Letter from Our CEO

October 2021


Dear Friends,

And just like that, this past Monday, 30,000 students came back to campus to start the 2021-2022 academic year. After a summer break followed by a month of holidays, the excitement was palpable as students returned to campus ready and excited to go back to in person learning. Simultaneously, the Tel Aviv University Board of Governors (BOG) meeting, long delayed by Covid, kicked off in a hybrid format with a robust program taking place in person and being broadcast globally. The BOG continues through October 21, and I encourage you to view the program and register for events of interest.

One of the first BOG programs was the presentation of The Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research, which celebrates pioneering scientists and scholars who have reached the highest levels of excellence in both research and teaching. The Award was established in 2015 by the Naomi Foundation in honor and memory of Naomi Prawer Kadar PhD, a lifelong educator, teacher, and scholar. The 2021 winners are Professor Emilia Fridman (Engineering), Professor Dalit Rom-Shiloni (Humanities), Professor Yossi Yovel (Life Sciences), and Professor Domenico Agostini (Humanities). To learn about the recipients and their ground-breaking work, please watch these brief videos.

Architecture and design fans will want to tune into the The Michel Gelrubin Architecture Prize (MiG Prize) ceremony on October 24 at 12 noon EST, which honors students whose work demonstrates a combination of vision and talent in the art of architecture and interior design. This year's theme, the future of architecture and design in a post Covid-19 world, will be highlighted. Here is the link to watch.

As the world continues to grapple with new waves of Covid-19 and dizzying amounts of often conflicting information, we are fortunate to have access to leading researchers and experts who share the facts and help us to understand the situation. We wanted to share this expertise with you and give you the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers. On Wednesday, October 27, American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) will host a webinar, Covid-19: Dispelling the Myths, with Professor Jonathan Gershoni, a world-renowned virologist with the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research. Professor Gershoni will provide science-based answers and help you sort through the abundance of misinformation.

Please register to join us for the webinar, and when you do, submit your questions about vaccines, booster shots, the future, and anything else Covid-19 related. Tel Aviv University and Israel continue to be leaders in researching vaccines and variants, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this access to you.

Last week we hosted our first virtual gala. My team and I are incredibly grateful for the support, interest, and participation from so many. Together, we raised over $2 million that will go towards funding student scholarships, medical research, and the Center for Combatting Pandemics. Thank you to our distinguished honorees, Dr. Anita Friedman, Maya Kadar Kovalsky, Nadav Kadar, and Noa Tishby, who were the reason so many people came out to celebrate. And a special thanks to our incredible gala co-chairs, Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Garry Rayant, for their leadership and their call to action for us all to be "force multipliers" in supporting education and democracy.

Wishing you a shabbat shalom,

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer