ill, and while that may be true, it doesn't make the remarks any less dangerous for Jews everywhere. These incidents, along with the countless others that do not get the same media attention, further reinforce the need to ensure we have a strong, secure Israel. By supporting Tel Aviv University (TAU), we are strengthening Israel and shining a positive light on the country and contributions emanating from TAU.

It is exciting for me to be able to share information with you about Tel Aviv University. TAU has an exceptional track record of producing entrepreneurs, as noted in the recently released annual Pitchbook report which compares universities by tallying the number of alumni entrepreneurs who have founded venture capital backed companies. TAU was ranked seventh out of 100 universities and was the only non-US university in the top ten, with over $26.5B in capital raised for 677 companies and 814 founders.

The Bloomberg-Sagol Center for City Leadership at Tel Aviv University announced the inaugural class of 20 mayors and municipal heads from across Israel that will participate in the world-class executive training program. The leadership program was launched in conjunction with Bloomberg Philanthropies (BP) in March as a major effort to strengthen local leadership across Israel, building on the work that BP has done around the world with local leaders. We are honored that the first time the program has been run outside of the United States it will be in Israel and housed at TAU.

Two weeks ago, over 200 board members, governors, alumni, supporters, and friends gathered in Miami for FALL 4 TAU, a two-and-a-half-day celebration of Tel Aviv University and its many contributions to the world. Researchers shared their work and high-profile alumni showcased the power of a TAU education with exclusive presentations and talks. Professor Dan Peer shared an overview of the incredible research happening across campus and discussed the precision nanomedicine being done in his lab. Professor Vered Padler-Karavani talked about her lab's work with sugar and cancer and the multi-disciplinary approach being employed to fight cancer. Dr. Omri Bronstein provided insight into marine environments and the DNA of species under the sea.

Alumni attendees and special guests inspired the audience all weekend. At Shabbat dinner the Consul General of Israel in Florida, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, spoke about how his time at TAU prepared him for his diplomatic service. Dr. David Scharia, the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Director, gave insight into the threats our world faces. Alon Aranya, producer of many award-winning television shows, confirmed there will be a season three of Tehran, and Dr. Moran Cerf let us know how our brains can be hacked. At our festive Saturday night dinner, A Night at the Rubell Art Museum, the keynote speaker, Major General Amikam Norkin, the former commander of the Israeli Air Force, praised TAU's contributions and the high quality of our students, noting they have helped make the IDF stronger and better able to perform at a high level. We could not help but be proud of the academic excellence of a TAU education.

Thank you for your interest and support of Tel Aviv University and Israel. We could not do what we do without your support.

Shabbat Shalom.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer