Tag: Ukraine

TAU Welcomes Ukrainian Emergency Fellowship Students

Some “need time to unfreeze”, as they begin their studies on campus.

Tel Aviv University officially welcomed seven Ukrainian graduate students, who arrived within the framework of the Emergency Fellowship Fund recently announced by the University in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing refugee crisis.

The all-women group of students hail from different cities in Ukraine, stretching from Lviv and Kyiv to Mariupol and Mikolaiv, and will continue their studies in law, medicine, psychology, music and linguistics. 

“You are very much wanted here at TAU,” President Ariel Porat told the students at the introductory meeting, expressing hope that despite the unfortunate circumstances students will find “a home away from home” at the University that will enrich their academic and personal lives. 

Constant Worry

Most of the students left their families behind in Ukraine, and worry about their wellbeing around the clock. “I managed to speak to my family yesterday, but today the connection was severed and I was unable to reach them,” says Alisa, a graduate student in law, who will be studying Crisis Management at TAU. She comes from a small town near Mariupol, in Eastern Ukraine, which has suffered some of the heaviest blows in the fighting. Alisa heard about the Fellowship through her academic advisor, as did most of the other students. 

Marina, another law student, was enrolled at the Ukrainian State Pedagogical University in Kropyvnytskyi, a central town which she says is pretty safe for now. The University premises, however, have been converted into living quarters for people escaping from more dangerous areas. Lectures are only taking place online and are highly irregular. “I was supposed to graduate in June,” she tells us, “but for now, I’m just happy to be able to continue my studies here at TAU.”

Kateryna from Kyiv studies psychology, and left immediate family members in Ukraine. “This is my first time in Israel and I know nothing about the local culture, but I’m very curious to learn,” she says, adding that the adjustment process helps her endure the constant concern about her family’s wellbeing. 

“We need some time to ‘unfreeze’, before we can start to take in and appreciate our surroundings,” adds Alisa. 

Here to Help

The students are being offered counseling and psychological services by TAU International, which has been taking full care of them since their arrival in Israel. “In light of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, we are making a great effort to ensure that the Ukrainian students enjoy their campus experience and have a smooth transition to living in Tel Aviv, and that all their immediate needs are met,” says Michal Linder Zarankin, the School’s International Projects Coordinator.

Their tuition and living expenses are covered by TAU’s $1 million Emergency Fellowship Fund, which was swiftly raised by the University’s donors around the world over the last few weeks. 

Five more Ukrainian students are expected to arrive next week, as well as some faculty members. 

Out of the 30,000 students studying at TAU, over 300 hold dual Israeli-Ukrainian citizenship. In addition to these, there are many Israeli TAU students of Ukrainian and Russian descent. 

Featured image: Ukrainian graduate students are welcomed by TAU’s President Ariel Porat, Prof. Milette Shamir VP International and TAU International staffers

From War in Ukraine to Studies at TAU

We welcome PhD researcher Maryana Sytar, who left her war-torn country.

Tel Aviv University welcomed the first Ukrainian researcher who will spend the coming semester at the University after she was forced to leave her home country due to war. On Thursday night, Maryana Sytar arrived safe and sound in Israel from the escalating war in Ukraine. She was the first graduate research student to arrive as part of TAU’s emergency scholarship program that was launched in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Maryana was working hard toward her PhD at the Koretsky Institute of State and Law of Ukraine before the war broke out. Over the next six months, she will continue her research at TAU’s Buchmann Faculty of Law. She is expected to be joined at TAU by additional Ukrainian scholars this week.

 

WATCH: Interview with Maryana Sytar on Ynet, March 20, 2022:

 

Tuition and Living Expenses Covered

The University established the Emergency Fellowship Fund for Ukrainian Graduate Students alongside a fundraising drive to support dozens of Ukrainian students and researchers with immediate refuge and assistance that will enable them to continue their academic studies and research, which have been halted due to the unfolding crisis. 

