Tel Aviv University 2020 Annual Report

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Global Reboot

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Annual Report 2020


When Jan Boháč, from the Czech Republic, began the International MA in Security and Diplomacy Program in 2019, he marveled at the sunny December weather, Tel Aviv’s global atmosphere, and TAU’s rich curriculum that combined theory with field trips to the borders with Gaza, Syria and Jordan. All that came to a halt due to the pandemic; study programs went virtual and Jan and two Czech classmates decided to finish their course requirements at home. Jan hopes to begin his diplomatic career sometime in 2021.

“I successfully completed my studies online, including final exams and graduation.”

President's Message | p. 2 Corona Days | p. 4 Reports | p. 15 TAU Officers | p. 24 Chairman's Message | p. 25 Global Campaign Projects | p. 26 Distinctions | p. 28

Te l Av i v Uni ve r si t y A n n u a l R e p o r t 2020

Toward More Uplifting Times Tel Aviv University is busily working toward overcoming the corona crisis and looking forward to reinvigorating global research and study activities.



policy solutions to corona damage. Hundreds of students volunteered in labs, hospitals, and community projects such as keeping the elderly company or tutoring schoolchildren. In short, despite the crisis’ deepening and lengthening, TAU has succeeded in both maintaining operations and contributing to Israel’s ongoing struggle with the virus – medically, scientifically and socially. We continue to do so, and to stay agile and responsive, with the hope that normalcy will return soon to Israel and the world.

Connections: International Reach Dear Friends, When I assumed the presidency of Tel Aviv University in May 2019, I could not have imagined in my wildest scenarios that, only 10 months later, TAU would have to deal with a major disease crisis. I had entered my new role with energy and a detailed game plan. I was sure I was ready for the complex tasks ahead. But a global pandemic? Who could have anticipated that? Yet, the measure of an organization and its people is precisely in how they handle a crisis. I wish to stress first off that the entire TAU community worked together to overcome both urgent and longer-term hurdles. Overnight, professors switched to online teaching, aided by our outstanding technical personnel. Libraries continued their services virtually. Students found ways to adapt and, when they needed financial support, they turned to emergency funds set up for them with the assistance of generous donors. The University’s management instigated rigorous campus safety and hygiene measures that enabled our researchers to continue their lab work and maintain the pace of scientific breakthroughs. We even found ways to hold exams virtually that adhered to high standards of reliability and fairness. Equally important, TAU staff and students immediately rallied to the cause of beating COVID-19. We set up a testing lab; fast-tracked research on coronavirus treatments and vaccines; and initiated countrywide studies on identifying, tracing and preventing the spread of infection. We launched the Center for Combating Pandemics and a national online forum for creative


Te l Av i v U n i ve r si t y

Annual Report 2020

Before the pandemic broke, TAU had just finalized a 10-year strategic plan for substantially increasing campus globalization. Obviously, with many countries just then grounding flights and shutting down, the timing was dismal. However, we decided to use this time constructively and prepare for a global reboot when it comes. Key goals for extending TAU’s reach are as follows: •

Recruiting more top post-docs and doctoral students from abroad

Introducing more international undergraduate programs in fields such as Management and the Environment

Cementing additional long-term, strategic relationships with top universities abroad for joint research and teaching, such as existing ones with Columbia, Stanford, UC Berkeley and Northwestern

Hosting more international conferences, workshops and visiting professors

Coordinating all global activities under one roof – TAU International – and with an expanded professional team

TAU is also deep in negotiations with the UAE on a number of potential collaborations and looks forward to the many new opportunities for Middle East regional cooperation that will surely arise.

Convergence: New Paths to Discovery

Community: Stronger Society

Along with cross-border collaboration, TAU is promoting cooperation across fields and schools with several new interdisciplinary centers. I believe that enabling researchers from both the hard and soft sciences to question, explore and rethink the world – together – builds the creative foundations for lifechanging inventions. In addition to the Center for Combating Pandemics, the University launched the Center for AI and Data Science, the Center for Quantum Science and Technology, and a teaching unit – the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Humanities in STEM, which will introduce humanity courses into the core sciences curriculum next year.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that social cohesiveness is key to overcoming crises. The Tel Aviv University community has remained strong and mutually committed, and this is a good opportunity to thank our remarkable leadership, faculty, staff and donors for their steadfastness during a rocky period.

Additional interdisciplinary centers under construction are in Climate Change and Healthy Aging – the latter a hot topic for possible partnership with the UAE.

Clout: Real-World Impact We have to ensure that R&D conducted on campus will bring practical, concrete benefits to people. To make this a reality, and to bridge the divide between the campus and the real world, TAU is taking a number of steps to strengthen ties with hospitals, business and government. For example, we are signing a groundbreaking agreement with the TAU-affiliated Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to set up a university research center at the hospital. Aimed to increase synergy between basic biomedical research and clinical applications, the new center could serve as a model for additional ones at other TAUaffiliated hospitals. We also dedicated the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research to advance novel cures and promote fertile interaction among leading researchers in Israel and around the globe.

I remain cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us, but the situation is still challenging – especially economically. Despite budget pressures, TAU is keeping up the normal pace of recruiting young faculty members – who represent the future of our institution. TAU is building more core facilities with shared equipment such as electron microscopes and genome sequencers to support multiple lab teams needing similar services. We have also been making every effort to aid students who are struggling academically, financially and psychologically, to ensure that no talented young person loses their dream of a TAU degree due to the pandemic and its fallout. These top priorities, along with TAU’s continued international and interdisciplinary growth, require major resources. I am confident that the University’s dedicated friends and supporters will be inspired to partner with us as we move into the next stage of development and growth.

Prof. Ariel Porat President, Tel Aviv University

In another example, TAU is recruiting industrial sponsors and student mentors via its Entrepreneurship Center, and is considering various alternatives, such as a high-tech park or innovation floor, to bring industry players in closer physical proximity to the campus. The completion this year of TAU’s Susan and Henry Samueli Engineering Building, which will house giant chip manufacturer Broadcom Inc., is a marvelous first step in this direction.


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# Coronavirus research projects initiated by TAU scientists and scholars across campus

# Israeli scholars who joined the TAU-initiated, national "Academia IL Collective Impact" online platform for social and economic policies to overcome corona

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2,200 # COVID-19 Emergency Scholarships awarded during the Spring 2020 lockdown

93,000 # Hours of online community work TAU students volunteered during the corona crisis

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# Cinema giants liveinterviewed in TAU webinars co-hosted by the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television – Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorcese

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# “Take-Away Books” prepackaged for students by TAU’s libraries during lockdown



# COVID-19 Emergency Scholarship applicants for Fall 2020


% growth in enrolment in TAU's free, global online courses, or MOOCs, compared to 2019


# Participants attending Webinars given by TAU and its global Friends Associations

12 # Pianists participating in the Arthur Rubinstein Virtual PianoFest held online by TAU’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music 5

Readying for future pandemics Is the world prepared for the next dangerous contagion? It certainly wasn’t for this one. As more and more countries, including Israel, experience second and third waves of COVID-19, with rampant mutations, rising death rates and devastating economic consequences, it is more urgent than ever to crack the virus and secure a more certain future for all. Against this backdrop, TAU recently launched the Center for Combating Pandemics, the first of its kind in Israel and possibly the world. Building on TAU’s innovation record, interdisciplinary culture, and strong links with hospitals, industry and government, the Center has three main foci. It will strive to improve frontline containment of infection, bolster biomedical knowledge for developing vaccines and treatments, and strengthen nations' capacity to ensure social and economic resilience. It will coordinate among the over 100 groups researching the coronavirus across campus, as well as provide master’s and doctoral fellowships, upgrade labs and equipment, host visiting professors, run conferences and workshops, and facilitate international collaborations. 6

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“In the past 15 years, the world has seen a string of viral pathogens infect large numbers of people, among them SARS, MERS, swine flu and avian flu. Clearly, we are not safe from dangerous emerging diseases,” says Center Head Prof. Itai Benhar (Life Sciences) of TAU’s Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research. “We must look ahead.” Seed funding for the Center has been generously provided by founding donor and TAU Honorary Doctor Frank Lowy, TAU Governors Dr. Kathy Fields-Rayant and Dr. Garry Rayant, the Yuri Milner Foundation, and Yad Hanadiv.

COVID cocktail boosts immunity

Googling world-class AI research

Working with TAU-affiliated hospitals, Dr. Natalia Freund (pictured) and PhD student Michael Mor (both of Medicine) have identified a combination of COVID-19 antibodies that can both treat and temporarily prevent COVID-19 among high-risk populations. After isolating and characterizing six antibodies derived from the blood of two acutely ill patients, the team proved that mixing together three antibodies at a time provides natural immunity against the most severe disease symptoms of the coronavirus. The next stage will be to test the treatment in clinical trials.

A team of scientists at TAU’s new AI and Data Science Center, headed by Prof. Meir Feder (Engineering), were awarded a grant from Google to apply AI techniques and advanced statistical methods for modeling, testing and improving COVID-19 public health measures. Collaborating units include the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, School of Public Health, Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Mathematical Sciences, Blavatnik School of Computer Science, and School of Electrical Engineering. The project is one of many that Google will support at the AI Center in the coming years as part of its “AI for Social Good” global research initiative.


CORONAVIRUS RESEARCH ACROSS CAMPUS A guide for perplexed decision-makers in the wake of coronavirus: Moral principles and social considerations on selected issues (Interdisciplinary) Producing medical ethanol from agricultural waste to disinfect from coronavirus (Engineering) System for creating a passive vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, as well as for future strains and epidemics (Engineering)

Big data integration for early detection of COVID-19 (Engineering) Generating image biomarkers and combining them with clinical information for predictive patient modeling in COVID-19 (Engineering)

Pregnancy and childbirth during the corona pandemic: policy recommendations (Interdisciplinary) Automated thermal imaging to detect and diagnose coronavirus pneumonia (Engineering)

Neutralizing the coronavirus using its own receptor (Life Sciences) Modeling behavioral dynamics and their effect on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and evolution (Life Sciences)

Isolation of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies by phage display of human antibodies and by single B-cell (Life Sciences) Immunobiosensor for rapid, point-of-care detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (Life Sciences)

Invisible surveillance, indifferent publics: Israeli perceptions of voluntary contact tracing applications vs. mandatory surveillance (Interdisciplinary) Molecular analysis of antibody response to infection (Life Sciences)

Winning the battle: Understanding and manipulating the cellular response to RNA viruses (Life Sciences) Detecting the next virus: Characterization of corona and other viruses in bat populations in Israel (Life Sciences)

Mobilizing the public to cope with the corona pandemic (Interdisciplinary) 8

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Serological tests for the identification of seroconversion following SARS-CoV-2 infection targeting viral glycosylation (Life Sciences) Longitudinal assessment of distress and resilience among Israeli populations during and following the COVID-19 crisis (Medicine)

The mechanisms underlying thrombotic complications in COVID-19 patients (Medicine)

Human airway organoids as a model for coronavirus infection (Medicine) Expected seasonal changes in the spread of Sars-Cov-2 virus and in COVID-19 morbidity (Interdisciplinary)

Tanovax: Modular targeted nanoplatform for immune cell regulation and therapy (Medicine)

Development of a translational COVID-19 vaccine (Medicine) Intimate partner violence (IPV), relational dynamics and interpersonal traumatic events during the COVID-19 pandemic (Medicine)

UVB radiation as an immune generator in coronavirus patients – toward phototherapy treatment (Medicine) Humanoid respiratory system organoids as a model for viral infection by coronaviruses (Medicine)

In vivo selection of SARS-CoV2 neutralizers (Medicine) The future of work in the wake of the coronavirus: Changes in attitudes and behavior (Social Sciences)

Telemedicine during and after the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and opportunities (Social Sciences)

Estimating the impact of the coronavirus on mortality and loss of life (Social Sciences) Privacy in crisis: Designing information policies to fight the pandemic (Law)

A computational toolbox for assessing interventions against the spread of COVID-19 (Exact Sciences) Game theoretic analysis of social distancing measures and virus spreads (Exact Sciences)

A social history of disease carriers (Humanities) 9

Recent Shmunis School advances in COVID-19 and cancer:

Moving the needle in disease treatment The Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research makes global breakthroughs TAU’s newly dedicated Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, part of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, is significantly enhancing research and teaching excellence in the biomedical field in Israel. With 25 top scientific teams, the Shmunis School is well placed to broaden international collaboration with leading institutions through visiting scholars and conferences; expand the use of stateof-the-art methodological approaches such as single cell sequencing, proteomics and metabolomics; and award PhD and post-doctoral fellowships to recruit the brightest young biomedical researchers from Israel and abroad. The ultimate goals of the School over the coming decade are to facilitate high-quality scientific productivity along with new and more effective drugs and technologies.


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No to lockdowns, yes to social distancing: A study conducted by Prof. Tal Pupko (Life Sciences), Head of the Shmunis School, showed that timely social distancing – rather than severe lockdown restrictions – is the key factor in reducing the spread of and mortality from the coronavirus. Comparing cellphone mobility data and COVID-19 mortality data in diverse OECD countries, Pupko’s study found that the date on which social distancing began is the best predictor of the death rate relative to population size – with a delay of just one week shown to double the number of fatalities.

Novel vaccine could boost immunity: Almost all antiCOVID-19 vaccines being used or tested today focus on the coronavirus’s entire “spike protein” to elicit an immune response. Now, a US-patented vaccine being developed by Prof. Jonathan Gershoni (Life Sciences), of the Shmunis School, is designed to target a tiny, specific “soft spot” on the spike that makes the virus most vulnerable for destruction. “This is important because we don’t know how long vaccinations will hold up, and our technology provides an option for a highly effective, universal booster shot to enhance people’s immune protection against the virus,” Prof. Gershoni believes.

Coronavirus frequent flyer: Israel’s first coronavirus genomic sequencing study, a TAU-hospital collaboration led by Dr. Adi Stern (Life Sciences) of the Shmunis School, revealed which strains of the virus arrived to Israel and where they came from. The research found that a surprising 70% of cases in Israel were caused by a SARS-CoV2 strain imported from the United States. The study also presented useful statistical tools for determining rates of infection and early detection of “super spreaders” – tools that could help decision-makers on issues like closures and quarantining.

Molecular scissors “cut” and destroy cancer DNA: A team led by nanomedicine expert Prof. Dan Peer (Life Sciences), of the Shmunis School, used CRISPR – a novel gene editing technology – to manipulate and kill cancer cells in the body for the first time. The technique involves sending “genetic scissors” into cancer cells, cutting out specific cancer genes needed for the cell to replicate itself, and blocking the cancer’s spread. Laboratory findings showed an 80 percent survival rate for human ovarian cancer with only two treatments, and now the team is working to bring the technique into clinical trials.

Coronavirus boot camp? Professors Motti Gerlic and Ariel Munitz (Medicine) developed a fast, robotic blood test that detects antibodies against COVID-19. The test is being administered to IDF soldiers and enables monitoring the immune response of both coronavirus patients and asymptomatic individuals to answer the question: How many people have been exposed to the virus and may have developed resistance to it? Working in cooperation with the IDF Medical Corps, the team aims to help minimize outbreaks across military units, maintain full operational capability and prepare for future epidemics. In a separate development Gerlic and Munitz spearheaded the establishment, for the Ministry of Defense, of one of the largest corona testing laboratories in Israel. Located in the south of the country, the lab is a partnership between TAU and Electra Group and can conduct up to 10,000 tests per day.

Using light to kill COVID The COVID-19 era is forcing countries worldwide to seek effective solutions for sanitizing public areas. Now, in a global first, Prof. Hadas Mamane (Engineering) and her team have proven that the coronavirus can be killed efficiently, quickly, safely and cheaply using LED bulbs that emit ultraviolet light. In the lab, the technique needed less than 30 seconds to destroy over 99.9% of the virus. “Disinfection systems based on LED bulbs could be installed in air conditioning, vacuum, and water systems,” explains Prof. Mamane.


“It was a real mental challenge.” Antonino Tertuliano, a talented contrabassist from Brazil, was completing his undergraduate degree at TAU’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music when the coronavirus hit. “I can open my heart and say it hasn’t been an easy period for me and my fellow foreign students with online studies, but the head of the school, Prof. Tomer Lev (Arts), did everything he could to keep us motivated.”

One World... in Sickness and in Health “I came for the top science and encountered a warm team.” Frenchman Yann Frey chose TAU to get his PhD as part of his Marie-Curie European Fellowship. He studies DNA damage and repair in the aging process under geneticist Prof. Yossi Shiloh (Medicine). Yann says that corona pushed him to spend more time in the lab where he learned sophisticated analytical skills – and that the help he received from his lab team gave him stability during a complicated period.


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“I was able to continue with my research despite lockdown.” Plant biologist Purity Muchoki arrived from Kenya for international studies in Plant Sciences and Food Security, and then stayed on at TAU to earn her PhD in the plant developmental and cell biology lab of Prof. Shaul Yalovsky (Life Sciences). She’s looking forward to visiting her family after almost two years away.

“I lost one of my very close family members to COVID.” Despite delays in her cancer research, post-doc Sushmita Chatterjee (pictured right) held on as long as she could at TAU during lockdown but then had to fly home to India due to a personal corona loss. She’s now waiting to come back to TAU to continue a novel drug delivery study in the Nano-Medicine Laboratory of Prof. Dan Peer (Life Sciences). Sushmitta’s colleague in the Peer lab, PhD student Lorena Scotti (left), also had to return home, to Italy, and has since completed her degree. “I hope 2021 will be better for all of us to carry out our career goals,” says Sushmita.

“To keep in close touch, my Tel Aviv colleagues and I meet for ‘coffee time online’ every week.” Post-doc Dr. Lianrong Pu is now back home in China but still working remotely with her advisor at TAU, Prof. Ron Shamir (Exact Sciences), Head of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Bioinformatics and Koret UC Berkeley-TAU Initiative in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. She designs new algorithms for genomic analysis. 13

Social engagement goes online

COVID-19 Emergency Scholarship Fund

TAU Impact, the University’s flagship community leadership program, went “virtual” when on-campus studies were suspended. Student participants engaged in online and phone work with schoolchildren, seniors, the physically and mentally disabled, and other groups – providing tutoring, enrichment or simply a bit of company to ease social isolation. The program, run by the TAU Student Services Division and directed by Rachel Warshawsky, offers accredited courses combining academics with fieldwork in the community.

The coronavirus crisis hit the TAU student body hard

"When I lost my job because of corona, TAU dropped everything to help me financially. I immigrated to Israel from Russia at age 15, alone. I worked hard to study theater at Tel Aviv University. Now, thanks to the emergency scholarship I got, I can keep studying without worries." Sofia Wintz (Arts), 24 years old.

More than 2,200 TAU students received emergency aid in spring 2020 and a further 2,700 students applied for assistance in fall 2020. The majority of students suffering the effects of layoffs and firings are, naturally, from the weakest sectors of society – those from Israel’s periphery towns and communities, minority groups and economically distressed families. TAU’s foremost duty during this tough period of financial uncertainty is to provide a safety net for students and ensure they can finish their degrees.


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Libraries set up “take-away” service With the campus mostly closed yet online studies continuing full steam ahead, TAU’s libraries had to find creative methods during corona days to provide library services to students and faculty members. “Agility was key,” says Dr. Naama Scheftelowitz, Director of the Elias Sourasky Central Library. “We used every possible way to stay in touch with our clients – email, phone, live chat, WhatsApp, online guided tours, zoom tutorials and webinars.” Scans of articles and book chapters from any library in Israel were provided free-of-charge, and books were packaged and handed out on a take-way basis or even delivered to students’ homes.




CLOUT: Real-World Impact •

TAU & the self-driving car industry Under the supervision of Autonomous Driving Lab engineer Roi Raich and Prof. Ben-Zion Bobrovsky (both of Engineering), students are being introduced to the emerging field of driverless vehicles as they work alongside engineers at Israel Aerospace Industries specializing in robotics and autonomous systems. In a mobile laboratory, which is partially supported by TAU’s Shlomo Shmeltzer Institute for Smart Transportation, the researchers work on equipping their test vehicle with cameras, laser radar, navigation systems, AI software and more. This work brings us a step closer to the day when autonomous vehicles will reduce road congestion, increase safety and transform the driving experience.

Adama Ltd., a world leader in agrochemicals, has established the Adama Center for Novel Delivery Systems in Crop Protection at TAU, the first teaching and research center of its kind in Israel. Headed by Prof. Roey Amir (Exact Sciences), with researchers from chemistry, plant sciences and medicine, the center is addressing a growing world shortage of expertise in safe and environmentally sustainable agricultural technologies. It is planting the seeds that will grow into the next generation of experts to lead the agrochemical and food industries.

New approaches to combating human trafficking TraffLab, established by Prof. Hila Shamir (Law) and funded by the ERC, is generating a shift in research and policy on human trafficking. Its unique approach, based on analysis of market structure and exploitive labor practices, may help government bodies devise new policies and strategies to address the phenomenon. The TraffLab group includes some 15 scholars from a range of disciplines and countries, augmented by the Workers' Rights Legal Clinic at the Buchmann Faculty of Law, which serves as a laboratory for studying labor-based anti-trafficking tools. TraffLab collaborates with numerous NGOs as well as with policymakers such as the Government Anti-Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Coordinator and the Migrant Workers’ Rights Ombudswoman at the Ministry of Labor.

Affordable clean water for the developing world What if one small device could supply all the energy and water needs of remote communities? Dr. Gideon Segev (Engineering) and team are in fact developing just that. In this project, funded by the Azrieli Foundation, he is working on a single device that can simultaneously generate electricity, store it as a renewable fuel, and remove impurities from contaminated water – using only sunlight. In another project, focusing on the needs of two-thirds of the world's population that experience severe water shortages, he is working on a cheap, small, portable water desalination device based on a novel ion pump technology.

Academia and industry team up in service of agriculture

Financial technology informing social causes Prof. Shai Danziger and Dr. Shai Levi (both of Management) teamed up with Raiz Investments and researchers from Sydney University to answer the question: Are socially responsible investment funds diverting income away from charities? Their findings, rather than providing a yes or no answer, indicate contradictory effects. The researchers conclude that social funds will positively affect society only if their annual contributions toward social causes exceed 4.4% of the amount invested in them.


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Students impact governmental decisions Initiated by the Student Services Division, TAU Impact courses – 68 of them across all faculties – work with public bodies to generate practical outcomes that make a difference. This year, courses covering topics from environmental engineering to economics and public health resulted in a collaboration with Mekorot, Israel's national water company, and municipalities on problems of flooding and air pollution; law students submitting proposals to the Ministry of Transport for regulating movement of two-wheeled vehicles; and life sciences students developing tools to help the public make informed decisions about vaccinations.

Evidence-based medicine for the cannabis industry A new initiative by Prof. Yankel Gabet (Medicine) and Prof. Dan Peer (Life Sciences) brings together all the scientists and clinicians engaged in cannabinoid research into one hub – “CannTAU.” This will encourage sharing of ideas and resources, generate collaborations, and provide a platform for the next generation of dedicated, specialized technicians. The new hub will also serve as a steppingstone into industry-sponsored research resulting in applied projects and products.

TAU + hospital clinic = Better patient rehabilitation Dr. Alon Kalron (Medicine), of the Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, hosted the Special Interest Group on Mobility of the RIMS (Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis) network, the leading European group in this field. The 67 delegates from 14 countries focused on methods of mobility rehabilitation, from exoskeletons to Nordic walking and music intervention. At the TAU-affiliated Sheba Medical Center, delegates encountered new and advanced methods for improved therapy, from virtual reality systems to gamification of physical rehabilitation and novel tools for motor learning.

Global antitrust policymakers at TAU With the rise of the digital economy, countries across the world have seen dramatic shifts in the market, displacement of small and large businesses, and growing pressures to revisit competition policies. Prof. David Gilo (Law) and TAU alumnus Prof. Barak Orbach of the University of Arizona co-organized the "Antitrust New Frontiers" conference at TAU to focus on the challenges of enforcement in the digital economy. It was attended by top scholars from the US and Europe and highlighted the significance of US antitrust policies for R&D investments in Israel and the continued flow of Israeli technologies. Building on the success of the conference, TAU and the Israel Competition Authority are developing a bi-annual antitrust forum.


CONNECTIONS: International Reach •

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Together with Denmark – Looking at AI in healthcare Danish and Israeli researchers joined forces in a TAU-hosted workshop that focused on advanced technologies and their use in healthcare in four areas: electronic medical records, imaging, genomics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Held in cooperation with the Danish Embassy, Copenhagen University, and TAU’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Bioinformatics, the workshop's organizers included Copenhagen’s Prof. Mads Nielsen and TAU’s Prof. Meir Feder (Engineering) and Profs. Ron Shamir and Saharon Rosset (both of Exact Sciences). The 21 speakers representing Israeli and Danish academia, hospitals and industry made contacts that will be generating further collaborations.

TAU-Oxford exploration of the distant past Continuing the fruitful exchanges between TAU and Oxford, a second joint workshop on the Study of the Ancient World was held at Oxford University following last year's at TAU. Under the leadership of Profs. Gideon Bohak and Jonathan Price (both of Humanities) and in collaboration with the Centre for Jewish Studies at Oxford, graduate students from both universities presented their research on a fascinating range of subjects. These ranged from dining in Second Temple days, to ancient synagogue mosaics and the role of art in ritual settings, and from deeper understandings of the Babylonian Talmud to aspects of justice in ancient Athens.

Cornell joins conference on Mizrahi identity in film The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television led the first conference on "Mizrahi Studies in Film and Media.” The three-day event featured the world’s major scholars in the field from Israel and abroad, including participants from Cornell, Indiana, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Toronto universities. The conference examined images and soundtracks in film, television and the media, focusing on the portrayal of Mizrahi identities and experiences in all aspects of filmmaking and spectatorship, from the prestate period to the present day.


TAU joins CIHA–International Committee of Art History Dr. Ayelet Zohar and Prof. Assaf Pinkus (both of Arts) have been invited by Prof. Zhu Oingsheng, president of CIHA (Comite International d’Histoire de l’Art), and Prof. Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann of Princeton University, to establish the first ever Israeli member committee. CIHA is the oldest worldwide organization of arts and humanities with over 40 national scientific committees. Zohar and Pinkus will be co-presidents of the Israeli committee to be comprised of 12 scholars from Israel's leading universities, colleges and museums.

TAU & Northwestern – Wide-ranging cooperation Adding to their long list of ongoing collaborations and partnerships in research areas including Law, Engineering, Management and Nanoscience, TAU and Northwestern University have now embarked on a new joint initiative in Biomedicine. The opening symposium at TAU, "The Promise of Biomed,” brought together multidisciplinary scientists from both institutions. According to the co-organizers, Northwestern’s Prof. Elie Rekhess and TAU's Prof. Karen Avraham (Medicine), the aim is to facilitate joint research grants and means toward commercialization.

Stanford & UCSF come to TAU Launching the Taube & Koret Global Collaboration in Neurodegenerative Diseases, TAU hosted the symposium, "Toward Personalized Diagnosis and Drug Screening,” organized by Prof. Karen Avraham (Medicine) and Prof. Uri Ashery (Life Sciences), both of the Sagol School of Neuroscience. Participating scientists from Stanford, UCSF Gladstone/Buck Institutes, and TAU delivered papers on the latest research developments in treating severe brain disorders, with a particular focus on Huntington's disease. Opening remarks were delivered by Prof. Abdussalam Azem, TAU Dean of Life Sciences.

Training students to work with the EU To prepare students who aspire to work with the EU and its institutions, TAU’s School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs offers an MA-level training program in European Studies under the direction of Dr. Tal Sadeh (Social Sciences) and in partnership with Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf. Students complete their MA degrees in Europe alongside Jordanian and Palestinian students, and go on to pursue careers in government, diplomacy and security.

Learning all the angles for sustainability

The new international MA Program in Developing Countries, directed by Prof. Tammie Ronen (Social Sciences) and supervised by Profs. Hadas Mamane and Yosi Shacham (both of Engineering) and Dr. Ram Fishman (Social Sciences), aims to train a global cadre of pioneering and entrepreneurial students to be leaders in the field of sustainable development in academia, civil society or industry. Encouraged to develop and field-test practical solutions integrating technology with cultural, economic and behavioral aspects, students can choose to spend their final trimester in India or Africa, applying their knowledge to on-site research.

International workshop … back to a greener future The Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies held an international workshop, "Histories of a Future Environmental Catastrophe," organized by Dr. On Barak and Dr. Avner Wishnitzer (both of Humanities). The 2-day event included participants from Israel, the US and Turkey. It was based on the premise that just as other fields have their real-world applications, so too history has a practical contribution to make to today's challenges. Hence the workshop explored the choices and decisions that led to our present predicament with climate change, including an examination of paths not taken.

TAU & Harvard look at psychology and law The Buchmann Faculty of Law, together with Harvard Law School’s Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, sponsored a five-day workshop – "Law and Psychology.” Organized by Harvard’s Prof. Oren Bar-Gill and TAU's Prof. Nira Liberman (Social Sciences) and Prof. Ariel Porat (Law), TAU President, the workshop brought together leading academics to discuss the largely underappreciated connections between the two fields of law and psychology. Presentations and discussions ranged from dishonesty and corruption and the psychological factors that trigger them, to the concept of preferences, how they are formed and whether law should regulate attempts to change them.

British Council continues UK-Israel research BIRAX, an initiative of the British Council, has promoted over 20 research projects bringing together British and Israeli scientists to tackle challenging health problems. The two-day "Healthy Aging Webinar,” billed as "a crossdisciplinary conference for the benefit of society," was held online and co-organized by TAU’s Prof. Karen Avraham, Dr. Daniel Bar and Prof. Illana Gozes (all of Medicine), Dr. Mira Marcus-Kalish (Exact Sciences) and Prof. Dov Shmotkin (Social Sciences). Participants from both countries and various disciplines discussed issues ranging from age-related diseases and interventions, to cognitive health, social inequality, caregiving and lifestyle. The meeting put a spotlight on TAU's efforts to launch an interdisciplinary research center for transforming the aging process.

The archaeology of migration and diaspora Together with a large international team from Israel, Georgia, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and the US, TAU alumna Dr. Sarit Paz (Humanities), a Teaching Fellow at the Unit of Culture Research, Porter School of Cultural Studies, is investigating the Kura-Araxes culture in the 4th-3rd millennium BCE in the South Caucasus, and its intriguing presence in the Tel Bet Yera excavations in Israel. “The archaeology of migration gives wonderful insights into cultural identity, preservation and change – issues that are more relevant today than ever.”


CONVERGENCE: New Paths To Discovery •

Engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, nano … all in one New faculty member Dr. Gili Bisker (Engineering), a former Zuckerman STEM Leadership Faculty Scholar and Blavatnik Young Faculty Recruit, arrived from a post-doc at MIT to the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She is developing nano-sensors to probe living systems at the nano-scale, among other research directions. A poster scientist for the term “interdisciplinary,” she is affiliated with three research centers at TAU – Physics and Chemistry of Living Things; Nanoscience and Nanotechnology; and Light-Matter Interaction.


Te l Av i v U n i ve r si t y

Annual Report 2020

Investigating black holes from Earth and space Dr. Benny Trakhtenbrot (Exact Sciences) studies supermassive black holes. He is co-founder and co-leader of the BASS collaboration, a group of some 60 researchers in over 10 countries. Together they are constructing the largest and most complete census of powerful black holes in our "local" universe to understand how these extreme objects grow to be billions of times more massive than our sun, and how this growth is both linked to, and reshapes, the galaxies that host them. Their research, using an unprecedentedly large variety of telescopes on Earth and in space, has been published in leading journals including Nature.

Earth's ancient magnetic field … and archaeology In a joint study between archaelogist and 2018 Kadar Family Award recipient Prof. Erez Ben-Yosef (Humanities) and magnetic field expert Prof. Lisa Tauxe of the University of California, San Diego, pottery shards from the Neolithic period (7th–5th millennia BCE) are being examined for what they may reveal about the pace of changes in the strength of the earth's geomagnetic field, which has been weakening over the last 150 years. Some believe this decline could lead to increased exposure of the biosphere (including humans) to dangerous cosmic radiation. The study is also helping develop a new dating tool that can aid archaeologists in solving chronological issues of ancient Jewish history.

The mathematical study of human behavior The Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Mathematical Sciences launched two new programs for undergraduates. The BSc in Data Science is a double major in statistics, operations research, and psychology for students interested in using modern methods of big data analysis for the study of human behavior. The second program is a BSc in Mathematics with Extended Complementary Studies in Humanities, supported by TAU’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Humanities in STEM. Designed for outstanding students, this program will result in graduates well-grounded in mathematics who also have skills and tools from the humanist tradition.

Advanced technologies, society and the human aspect As part of the EU Horizon 2020 HubIT project, the Unit for Technology and Society Foresight headed by Dr. Tal Soffer (Education), and the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center led by Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel (Social Sciences), together organized the international workshop – "How Social Sciences and Humanities Can Contribute to Improved Research and Innovation in a Digital Society.” Attended by researchers, industry representatives and decision-makers from various fields, the workshop deliberated the implications of new technologies (especially AI) on social issues such as privacy and ethics, science education, and the future of the labor market.

Sinking your teeth into the study of antibiotic resistance A research group from the Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine led by Dr. Lihi Adler-Abramovich (Medicine), including her PhD student Lee Schnaider, collaborated with Prof. Ehud Gazit (Life Sciences), Director of the BLAVATNIK CENTER for Drug Discovery, to tackle one of today's most pressing healthcare problems – bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The team developed an enhanced material for tooth restorations that is aesthetically pleasing, mechanically rigid, and intrinsically antibacterial due to its incorporation of germ fighting nano-assemblies. They are now working on developing methods for incorporating such nano-assemblies into other biomedical materials, such as wound dressings and tissue scaffolds.

Making robots that understand us Joining the School of Mechanical Engineering after a post-doc at Rutgers University, new faculty member Dr. Avishai Sintov (Engineering) integrates machine learning techniques to design low-cost robots for industry, households, and the disabled. “We need our robot assistants to both adapt to their environments and figure out, using AI, what we want.”

Engineering organs on a chip

In a collaborative project, Dr. Ben Maoz (Engineering) of the Sagol School of Neuroscience, together with scientists from Harvard University under Prof. Donald Ingber, successfully replicated the functions of the brain's neurovascular unit, the mechanism that controls the brain's supply of oxygen and nutrients, on a chip. That expanded to a study involving more than 50 scientists for replicating the behavior of 9 human organs on a chip, which, acting together, create a mini-human-on-a-chip. This development could mean faster lab-to-shelf drug testing with no need for animal or human trials.

Haim Rahamim, a PhD student in the DAN Department of Communication, aims to use virtual reality to fight issues of social divisiveness, particularly racial bias. Working with linguist Prof. Daniel Dor (Social Sciences) of the DAN Department, and Dr. Gal Raz (Arts) of the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television and Sagol School of Neuroscience, he is using functional MRI to measure the effect that embodying "white" test subjects in "black" virtual bodies has on empathy and its subtypes. Striving to show, both neurally and behaviorally, that virtual experience can mitigate unconscious bias and increase empathy for other-race individuals, Rahamim will explore potential applications of this technique among police officers.

In the works… nano-vaccines that fight cancer Research at the laboratory of nanoscientist Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro (Medicine), who heads the Morris Kahn 3D Cancer Printing Initiative and is a 2020 Kadar Family Award recipient, has resulted in an entirely new approach to the treatment of cancer – a vaccine! It consists of nano-sized biodegradable particles packed with the same peptides found in melanoma cancer cells. Working like any other vaccine, it teaches the immune system to recognize and attack the cancerous cells containing these peptides. Initial trials demonstrated effective prevention and treatment for primary skin tumors and brain metastases. Work has begun for other cancers including pancreatic, breast and colon, and a company is being founded based on the new technology platform.

Neuroscience and social change

Building for a less traumatic future The Miriam and Moshe Shuster Building for the Center of Traumatic Stress & Resilience, headed by Prof. Yair Bar-Haim (Social Sciences), will soon be constructed on campus – the gift of a generous donor. The new facility will bring together over 100 researchers from across the campus to conduct multidisciplinary research on PTSD and other anxiety- and stress-related disorders. It will also feature a clinic where treatment will be administered to hundreds of patients every year, among them IDF veterans and children from Israel’s rocket-ravaged periphery. Other facilities will include the Sam and Agi Moss Wing, with state-of-the-art labs and clinical facilities, and a large auditorium 21

COMMUNITY: Stronger Society •

How exactly do we learn math? Profs. Tommy Dreyfus and Michal Tabach (both of Humanities), Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education, convened an international workshop with specialists from Germany, Israel, Italy and the USA for a collaborative investigation into how students learn mathematics. During three intensive days and using a variety of methodologies, they focused on different, complex aspects of the learning process in the classroom, in small groups and individually. The workshop resulted in proposals for the publication of special issues in two leading journals, the Journal of Mathematical Behavior and the International Journal for Research on Undergraduate Mathematics Education.

Partnering with the National Council of Jewish Women, TAU's NCJW Women and Gender Studies Program embarked on a new initiative, “Connecting for Impact: Strengthening the Feminist Ecosystem in Israel.” Coheaded by Prof. Daphna Hacker (Law), the group’s 17 participants were all NGO directors and community leaders representing a cross-section of Israeli society: Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, native-born Israelis and immigrants. The issues tackled ranged from new feminist theories to cutting edge leadership tools. The program included a visit to American University Washington College of Law for an exchange of ideas.

Bringing water to children in Tanzania TAU's future engineers flew to Africa to connect 1,000 schoolchildren to clean water. Within the framework of Engineers Without Borders, and as part of a project overseen by Prof. Dror Avisar (Exact Sciences), head of TAU's Moshe Mirilashvili Institute for Applied Water Studies, the engineering students' mission was to build a 40,000-liter water collection system from the rooftops of a Tanzanian rural school, maintain existing systems installed by previous delegations, and train the local community to care for the systems over the long term.

Empowering women leaders from across Israel

Improving air and water quality for city dwellers The Aaron G. Frenkel Initiative on Combating Pollution headed by Prof. Colin Price (Exact Sciences) is a new collaboration of the Porter School of Environment and Earth Sciences with the Monaco Principality. The project’s four main areas are mobility and traffic pollution; plastics and the search for alternatives; ship emissions while in harbor; and urban heat from densely populated cities. The aim is to mine TAU’s cross-disciplinary knowledge for practical and viable solutions, and even startups.

Protecting rights of unaccompanied minors The Buchmann Faculty of Law operates seven legal clinics, each specializing in a different area, from Criminal Justice, Human Rights, and Refugees and Workers Rights, to Class Actions, Rights of Holocaust Survivors and the Elderly, and Environmental Justice and the Protection of Animal Rights. The clinics give students hands-on experience with litigation, while providing legal services for those in need. In a recent success story, one clinic entered the realm of unaccompanied minors' rights. Dealing with a Sudanese refugee's abandoned child, in Israel since infancy, the clinic managed to get him a student visa and is hoping to upgrade this status in the future to temporary residency, providing him with basic rights.


Te l Av i v U n i ve r si t y

Annual Report 2020

The generally accepted idea that interaction between members of diverse groups is an effective tool for reducing prejudice and promoting cooperation is being re-examined. A study of 13,000 individuals in 67 countries, with Prof. Nurit Shnabel (Social Sciences) in the leading team, found that whereas contact between advantaged and disadvantaged groups encouraged the advantaged to work toward greater social equality, it made the disadvantaged less inclined to put themselves forward and fight for improved circumstances. The good news, however, is that the effect of the contact was to make both groups more willing to work together toward social change and equality. The findings were published in Nature Human Behavior.

Affordable housing – A universal challenge An international conference, "Low Income Housing and Housing Affordability" has been co-organized by the Coller School of Management's Alrov Institute for Real Estate Research, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, and ESCP Business School, Madrid. The second in a series of three, the conference will be hosted by TAU and coordinated by Prof. Danny Ben-Shahar (Management). Topics will include economics and policy research into a wide range of issues, from inequality and rent control, to housing price dynamics, population mobility and immigration, and policy at all levels of government. Gateway for the Ultra-Orthodox into the workforce A program run by the Student Services Division, Trailblazers assists Ultra-Orthodox individuals, dramatically underrepresented in academia, to gain a higher education along with the knowledge and skills required for employment. From 10 students 5 years ago, the program has grown to 130 students today who are supported by extensive social, academic and psychological services from the moment they apply until their graduation and job placement. National higher education drop-out rates for Ultra-Orthodox students hover around 50%, while in the TAU program the dropout rate is zero!

Encounters for social change… not what you expected

TAU learning hackathon Hack plus marathon equals hackathon, today's word for an intensive entrepreneurs' workshop. TAUHack, a 24-hour competition held by TAU Online—Innovative Learning Center, gave students the opportunity to propose apps for improving their university learning experience. The winners were "Just Ask,” a simple app that allows students to ask and rank questions online during class, which lecturers can respond to in real-time. The other winner, "A+Student," is an interactive phone app that gamifies class exercises, making them more engaging while giving teachers data to identify where students experience difficulties.


TAU O FFI C E R S Lay Leaders

Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel Chairman of the Board of Governors

Dr. h.c. Josef Buchmann

Mr. Eli Gelman Chairman of the Executive Council

Dr. h.c. Sylvan Adams

Dame Shirley Porter

Dr. h.c. Jeremy Coller

Ms. Dafna Meitar-Nechmad

Dr. Anita Friedman

Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Governors

Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Governors

Co-Chair of the TAU Global Campaign

Co-Chair of the TAU Global Campaign, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Governors

Dr. h.c. Marcus Besen

Dr. h.c. Boaz Dotan

Mr. James Dubin

Dr. h.c. Sami Sagol

Vice Chairmen of the Board of Governors

Mr. Robert Goldberg, Mr. Michael H. Steinhardt Chairmen Emeriti of the Board of Governors

Campus Leaders Prof. Ariel Porat

Prof. Eyal Zisser

Prof. Mark Shtaif

Prof. Yaron Oz

President Rector

Mr. Gady Frank


Prof. Milette Shamir Vice President

Prof. Dan Peer

Vice President for Research and Development

Mr. Amos Elad

Vice President for Resource Development


Vice Rector Pro-Rector

Prof. Moshe Zviran

Dean of the Coller School of Management

Prof. Rachel Gali Cinamon

Dean of the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities

Prof. Sharon Hannes

Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law

Te l Av i v U n i ve r si t y

Annual Report 2020

Prof. Yossi Rosenwaks

Dean of the Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering

Prof. Abdussalam Azem

Dean of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences

Prof. Itai Sened

Dean of the Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences

Prof. Ehud Grossman

Dean of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine

Prof. Eran Neuman

Dean of the Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of the Arts

Prof. Tova Milo

Dean of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences

Prof. Tova Most

Dean of Students

Prof. Liat Kishon-Rabin

Dean of Innovation in Teaching and Learning


Dear Friends, As the coronavirus epidemic ripped through Israel, the government urgently pumped billions of shekels into the economy to bankroll the public health drive, prop up companies, and provide financial relief to struggling families. Now, as we contemplate a more sustainable path for the post-pandemic era, difficult economic and social questions are emerging. How can the labor market and struggling businesses be rehabilitated? Who will pay off the huge national debt that has accumulated – the next generation? If so, what measures can be taken today to spur revival and growth tomorrow? Regaining economic health and stability is a complex task, and I hope that the Israeli political leadership will be up to it. At the same time, I believe that Israeli academia in general, and Tel Aviv University in particular, have much to contribute to the economic recovery of the country. First, we have to understand that the post-pandemic world and its economic needs will be new and unpredictable. It is therefore more important than ever to prepare university graduates with skills such as intellectual agility, entrepreneurship, creativity and adaptability to rapid change – all in the curricular DNA of Tel Aviv University. Second, the trend of online classes and meetings, so central to the pandemic experience, is here to stay, and institutions that embrace digitization will become more competitive and successful. In this regard, TAU has performed exceptionally, not only in quickly switching to online studies but also by initiating a sweeping program for innovation in teaching and learning.

Third, we need to invest in Israel’s human capital with ever more academic scholarships, to produce vitally needed knowledge workers and reduce geographic, ethnic and gender gaps. Here too TAU has a strong record and is ideally positioned to advance excellence and inclusivity in the workforce. I invite all our supporters to join me in feeling proud that TAU can be part of the corona solution. We will emerge from this unprecedented crisis even stronger and more determined than before. I would also like to take this opportunity to praise the efforts and commitment of TAU’s faculty, students and benefactors, under the outstanding leadership of President Ariel Porat.

Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel Chairman of the Board of Governors


2020 Global Campaign Projects

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Humanities in STEM – USA

Law Clinic for Environmental Justice and the Protection of Animal Rights – Menmon Ltd., Israel

Academic Development

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – MJR Foundation, USA

Support for Ofakim: “New Horizons” Teachers Training Program in Jewish Studies – Anonymous

Adama Center for Novel Delivery Systems in Crop Protection – Adama Ltd., Israel

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, USA

Support for David Berg Institute for Law and History – USA

Israeli-Arab Academic Career Pathways Initiative – Neubauer Family Foundation, USA

Cohn Family Faculty Recruitment Fund – Family of Bertram J. and Barbara B. Cohn, USA

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Neubauer Family Philanthropic Fund, USA

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Crown Family Foundation, USA

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman Neubauer, USA

The Dan David Anthropology Gallery – Dan David Foundation

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Robin Chemers-Neustin and Shimmin Neustin, USA

Support for Megiddo Project, Digital Epigraphy Project, Ancient DNA Initiative and Pentateuch Project – Dan David Foundation

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – One8 Foundation, USA

Support for the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music – Bernard Osher, USA

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – William Davidson Foundation, USA

Zvi and Bella Galil Steinhardt Museum of Natural History Endowed Support Fund – USA

Sion Potel Fund Initiated by Schulamit Tilaeff for the Support of Researchers and Students – UK

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Yossi Hollander, USA

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Mr. and Mrs. Stewart A. Resnick, USA

Support for Master Classes and Opera Production at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music – International Music and Art Foundation, UK

Ida and Ephraim Rogovin Interdisciplinary Youth Program in Humanities – Israel

Support for Alvin Z. Rubinstein Chair in Political Science – Frankie Rubinstein Estate, USA

Support for the Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program – Naomi Prawer Kadar Foundation, USA

Support for President’s Fund – Frankie Rubinstein Estate, USA

Olessia Kantor Fund – Israel

Support for Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and Kantor Database – UK

Support for Edmond J. Safra Center for Bioinformatics – Liechtenstein

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Mr. and Ms. Ronald S. Lauder, USA

Seidman Family Memorial Lecture Series – David N. and Shoshanah R. Seidman; Elie and Sarah Seidman, USA

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Harold and Shari Levy Fund, USA

Prof. and Mrs. Amnon Shashua and Anat Ramati Shashua Fund – Israel

Solomon Lew Center for Consumer Behavior – Australia

Support for Shmunis Family Foundation Excavations at Kiriath-Jearim – USA

Center for Combating Pandemics • Frank Lowy, founding donor – Australia/Israel • Dr. Garry Rayant & Dr. Kathy Fields Rayant – USA • The Milner Foundation – USA • Yad Hanadiv – Israel Expansion of the Academic Cities Initiative Online Program – Anonymous

Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research – USA

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Jeffrey Silverman, USA

Science, Technology and Math Leadership Program for Arab Youth – Yad Hanadiv, Israel

Support for Institute for National Security Studies – Ezra U. Yemin, USA

• 26

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Research •

Research Fund for Prof. Ilan Tsarfaty (Medicine) – Breast Cancer Research Foundation, USA

Coronavirus Research Fund for Dr. Natalia Freund (Medicine) – The son of the late Berdie and Irvin Cohen z”l, Canada

Autoimmunity and Cancer Research Fund for Prof. Oded Rechavi (Life Sciences) – Stewart and Judy Colton, USA

IAA-NYU-TAU Caesarea Maritima Project 2019-2020 – Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, Israel

Elia Family Eye Research Fund – USA

Research Fund for the Nitsan Lab of Dr. Ram Fishman (Social Sciences) – Joseph Glickman, USA

COVID-19 Research Fund for Prof. Jonathan Gershoni (Life Sciences) – GlobalGiving Foundation, USA

Research Fund for Prof. Daniel Deutch (Exact Sciences) – Google Ltd., Ireland

Project for Robust Wheat Development – Stephen Lieberman and Sandra Okinow, USA

Milner Foundation Fund for Coronavirus Related Scientific Research – UK

Archaeology Research Fund for Dr. Guy Stiebel (Humanities) – Peter and Naomi Neustadter, Israel

Research Fund for Prof. Dror Avisar (Exact Sciences) – David Reznik, Israel

Embryonic and Stem Cell Research Initiative – Sami and Tova Sagol, Israel

Renovations for the Extended Realities Laboratory at the Elias Sourasky Central Library – Victor Constantiner, Mexico/ USA

Elias Sourasky Central Library Renovation – Victor Constantiner, Mexico/USA

Juliette and Raul Danon Auditorium – Israel

Galil Plaza at The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History – Zvi and Bella Galil, USA

Elias Sourasky Central Library Renovation – Adina Cimet and Michael Singer, USA

Miriam and Moshe Shuster Building for the Center of Traumatic Stress & Resilience – Israel

Solomon Lew Floor in the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate Center – Australia

Student Aid and Fellowships •

Baruch Tegegne Fund for Ethiopian Students – Yaffa (Tegegne) and Benjamin Ahdoot, Canada

Amram Fund for Students Born with Disabilities – Monaco

Ariane de Rothschild Women Doctoral Program – Caesarea Foundation, Israel

Crown Family Scholarship Program – USA

Post-Doc Fellowship Fund – Clement Erbmann, USA

Support for the Mia and Mile Pinkas Accessible Learning Center – Switzerland/Venezuela

Alvin Z. and Frankie Z. Rubinstein Fellowship – USA

Research Fund for Prof. Daniel Michaelson (Life Sciences) – Sami and Tova Sagol, Israel

Brazilian Scholarship Fund – Brazil

Research Fund for Prof. Dan Frenkel (Life Sciences) – Amnon Shoham, USA

Moise Safra Scholarship Fund for Brazilian Students – Brazil

Research Fund for Prof. Marcelo Sternberg (Life Sciences) – Anonymous

Support for Scholarships – Steven and Henryk Schwarz, Schwarz Foundation, USA

Research Fund for Prof. Karen Avraham (Medicine) – Wolfson Foundation and Wolfson Charitable Trust, UK

Edna and Joanne Tichsher Scholarship Fund – Shmuel Tichsher Estate, Israel

Research Fund for Prof. Alon Babad (Engineering) – Wolfson Foundation and Wolfson Charitable Trust, UK

Chava and Shimon Topor Annual Prize for Excellence in Medical Studies – Israel/USA


Campus Development

Social Involvement Fund – Migdal Insurance Co. Ltd., Israel

Yehiel Ben-Zvi Presidential Conference Room – Generous donors from around the world

Arie Einan Lecture—Yedidim Nifgashim Lecture Series – Amos Kaminski, USA

Rosalie and Harold Rae Brown Core Cancer Research Facility – USA

Support for construction of Roman Abramovich Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Building – Canadian Friends of TAU, Montreal

Listed: Projects of $100,000 and above, by alphabetical order within categories


DISTINCTIONS Prof. (emer) Noga Alon, Exact Sciences, Honorary Member, 19th General Assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; 2019 EATCS-IPEC Nerode Prize Dr. Iair Arcavi, Exact Sciences, Israel Physical Society Nathan Rosen Prize Prof. Michal Aviad, Arts, 2019 Mifal Hapayis Landau Award for Arts and Sciences Michal Bat-Adam, Arts, Lifetime Achievement Ophir Award Prof. David Bergman, Exact Sciences, Fellow of the Israel Physics Society Prof. Lev Buhovski, Exact Sciences, 2019 Erdos Prize

Prof. Liat Kishon-Rabin, Medicine, Vice President European Federations of Audiology Societies (EFAS)

Prof. Doron Shabat, Exact Sciences, Kolthoff Annual Prize

Prof. Nadine Kuperty, Humanities, Palmes Académiques

Dr. Haim Suchowski, Exact Sciences, Israel Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Prof. Carmit Levy, Medicine, 2019 Young Investigator Award, Society for Melanoma Research

Prof. Moshe Tur, Engineering, 2020 OFS Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof. Yishay Mansour, Exact Sciences, FOCS Test of Time Award

Prof. Michael Urbakh, Exact Sciences, 2019 Israel Chemical Society Prize for Outstanding Scientist

Prof. Zvi Mazeh, Exact Sciences, Fellow of the Israel Physics Society

Prof. Uri Zwick, Exact Sciences, 2019 EATCS-IPEC Nerode Prize

Dr. Adam Morrison, Exact Sciences, Best Paper Award at MICRO 2019 Prof. Ehud Nakar, Exact Sciences, Michael Bruno Award

Prof. Herzl Chai, Engineering, 2020 Lazan Prize Prof. Gil Navon, Exact Sciences, 2019 ICS Gold Medal

Prof. Tommy Dreyfus, Humanities, 2019 Felix Klein Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Mathematics Education Research Prof. Tal Ellenbogen, Engineering, 2020 Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research Prof. Neta Erez, Medicine, 2020 Nature Research Award for Mentoring in Science–Israel

Prof. Emanuel Peled, Exact Sciences, 2019 Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation

Prof. Ilit Ferber, Humanities, 2020 Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research

Prof. Ariel Porat, Law, EALE Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof. Ehud Gazit, Life Sciences, 2020 Mifal Hapayis Landau Award for Arts and Sciences in the field of Healthy Aging

Dr. Doron Puder, Exact Sciences, Levitzki Prize

Prof. Illana Gozes, Medicine, Honorary Membership for 2020, Israeli Society for Neuroscience (ISFN); Silver Medal of Excellence, Bulgarian Academy of Science; Honorary Foreign Membership, Bulgarian Peptide Society Prof. Daphna Hacker, Law, Jewell Bellush Outstanding Israeli Feminist Award by NCJW Dr. Roni Ilan, Exact Sciences, Israel Physical Society Yaakov Bekenstein Prize Prof. Moshe Israelashvili, Humanities, Counseling Psychologist Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention


Prof. Abraham Nitzan, Exact Sciences, 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Theoretical Chemistry

Te l Av i v U n i ve r si t y

Prof. Tal Pupko, Life Sciences, 2020 Nature Research Award for Mentoring in Science–Israel Dr. Avinoam Rabinovich, Engineering, 2020 GIF Young Scientists Prize Prof. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Humanities, 2020 Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Medicine, 2020 Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research; La Caixa Team Award; 2019 Women of the Year, Globes, Israel; 2020 Youdim Family Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research; 2020 Humboldt Foundation Bessel Research Prize; 2020 List of 20 Most Promising Israelis, Yediot Aharonot

Annual Report 2020

“After years of study, corona gave me time to reflect and explore new interests.” Academic high achiever Jasmin Wennersbusch, from Germany, is getting her second PhD at the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Legal Studies after she visited the Buchmann Faculty of Law and fell in love with Tel Aviv, the Hebrew language and the high level of studies at TAU. She previously earned a Doctor juris from the University of Düsseldorf and an LLM in international law from the University of Cambridge. Jasmin’s current research, supervised by Dr. Doreen Lustig and Prof. Eyal Benvenisti (both of Law), examines human rights protection on the Internet. The lockdowns over the past year gave her a chance, Jasmin says, to pursue refreshing personal activities like pottery and gardening.

Concept and production: Rava Eleasari • Text: hi-Text/Mimi Tanaman • Additional texts: Ruti Ziv • Graphic Design: Issi Dvir • Photography: Yoram Reshef • Additional Photography: Moshe Bedarshi • Administrative Coordination: David Jozsef Issued by the Development and Public Affairs Division • Tel Aviv University • Ramat Aviv 69978, Tel Aviv, Israel •





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Amnon Dick, Chairman

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Tel Aviv University Trust

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