Letter from Our CEO

September 8, 2023


Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that summer is over and in a week we will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, followed by Yom Kippur and Sukkot. In this whirlwind period of celebrating, reflecting, and celebrating again, Israel and Tel Aviv University (TAU) will be in my thoughts. I feel immense gratitude for being able to bring awareness to and raise funds for TAU, a University that provides a quality education for all. I am proud that we can strengthen Israel by supporting TAU, and I am committed to continuing to share news and updates from TAU with you.

Whenever I meet students on campus, I ask them, "Why TAU?" It is inspiring to hear directly from students such as Tim Kogan, who shared that scholarships enabled him to flee war-torn Ukraine with his wife and daughters and earn an MBA through the Sofaer Global MBA program at the Coller School of Management. This unique program is the first in Israel to have the AACSB accreditation, which is given to the top business schools worldwide. If a global MBA is of interest to you, I highly recommend you look into the program.

The ability to work with faculty that is recognized by organizations such as the European Research Council (ERC), which gives the prestigious Young Researchers Grants, is a compelling reason to attend Tel Aviv University. If one is judged by the company they keep, then the opportunity to learn from the 2023 winners, including Dr. Lior Zalmanson from the Coller School of Management; Dr. Yaara Oren, a cancer researcher from the Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Michael Gilad from the School of Psychological Sciences; Dr. Roi Livni from the School of Electrical Engineering; and Dr. Or Perlman from the Sagol School of Neuroscience, answers the question "Why TAU?" The grants support cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields and are given to top young scientists and scholars. This year 400 grants, totaling in excess of $673 million, were awarded.

I often refer to education as the great equalizer, and I am proud that Tel Aviv University strives to provide access to all students. Recently the Faculty of Medicine announced a new program to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations, including haredim, Ethiopian Israelis, and students from the periphery. According to Professor Karen Avraham, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, "Medicine is above all a social profession. We take care of people's physical, emotional, and social needs. Israel is a multicultural society, and in order to provide personalized care medical teams must be familiar with the entire spectrum of Israeli society." With the new program, one in ten students admitted to medical school will come from these underrepresented sectors.

So there are many different answers to the question, “Why TAU?”, depending on where one’s interests lie. There are too many reasons to list them all in this letter, but a few include: high quality partners such as Google and Bloomberg Philanthropies; the focus on translational medicine that will surely save lives; the biodegradable alternatives to plastic being developed on campus; the riveting TV shows developed by alumni of the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television; and multidisciplinary centers such as the new Colton Center for Autoimmunity, which approach problems from a multitude of angles. Whatever the reason for your support, thank you for being our partner. Without you, TAU would not be the center of academic excellence that it is.

Wishing you Shabbat shalom and an early shana tova. May you be written in the book of life and may 5784 be a year filled with blessing, good health, and happiness for you and your loved ones.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer