Tag: BOG 2022

BOG 2022: Smolarz Family Building Dedicated

Building to serve as “Bridge to the Future” for Wise Faculty of Life Sciences.

In a warm and emotional ceremony during the Board of Governors meeting, TAU inaugurated the Smolarz Family Building– a home base to hundreds of students in the Smolarz Family Graduate School in Life Sciences.

The Building, which opened in 2020 as part of TAU’s Wise Faculty of Life Sciences Faculty, provides a physical bridge between the Faculty’s two older buildings, Sherman and Britannia-Porter. It has dramatically improved the University’s ability to train young scientists and professionals in the field. The Building houses four spacious, cutting-edge teaching laboratories in microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology and other subjects as well as classrooms and meeting rooms that provide opportunities for networking and collaboration. It is the last campus project of Honorary Doctor, and Vice- Chair of the Board of Governors Adolfo Smolarz, who passed away last year.  

Aida Smolarz, daughter of Adolfo and Miriam, a fellow TAU Honorary Doctor who recently celebrated her 102nd birthday, spoke to the guests at the inauguration in an emotional address, thanking all those involved in making the project a reality.

TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat said: “There could have been no more loving and generous friends of TAU and Israel than Adolfo and Miriam, and I’m so happy that Aida and Alberto are here with us today to close the circle and to pay a fitting tribute to the realization of Adolfo’s final project here.” 

The Smolarz family has supported TAU, both on campus and in Argentina, for close to 40 years. Their long history of support includes major projects such as the Miriam & Adolfo Smolarz Auditorium, which has served as the University’s premier event venue since 2005; the Smolarz Graduate School in Life Sciences; the Gitter-Smolarz Library; and a floor named in honor of their late son, Pablo, at the Buchmann Faculty of Law building. 

“The Building will serve new generations of students who will go on to become leading researchers, innovators and professionals in Israel and globally in the life sciences field,” said Prof. Marcelo Ehrlich, Vice Dean of the Faculty. “Every day at this faculty, in this building, we see the fruits of Adolfo Smolarz’s vision and generosity—the impact that will continue to perpetuate itself.”  

Guests were treated to a musical performance by students from TAU’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music students, and viewed a moving video about the Building, which was prepared for Adolfo and Miriam when it first opened in 2020, under COVID-19 restrictions.  

Featured image: Aida Smolarz and TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat (Photo: Ofer Amram)

 

Blavatnik Prizes for Computer Science Awarded to Doctoral Fellows

TAU hosts annual ceremony recognizing standout research in growing field.

The second annual Blavatnik Prizes for Outstanding Israeli Doctoral Students in Computer Science were awarded on June 8 to four recipients, in a ceremony at Tel Aviv University. 

With generous funding from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Prizes were established to highlight excellent research by Israeli PhD candidates in the field of computer science and emphasize the importance of doctoral studies in general.  

 

The 2022 recipients were:

  • Nave Frost of Tel Aviv University
  • Gal Yona of the Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Assaf Shocher of the Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Leshem Choshen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 

Honorable mention went to:

  • Hagai Rossman of the Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Elad Romanov the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Gilad Yehudai of the Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Lior Rotem of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 

Among the ceremony attendees was British-American industrialist and philanthropist Sir Leonard Blavatnik (Len Blavatnik), for whom the Prizes are named. The Prize is among the latest programs backed by the longtime TAU benefactor and dedicated supporter of science, innovation and higher education in Israel.  

Forefront of the Computer Science Revolution 

“Israel is at the forefront of the ongoing computer science revolution that increasingly affects everyday lives around the world,” said Sir Leonard Blavatnik. “As such, it is vital to amplify the academic achievement of emerging trailblazers, who are poised to become future leaders and innovators in academia and industry.” 

Sir Leonard Blavatnik, a TAU Governor and Honorary Doctor, has a transformative legacy of giving at TAU, which began over a decade ago with backing for scholarships and the Blavatnik School of Computer Science. From there, his Foundation pledged sizeable gifts to establish the Blavatnik Initiative, a multi-year program in the fields of computing, cyber, drug development, film production, and faculty recruitment. Key programs benefited by the Initiative include the Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery and Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center.  

The Prizes are conferred at TAU by the Blavatnik School of Computer Science at the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences and the School’s Blavatnik Computer Science Research Fund for high-impact areas that contribute to Israel’s economic prosperity. As computer science becomes increasingly central to life today, the Blavatnik School of Computer Science plays a cutting-edge role in TAU’s academic achievements and real-world contributions advancing innovation. Graduates fill leading positions in high-tech companies, Israel’s defense establishment and defense industries, and academic institutions worldwide. 

New Avenues for Excellence

TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat welcomed Sir Leonard Blavatnik to campus in front of a packed auditorium at the state-of-the-art Check Point Building: “Again and again, Sir Leonard Blavatnik has demonstrated his heartfelt commitment to nurturing the next generation of outstanding young scientists and creators – at TAU, in Israel and globally. We at Tel Aviv University are grateful for his support and friendship that is felt throughout the campus, and that is opening new avenues for excellence in crucial fields.” 

Prof. Sivan Toledo, Head of the Blavatnik School of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University, who moderated the event said: “Israeli PhD fellows in computer science contribute immensely to research and teaching that move the field forward. Sir Leonard Blavatnik and his considerable contributions play an immeasurable role in propelling them to new frontiers. The Blavatnik Prizes celebrate the achievements of the best of these PhD students, and the Blavatnik School of Computer Science is honored to award these prizes for the second time.” 

A jury of computer science experts from Israeli universities including TAU, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem select winners from a pool of doctoral students and recent PhD recipients from all Israeli universities.   

Also on June 8, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel were awarded in a separate evening ceremony held at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. The Awards recognize the country’s most promising faculty-rank (academic staff) researchers in life sciences, physical sciences & engineering, and chemistry. The Blavatnik Family Foundation funds the Awards, which are co-administered by the New York Academy of Sciences and The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. To date, two outstanding TAU scientists, Prof. Oded Rechavi of the School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Prof. Yossi Yovel of the School of Zoology, have been Blavatnik Award laureates.  

BOG 2022: TAU Inaugurates Koret Center for Jewish Civilization

Center, uniting TAU and ANU Museum, aims to bridge divides between Israel and Diaspora, boost understanding of contemporary Jewish thought and identity.

Tel Aviv University, together with the Koret Foundation and with ANU – Museum of the Jewish People (ANU), on Sunday, May 15 inaugurated the Koret Center for Jewish Civilization.

The festive ceremony took place during TAU’s 2022 Board of Governors meeting. It coincided with the announcement of a $10 million gift from the Koret Foundation to establish the Center in a three-way partnership with the University and ANU. 

The Koret Center was formed to enhance education and understanding of contemporary Jewish thought, social engagement, and identity. It aims to do so by drawing on the strengths of each partnering institution to enact a comprehensive, multi-year approach combining joint public, teaching and research activities. Such endeavors range from leadership and teacher training, to community building, live and online international events, and scholarly research on Judaism and the Jewish people. 

WATCH: The inauguration of the Koret Center for Jewish Civilization

Touching on the vision behind the Koret Center, Dr. Anita Friedman, President of the Koret Foundation and the Chair of TAU’s Global Campaign, said: “Those of us who are in leadership in the Jewish community need to take responsibility for where we find ourselves. 

“It is simultaneously the moment we are the strongest the Jewish people have ever been,” she said, adding, “[but] we are also under tremendous attack; delegitimization of Israel and antisemitism are widespread.” 

She explained that the Koret Center is “finding the way forward by bringing together the preeminent Jewish museum in the world…with the flagship academic institution of the State of Israel and the world and a major Jewish foundation.” 

As part of its programming, the Koret Center will produce five online courses on Jewish civilization, provide internships at ANU for 100 TAU students, and establish two biennial international conferences.  

The Israeli government, which is acutely aware of the growing disconnect between Israel and global Jewry, has also pledged to lend critical support to the project.  

Touching on the urgent need to bridge ties throughout the Jewish world for the safety and future of the Jewish people, Jeffrey Farber, CEO of the Koret Foundation, said: “The Koret Center will pioneer new ways to educate Israeli and Diaspora Jews on contemporary Jewish, though, shared identity and shared Jewish stories.” 

Collaborating with Israeli schools, the Koret Center will provide teachers across Israel with innovative programs and resources to enhance their students’ understanding of Jewish peoplehood.  

In collaboration with the Koret Center, TAU will offer 325 BA, MA, and PhD scholarships for pedagogy, teacher and leadership training in Jewish Studies.  

Furthermore, the University will develop a new international graduate program in Jewish studies in cooperation with two major academic centers abroad in Europe and the U.S. 

In addition, TAU will establish a Koret International Society of Fellows for 25 postdoctoral students, who will participate in a yearlong research seminar. 

“Together we hope to transform Tel Aviv into a global focal point for bolstering the place of Judaism and the Jewish people in the world today,” said TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat at Sunday’s event. “This mission is critical, even existential.” 

The activities of the Koret Center will also help ANU expand its Jewish peoplehood education for Israeli public-school educators and youth. As such, the Museum will support instruction for 50,000 Israeli teachers and leadership training for 40,000 professionals and lay leaders. It will establish a J-Hub accelerator to support 60 to 80 Jewish peoplehood projects, capitalizing on ANU visitors to test apps and initiatives developed.  

Additionally, ANU will create an honors program for 240 Israeli high school students. The Museum will also serve as the educational and cultural training center for initiatives such as Birthright Israel. 

“We’re clearly seeing in the world now a fight between good and bad,” said Irina Nevzlin, Chair of ANU and President of the Nadav Foundation. “To be on the side of good…requires a lot of energy to stand on the side of good. And you can’t do it by yourself. You need partnerships.” 

She explained that the kind of partnership that bore the Koret Center has the potential to push the needle on some of the most pressing challenges the Jewish world faces to “make [Jewish] people feel proud and safe.” 

“The only way to fight evil is with education,” she said. 

Featured image: From left: Irina Nevzlin, Dr. Anita Friedman and Prof. Ariel Porat (Photo: Chen Galili)

BOG 2022: TAU Awards Honorary Degrees to Change-Making Cohort

11 distinguished individuals and one organization from diverse fields receive University’s top honor.

In a festive ceremony held during the 2022 Board of Governors meeting, Tel Aviv University awarded honorary degrees to 11 individuals and an organization, all of whom have made exceptionally positive impact on the world.  

The recipients were: Jodi Kantor, New York Times investigative reporter and an award-winning author; Katalin Karikó, developer of the mRNA-based vaccine platform for COVID-19 and other diseases; Michael Victor Berry, theoretical physicist; Bernd Huber, academic leader and expert in public finance; Cornelia Bargmann, influential neurobiologist and geneticist; Eric J. Gertler, public service and business leader; James S. Gertler, philanthropist and business leader; Jehuda Reinharz, path-breaking scholar of Jewish history; Jurgen Renn, expert on evolution of knowledge; and Solomon Lew, industry leader and philanthropist.  

The Honorary Fellowship was awarded to the Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York and the George S. Wise medal awarded to Mark J. Carney, former Governor of the Banks of England and Canada.  

WATCH: A recap of some of the most memorable moments from the Honorary Degrees Ceremony 2022

Guests were treated to spirited performances by TAU music students and the world renown Shalva Band, whose members have disabilities, which left no one sitting still. 

“The honorees of this event are all driven by a deep social consciousness, whether in the areas of academia, business, civic service or philanthropy, and their contribution is boundless,” said Dafna Meitar-Nechmad, Chairwoman of TAU’s Board of Governors. 

The event highlighted one of the University’s most important recent achievements: the Emergency Ukrainian Fellowship Fund, established in just a few days by TAU friends worldwide. The Fund enabled tens of Ukrainian scholars to continue their studies at TAU, after war erupted in their home country. 

One of those scholars, Maiia Levinson, spoke at the ceremony: “The scholarship I received has not only helped me to move to a safer country … but also made one of my biggest dreams come true—the opportunity to do research on cancer immunology.  

 “The knowledge and friendship I received here will be helpful for my country, when I come back home,” she said. 

Speaking on behalf of all the honorees, Cornelia Bargmann thanked TAU and reflected on the role universities play in the modern world. Being part of a university “is a privilege, and with privilege comes responsibility: the duty to share [knowledge] with the world,” she said. 

More than 300 guests, among them senior TAU officials, academics, Governors and friends, attended the ceremony and reception.  

BOG 2022: Nine Winners Receive Reimagined Dan David Prize

New focus on history reaffirms importance of field, supports early and midcareer researchers and practitioners.

The Dan David Prize was awarded to a diverse cohort of historians and researchers from around the world on May 11, at a multimedia ceremony during Tel Aviv University’s Board of Governors meeting. 

The Prize, which for the first time in its 20 year history focuses exclusively on the historical disciplines, is awarded to early and midcareer researchers and practitioners who explore and study the human past in bold and creative ways. Totaling $3 million, it is the world’s largest history prize. Each winner receives $300,000 to further their research and work. Ten percent of the Prize purse is dedicated to scholarships for outstanding postdoctoral researchers in fields that study the past. 

The 2022 winners are: 

  • Mirjam Brusius, a cultural historian who studies visual and material culture in global and colonial contexts.  
  • Bartow Elmore, an environmental historian who uses everyday products—from sodas to seeds—to demonstrate how large multinational firms have reshaped global ecosystems.  
  • Tyrone Freeman, a historian of philanthropy who researches African-American charitable giving and activism. 
  • Verena Krebs, a cultural historian who draws on material culture and art, alongside written sources, to uncover the complex relationship between Ethiopia and Western Christendom. 
  • Efthymia Nikita, an osteoarchaeologist who uses a wide range of innovative methods to unlock what human skeletal remains reveal about the health, diets and mobility of ancient peoples.  
  • Nana Oforiatta Ayim, a curator, writer, filmmaker and public historian whose work recenters African narratives, institutions and cultural expressions in telling the past.  
  • Kristina Richardson, a social and cultural historian of the medieval Islamic world.  
  • Natalia Romik, a public historian, architect and curator whose work focuses on Jewish memory and commemoration of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, especially Poland and Ukraine.  
  • Kimberly Welch, a historian who uses endangered local legal archives from the antebellum American South to explore lawsuits brought by free and enslaved Black people.  

 

During the ceremony, Ariel David, Dan David Foundation Board Member and son of the Prize founder, spoke of the decision to refocus the prize on history. We wanted to “inject a new purpose into the Prize in an area which is increasingly underfunded and under attack,” he said. “It is clear that our history is a fundamental part of our identity and we cannot comprehend….the present without the past.” 

He added, “I believe the winners perfectly reflect the values of the new Prize.” 

TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat echoed the sentiments, addressing the audience: “In the face of dwindling investment and enrollment in the humanities worldwide, the Dan David Foundation and TAU are reaffirming the humanities’ value together with its centrality to the entire spectrum of research.”  

“The study of history…teaches about the complexity of human nature,” said Kimberly Welch, speaking on behalf of all the winners. She thanked the Dan David Foundation for the prize, which “recognizes the wider scholarly communities we are part of” and the importance of the field. 

Tamar Ish Shalom, a leading Israeli journalist and TAU alumna, moderated the ceremony, which included dynamic musical performances. 

The Prize, headquartered at Tel Aviv University and endowed by the Dan David Foundation, was established in 2001 by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan David to celebrate and encourage achievement in the sciences and humanities. 

Featured image: Dan David Prize Winners 2022, from left: Kimberly Welch, Tyronne Freeman, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Verena Krebs, Efthymia Nikita, Mirjam Brusius, Natalia Romik, Verena Krebs and Bartow Elmore. Credit: Guy Yehieli

BOG 2022: TAU Inaugurates Sylvan Adams Sports Center

Upgraded facility “will nurture world-class athletes and future medal winners.

At a festive ceremony held on May 11, Tel Aviv University inaugurated the Sylvan Adams Sports Center. The Sylvan Adams sponsored sports facilities at TAU now include both the Sports Center and the adjacent Sports Institute in his name.   

“It is my mission to invest in the sporting infrastructure of Israel,” said Adams, the Center’s benefactor and Vice Chairman of TAU’s Board of Governors, at the event. “The Sylvan Adams Sports Center at Tel Aviv University is a flagship project which will nurture world-class athletes and future medal winners.”   

Adams is also a TAU Honorary Doctor and Global Campaign cabinet member. The inauguration took place during the Board of Governors meeting. 

“Sports is a language—everybody speaks it. It enables us to show the true and best face of Israel,” Adams said, particularly in the face of the misconceptions about the country around the world.  

WATCH: Vice Chair of the Board of Governors and TAU Honorary Doctor Sylvan Adams Launches the Upgraded Sports Complex at TAU

Additionally, Adams noted that his projects at TAU continue the legacy of his late parents, Marcel and Annie, who were also TAU Governors and Honorary Doctors. He attended the ceremony with his wife Margaret.   

Speaking at the event, TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat said, “Sylvan Adams is the undisputed ‘Mr. Sports’ of Israel. The Center will consolidate TAU sports facilities into a single world-class hub of sports excellence, research, training, rehabilitation and community activities.” 

He added that it will serve thousands of members of the local community and hundreds of professional athletes, in addition to boosting TAU’s ability to recruit Israeli scientists from top international institutions. “Sylvan’s contribution to the Sports Center is a reflection of his love for Israel.” 

The dedication of the Sports Center will enable its expansion and renovation, equipping it with advanced facilities to improve the achievements of Israeli athletes and benefit the community. 

Planned additions include a new outdoor Olympic swimming pool that can provide athletes with world-class training conditions, thus encouraging success in international competitions and hold international conferences. 

In 2017, the Sylvan Adams Sports Institute at TAU was established to enhance athletic performance through science.  

Also at Wednesday’s ceremony, Adams presented certificates to the inaugural recipients of the Sylvan Adams Olympic scholarships at TAU: two-time Olympic swimmer Andi Murez, a student in the New York State/American Program at TAU’s Faculty of Medicine, and former Israeli national swimming champion Shahar Resman, a student in the Kellogg-Recanati International Executive MBA Program at the Coller School of Management.  

Backed by Adams, the scholarships were established to enable elite athletes to study for new careers following their retirement from competitive sports. 

Murez spoke on behalf of the scholarship recipients: “I hope we inspire younger athletes in both sport and in school. The scholarship helps us focus in school, but also motivate us to keep up the hard work of training and competing.” 

She added that she looks forward to continuing to use the “amazing sports facilities here at Tel Aviv University,” where she trained along with fellow Team Israel swimmers ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.   

“We reached the Olympic finals,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without your support.”

Featured image: From left: Director of the Sylvan Adams Sports Institute Prof. Chaim Pick, TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat, Andi Murez, Sylvan Adams, Shahar Resman. (Photo: Chen Galili)

BOG 2022: TAU Inaugurates Sagol Center for Regenerative Medicine

Game-changing program will incorporate cutting-edge field into mainstream medical practice.

Regenerative Medicine is an emerging field that develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. Now, Tel Aviv University has launched the Sagol Center for Regenerative Medicine  to accelerate research and training in this new and burgeoning field at TAU and in Israel.

The Center, which was inaugurated during TAU’s Board of Governors meeting, was initiated by TAU benefactor and Honorary Doctor, Sami Sagol, Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors, together with his wife, Tova, and is being supported by the Sagol family.

Regenerative medicine includes cellular therapies such as the generation and use of therapeutic stem cells, tissue engineering and biomaterials, and medical devices and production of artificial organs. Conditions that require regenerative medicine include kidney repair, heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.

The Sagol Center for Regenerative Medicine will develop regenerative-based treatments and medications and accelerate the transfer of findings from experimental research to practical applications. Through the Center, TAU medical students in a specially designed MD-PhD track, along with PhD candidates from other faculties, will receive fellowships. In parallel, the Center will provide research grants and cutting-edge equipment to facilitate discoveries. Prof. Benjamin Dekel, a physician and scientist from the Sheba Medical Center and the Klayman Chair of Nephro-Urology at the TAU Faculty of Medicine, will head the Center.

“My dream is to use this Center to facilitate a vision of clinical regenerative departments in the hospital setting and cure patients with the technology that our brightest researchers will develop,” Dekel said.

“It’s only the start of this regenerative field,” said Sami Sagol at the festive outdoor inauguration. “Billions are going to come into this field because we need it: governments, businesses and other players.”

Prof. Ariel Porat: “As he has done before, Sami has predicted the scientific future many years before others.”

During the inauguration ceremony, 2022 TAU Honorary Doctor Katalin Karikó gave the keynote talk on the future role of mRNA, her field of expertise, in regenerative therapies. A musical performance followed the lecture.

Prof. Dan Peer, TAU’s Vice President of Research and Development, concluded the event: “When Sami dreams, he dreams big. As a result of his visionary philanthropy, we will have an impressive impact on regenerative health.”

Featured image: From left: Sami Sagol, Prof. Ariel Porat, Prof. Dan Peer Credit: Chen Galili

BOG 2022: Arbib Entrance Plaza Named

Canadian donors inaugurate hub of student and community activity.

In a festive ceremony held during Tel Aviv University’s 2022 Board of Governors meeting, the Arbib Family Entrance Plaza was dedicated at the Millie Phillips Student City complex by benefactor Stephen Arbib, Vice Chair of the Canadian Friends of TAU – Ontario & Western Canada, and his family. Also attending were TAU’s Vice President, International, Prof. Milette Shamir; members of the Canadian Friends; TAU Governors; students and guests.

The Arbib Plaza lies at the entrance to Student City, a 35,000 square meter student housing and commercial center with 11 dormitory buildings. Student City enables TAU to provide housing for thousands, in particular international students, undergraduates from Israel’s social and geographic periphery, and visiting scientists.

“It is through generous donations such as the one we are celebrating today, with the dedication of this plaza, that our university can continue to nurture amazing students as well as support promising research projects,” said Shamir. She stressed that “Tel Aviv University’s most important asset, and perhaps its most significant source of strength, is its amazing student body.

“Thank you, Stephen, for being a loyal friend of the University. Your contribution makes an impact where it matters the most to us,” Shamir said. 

Featured image: From left: Stephen Arbib, Prof. Milette Shamir, TAU’s VP International, Stephen Adler – Chief Executive Officer, Tel Aviv University Canada (Ontario & Western Canada) 

BOG 2022: TAU Inaugurates Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building

Hundreds honor legacy of long-time University benefactors.

Tel Aviv University inaugurated the Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building on May 15 in honor of the distinguished TAU benefactors and long-time friends, as part of the 2022 Board of Governors meeting. The building provides world-class facilities for visitors to the University. It also houses the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI), which Parviz Izak initiated, and TAU Online – Innovative Learning Center. 

“Today, we’re not just celebrating the inauguration of a building, but a dream come true—a hub, a center for new ideas, for creative plans and important strategies to forge new paths for the future of our country,” said Dora Nazarian, in recognition of her parents. “I know my father is looking down on us with satisfaction at this beautiful building.”  

The Los Angeles-based Nazarian family and TAU share a decades-long friendship. Parviz Izak, who passed away in 2017, was an Iranian-born American businessman, investor and philanthropist. His wife, Pouran, has held leadership roles at several organizations that advocate for education, Jewish causes and women’s rights in Iran and the US. The couple, both TAU Honorary Doctors, have a dedicated record of supporting Israel and higher education. Parviz Izak was a TAU Governor, and Pouran and Dora are both current TAU Governors. The Nazarian family’s contributions to TAU over the years include an endowment for the Parviz and Pouran Nazarian Chair for Modern Iranian Studies at the Entin Faculty of Humanities.  

“In an expression of their deep love for Israel, Pouran and her family are synonymous with supporting the rights of Israel’s citizens and preserving democracy and academic excellence,” said TAU Vice President Amos Elad. “What better way to support and recognize the importance of all these elements than to unite them under one roof!” 

In 2003, Parviz Izak founded the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel, an NGO which aims to improve the performance of the country’s government and public sector by providing tools to make government operations more accessible to the public. It also produces academic studies, surveys and events, with the goal of boosting civic awareness and oversight of public systems. Dora Nazarian is president of the organization. 

The inauguration ceremony at TAU took place in the presence of Pouran Nazarian, her children, Dora, Dalia, Daphna, and Benjamin, and grandchildren Eliott, Ethan, Ryan, and Alexa.  

During the festivities, the family unveiled the plaque with the building’s name and a bust of Parviz Izak. They also held a mezuzah-hanging ceremony. Nearly 200 people attended the event, including TAU leadership and former prime minister Ehud Olmert, TAU Prof. Ronni Gamzu, head of Ichilov Hospital, and several former ministers.  

Prof. Gamzu, a Board Member of the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel and TAU alumnus, said: “I only knew Parviz during his last years. But I understood the power of his and Pouran’s vision…which the Center is fulfilling to strengthen governance to make Israel a better place.” He added, “The legacy of Parviz, and your legacy Pouran, will prevail and continue to change the way we live in Israel.” 

Former minister Moshe Kahlon, who has held the communications, welfare & social services and finance portfolios, also spoke at the event: “I thank the Nazarian family for their great contributions to the State of Israel domestically and abroad.” He added that “Izak didn’t hesitate to use his connections to strengthen Israel,” noting the late industrialist’s support for matters ranging from Israeli industry to aliyah services. “He touched on every important aspect in Israel.”   

Featured image: The Nazarian family at the inauguration of the Pouran and Parviz Izak Nazarian Building. (Photo: Chen Galili)

BOG 2022: Standout Students Win Michel Gelrubin Prize in Architecture

Three international students and three TAU teams recognized for projects that redefine architecture.

The 2022 Michel Gelrubin Prize in Architecture (MIG Prize) was awarded to students—both from international institutions and from Tel Aviv University—on May 16, at a ceremony held during TAU’s Board of Governors meeting.

Now in its ninth year, the Prize is awarded annually to students from around the world whose work demonstrates a combination of vision and talent in architecture and interior design. This year’s theme was “Extending Architecture,” or concepts that take architecture to unfamiliar domains and thereby redefine the status, form and materiality of the discipline.

TAU Governors Leslie Gelrubin Benitah and Samuel Gelrubin established the Prize in honor of their late father, French philanthropist and real estate investor Michel Gelrubin, who was a dedicated supporter of Israel, education and TAU. Leslie, Samuel and their mother Lyne Gelrubin all attended the ceremony.

Winners were chosen by renowned architect Kobi Karp along with a jury of experts in the fields of design, business, construction, journalism, and architecture.

The international category recipients were:

  • 1st place—Shoya Ishiguro, Waseda University, Toyko
  • 2nd place—Zhuo-ming Shia, Delft Technical University, Netherlands
  • 3rd place—Ramona Scheffer, Delft Technical University, Netherlands

 

The recipients from TAU’s Azrieli School of Architecture were:

  • 1st place—Barak Weizman and Mai Whiteson
  • 2nd place—Gabriel Abboud and Noa Natanson
  • 3rd place—Raz Baran and Noa Shimoni

 

“Since 2013, my brother Samuel and I have had the privilege to award architecture students who are looking ahead and imagining the future—students who we hope will have the kinds of careers and opportunities that our jurors have had,” said Leslie Gelrubin Benitah, a member of TAU’s Global Campaign cabinet. “Our goal is to identify new architectural talent and give them the opportunity to get some international recognition.”

Also speaking at the event, TAU Vice President Amos Elad said: “Every year we see the growth of the talent, and we understand the need for this important Prize.”

Prof. Eran Neuman, Dean of the David and Yolanda Katz Faculty of Arts, moderated the event. This year’s selection process saw entries from top global institutions, including Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, McGill University, and Sapienza University of Rome.

For more information on the prize and past winners: https://migprize.com

Featured image: From left: Samuel Gelrubin, 2022 Michel Gelrubin Prize winner Mai Whiteson, and Leslie Gelrubin Benitah. (Photo: Chen Galili)

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