The Fund will enable Ukrainian students at the graduate and post-doctoral levels to spend a full semester at TAU. Eligible applicants must hold Ukrainian citizenship. Application is open to students currently enrolled at a Ukrainian university, in any discipline. Successful applicants will be awarded full tuition alongside a living stipend and will be welcome to remain on campus for up to six months. TAU will invite them to campus shortly after notification of acceptance, and match the students with a TAU faculty member who will serve as a mentor while at TAU. 

Furthermore, TAU is already in contact with the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel and the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine, as well as with their academic counterparts, to facilitate the process and ensure successful applicants are able to reach Israel as soon as possible. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis effective immediately and until further notice.  

TAU views the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a red flag requiring all of us to make an all-out effort to help the Ukrainian people, many of whom have lost their homes and become refugees overnight. “The steps we are taking are admittedly modest. However, we hope that other academic institutions, both in Israel and worldwide, will follow our example, and lend a helping hand to the Ukrainian people in this dire situation,” said TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat. 

Application for Scholarship

To apply, please send the following materials to: intlprojects@tauex.tau.ac.il

  • 1-page (up to 500 words) statement describing research 
  • Letter of recommendation from advisor 
  • Document showing active status at home university in Ukraine 
     

For more information: https://international.tau.ac.il/scholarship_programs

Featured image: Maryana Sytar photographed with Prof. Ronen Avraham from Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann Faculty of Law

TAU Special Briefing: Crisis in Ukraine

Experts dissect the war and its implications for the Jewish community, Europe and the world.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters a second week, Tel Aviv University on Sunday hosted an expert briefing on the crisis. 

The special panel included: Mr. Boris Lozhkin, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, and a TAU benefactor; Dr. Dina Moyal of TAU’s Cummings Center for Russian and East European Studies; and Dr. Tal Sadeh, head of the EU Studies Program at TAU’s School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs

Implications for Ukrainian Jews 

“I’m afraid the war will lead Ukraine to lose a large majority of its Jewish communities,” said Lozhkin. 

Already, several cities with significant Jewish populations and historic Jewish sites have endured evacuations and violence. Ukraine was in recent years home to the fourth largest Jewish population in Europe.  

“Israel and the US need to increase all possible assistance to Jews in Ukraine, including the elderly, those fleeing the country, and those who fled to overcrowded western Ukraine instead,” said Lozhin, who co-led the establishment of the Ukrainian Jewry Research Initiative, carried out by TAU’s Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center in the Entin Faculty of the Humanities. 

Speaking to the TAU crowd, Lozhkin also implored the global academic and scientific community to join efforts in opposing the war in Ukraine. 

Furthermore, he urged Israel to allow non-Jewish refugees into the country alongside the tens of thousands of Jewish emigrants expected to make aliyah from Ukraine.

WATCH: Experts Unpack the Ukraine Crisis in a Special TAU Briefing

A Cold War Russia Cannot Win 

Turning from the humanitarian implications of the war, Sadeh expanded on the lasting ramifications for Russia.

“In the immediate and long-term, Russia is at a great disadvantage to West,” said Sadeh, an expert on the political economy of the EU. 

Western countries like Germany and Italy that until now greatly depended on Russian fuel and crop exports may feel a temporary strain. However, Sadeh indicated that Moscow is poised for dire outcomes as it is currently “under economic siege.” 

If the current situation leads to another Cold War between Russian and the West, he emphasized that “Russia cannot win.” In addition to crippling sanctions squeezing the Russian economy toward collapse, he explained that the West holds a technological and political advantage over Russia. 

Touching on the potential outcomes of the conflict, Sadeh explained that Putin may achieve his goal of preserving the nature of the Russian regime and preventing it from becoming democratic. Still, the situation may lead to long-awaited shifts in the West’s self-reliance on raw material production; shifts that he says could bolster the West’s strategic stance. 

“The media, leaders, and public all see that Putin is not another dictator that can be paid off to be left alone,” he said. Moreso, the current events are catalyzing the West to understand that its economic interactions with Russia can and should change. 

 

Protesters against the war and russian armed aggression in Ukraine, in Los Angeles, California, USA 2022

A Russian Civil War? 

While Lozhkin and Sadeh provided insights on the consequences of the war, Moyal took a step back to explore the many questions around Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. 

“The conflict is a reflection of Russia’s specific worldview after all it went through in the 20th century,” said Moyal, an expert in Soviet and modern Russian history. “I want to suggest that this is actually a civil war for Russia over its future, identity and regime.” 

Moyal pointed to current clashes in Russian public opinion that indicate strife within the country. Examples include protests within Russia against the war in Ukraine and accounts of Russian soldiers pleading with Ukrainians to spare their lives so they can return home to report what state-sponsored propaganda machines are not.  

Meanwhile, Putin’s actions signal to Russia that he is unwilling to relinquish his tight authoritarian grip on the country as he struggles to maintain what he sees as Russia’s historic identity in the face of former Soviet republics, such as Ukraine, that more easily moved away from communism toward Western-style democracy.  

 “Those who used to be quiet in the cultural sphere, such as journalists for example, are starting to speak up and with this hopefully be able to change public opinion,” she said. “Most importantly, and more optimistically, it gives hope that people around Putin will change their stance [on him].” 

An End in Sight? 

While all three panelists agreed that the conflict is likely to escalate before it ends, they were optimistic that the long-term effects of the war have the potential to change Russia’s power dynamics for the benefit of both internal and international affairs.  

“Putin is more of a cynical pragmatist than an ideologue, and he is ultimately after power,” said Sadeh. “The main threat for Putin is his inner circle. As sanctions continue to bite, they will become increasingly inclined to replace him.” 

Moyal echoed Sadeh’s views that Russia will not benefit if it continues this path toward economic collapse. “Hopefully, this will bring about a change of regime, which would be a good prospect not just for Ukraine, but the whole world.” 

Hundreds of TAU friends from around the world tuned in to listen to the expert panel. European affairs expert Dr. Esther Lopatin of TAU’s Division of Language Studies moderated the event. 

TAU Launches Emergency Fellowship Fund for Ukrainian Graduate Students

Tel Aviv University to host students whose studies have been halted due to the unfolding crisis.

In response to the escalating war and dire humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Tel Aviv University today announced the launch of the Emergency Fellowship Fund for Ukrainian Graduate Students.  

The University established the fellowship program alongside a fundraising drive to support dozens of Ukrainian students and researchers with immediate refuge and assistance that will enable them to continue their academic studies and research, which have been halted due to the unfolding crisis. 

The Fund will enable Ukrainian students at the graduate and post-doctoral levels to spend a full semester at TAU. Eligible applicants must hold Ukrainian citizenship. Application is open to students currently enrolled at a Ukrainian university, in any discipline.  

Successful applicants will be awarded full tuition alongside a living stipend and will be welcome to remain on campus for up to six months. TAU will invite them to campus shortly after notification of acceptance, and match the students with a TAU faculty member who will serve as a mentor while at TAU. 

Furthermore, TAU is already in contact with the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel and the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine, as well as with their academic counterparts, to facilitate the process and ensure successful applicants are able to reach Israel as soon as possible. 

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis effective immediately and until further notice.  

TAU stresses that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a red flag requiring all of us to make an all-out effort to help the Ukrainian people, many of whom have lost their homes and become refugees overnight. 

“The steps we are taking are admittedly modest. However, we hope that other academic institutions, both in Israel and worldwide, will follow our example, and lend a helping hand to the Ukrainian people in this dire situation,” said TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat. 

To apply, please send the following materials to: intlprojects@tauex.tau.ac.il

  • 1-page (up to 500 words) statement describing research 
  • Letter of recommendation from advisor 
  • Document showing active status at home university in Ukraine 

For more information: https://international.tau.ac.il/scholarship_programs

To donate: https://english.tau.ac.il/online_giving

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