Letter from Our CEO

March 1, 2024


Dear Friends,

Since October 7th, it has taken a much keener eye to find the silver lining. Given the current world situation and the uncertain fate of the 134 hostages in Gaza, I find myself turning to Tel Aviv University (TAU) for an example of how to turn pain into purpose. The University continues to contribute to Israel's recovery in numerous ways, but most importantly, TAU leadership has made it a priority to ensure that the more than 6,600 student reservists have the financial means to return to their studies and fulfill their true calling.

The Uniform to University Scholarship Campaign was recently established to provide financial and academic support to returning student reservists in order for them to realize their academic goals and become the future leaders and changemakers of Israel. There are still 2,500 TAU students, 34% of whom are women, who remain on active reserve duty, and over 4,000 students who are transitioning back to their studies. TAU has already provided two rounds of financial assistance to our student reservists, but there is much more to be done to ensure they are able to successfully transition back to campus. The goal is to raise $3 million to make certain that every student reservist has the financial support necessary to save their academic year. We invite you to meet some of our students via video here.

March 8th is International Women's Day. To honor the many Tel Aviv University heroines who are serving in the reserves, we are designating all donations to the Uniform to University Scholarship campaign through March 9th to support female reservists. Please click here to donate in honor of a strong female in your life and we will send them a special tribute card to acknowledge your gift.

In an effort to aid IDF reservists and demonstrate the University's commitment to helping students, Tel Aviv University has decided to forgive the admissions requirement of a psychometric exam (SAT equivalent) for reservists applying for the 2024-25 academic year. TAU is the first and only Israeli University to take this step, recognizing the hardships in preparing for or taking the exam due to serving in the Israel-Hamas War. The new admission track applies to all study programs except medicine and allows candidates to be admitted based on their high school grades.

In case you missed it, please read this important article from the Times of Israel featuring Professor Yair Bar-Haim, the director of Tel Aviv University's National Center for Traumatic Stress and Resilience, who discussed the enormity of the mental health challenges that Israel faces as a result of the war. Thanks to those of you who donated to the emergency Post-Trauma Clinic. Because of your support, the Clinic was able to begin treating patients on January 1st. As Professor Bar-Haim explains, there is much more work to be done, and with additional funding we will be able to increase the amount of therapy and treatment the clinic is able to provide.

Please join me on March 26th at noon Eastern time for an important webinar: Iron Swords War: Strategic Analysis and Future Scenarios, featuring Dr. Michael Milshtein, Head of the Palestinian Studies Forum at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. Dr. Milshtein is the former advisor on Palestinian affairs to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and he headed the Department for Palestinian Affairs in Israeli military intelligence for over 20 years. You can register for this webinar here, and please feel free to reply to this email to send me any questions that you would like me to ask him during the webinar.

It is thanks to your generosity that Tel Aviv University is able to invest in Israel's recovery. Supporting students and innovative research is the foundation for rebuilding Israel. Thank you for being our partners on this critical journey.

Wishing you a Shabbat shalom.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer