Letter from Our CEO

December 1, 2023


Dear Friends,

Life since October 7th has felt surreal. While we celebrate the return of some of the hostages, we continue to be heartbroken because of those still in captivity. We have watched in disbelief as the pro-Palestinian protests have become violent and rabidly antisemitic, while we are proud that the pro-Israel marches are peaceful and without violence, arrests, or commotion. The rise in violent acts of antisemitism and moral relativism on college campuses is shocking, as is the painful silence of so many in positions of leadership and influence. One thing is crystal clear — we must continue to support and advocate for Israel, to ensure she has the space and time needed to bring the hostages home and secure her borders. For me, supporting Tel Aviv University (TAU) is a critical part of supporting Israel.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to Tel Aviv University's Emergency Fund. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity, but there is much more work to do: the needs of the University continue to grow. More than 6,000 students and many faculty members are now in the reserves. As a result of your donations, TAU was able to provide a second round of assistance to all combat soldiers. President Porat feels strongly that the University has an obligation to support our students fighting for Israel's security. Faculty members have volunteered to teach beyond their regular hours and provide the academic support necessary for those who are serving. Universities are not a peacetime luxury, but a key and central component of Israel's foundation — our students are Israel's future leaders.

An immediate, top priority for Tel Aviv University is to set up a post-trauma clinic in cooperation with the IDF and the Israeli government in order to begin immediately treating IDF soldiers and civilians suffering from PTSD and trauma as a result of the events of October 7th. I encourage you to watch this video featuring Professor Yair Bar-Haim, a world-renowned expert on PTSD and the Director of the Center for Traumatic Stress and Resilience at Tel Aviv University. He explains the mental health needs of the more than 30,000 estimated new cases of PTSD and trauma in Israel. In addition to running this emergency clinic, Professor Bar-Haim is leading the psychological care for the hostages.

Another way Tel Aviv University is aiding in the war effort is by establishing a new TAU-IDF engineering command center, which is designing solutions for immediate challenges on the battlefield. Researchers at TAU's Fleischman Faculty of Engineering are providing expert guidance, analyses, mechanical design solutions, 3D printing of parts, chip optimization, and more to support the IDF.

To address the conflicting information and media denial of the events of October 7th, an archive project in the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities is documenting social media, articles, photos, videos, and other material related to the October 7th attack and Israel’s response, ensuring that the truth will be widely accessible for public use, study, and research for generations to come. If you are moved to support this project or any of TAU's war initiatives, you can donate to the Emergency Fund. There is no overhead on donations made to the Emergency Fund, so 100% of your donation will go directly to aid these projects and many others.

Tel Aviv University has opened the campus to hundreds of children, grades 1-12, who were evacuated from the northern community of Kiryat Shmona and are now learning in TAU classrooms. These students have access to labs on campus as well as the ability to explore the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History and the ANU Museum of Jewish People. Counselors from the Steinhardt Museum have held 61 education days at hotels for evacuees, with more than 1,800 participants.

Tel Aviv University is an incubator for ideas and the future leaders of our world. We must continue to support those who have interrupted their lives to ensure Israel's security and to invest in tomorrow's leaders. Your partnership is invaluable. I am thankful for your ongoing interest in the life-changing research, support of students with academic scholarships, and most recently providing funding for immediate mental health services for students and faculty. Our success is possible because of your support. For that, I thank you.

Shabbat shalom.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer