BOG 2021: Top TAU Researchers Receive Kadar Family Awards

The 7th annual Kadar ceremony honors groundbreaking research and teaching excellence
14 October 2021
From back left: Prof. Yossi Yovel, TAU Rector Prof. Mark Shtaif, TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat, Prof. Domenico Agostini, TAU Vice President R&D Prof. Dan Peer, Prof. Emilia Fridman, Prof. Dalit Rom-Shiloni. (Photo: Israel Hadari).

Four Tel Aviv University faculty members were presented with the 2021 Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research during this year’s TAU Board of Governors Meeting: Prof. Emilia Fridman (Engineering), Prof. Dalit Rom-Shiloni (Humanities), Prof. Yossi Yovel (Life Sciences), and Prof. Domenico Agostini (Humanities).


The awards were conferred at a festive ceremony held at the Porter School of Environmental Studies Building. As part of the Board Meeting's hybrid format of in-person and virtual events, the ceremony was also broadcast live to University governors and friends around the world.


The 2021 Kadar Family Award recipients:


Prof. Emilia Fridman is a member of the School of Electrical Engineering, Fleischman Faculty of Engineering. She is the Senior Science Researcher laureate for her world-leading, long-standing academic career in the complex field of control theory. Since 2018, she has been the incumbent of the Chana and Heinrich Manderman Chair on System Control.




Prof. Dalit Rom-Shiloni is a full Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Department of Biblical Studies, Entin Faculty of Humanities. She is the Senior Humanities Researcher laureate for her comprehensive work and achievements in the field of prophetic literature, which have greatly influenced the field of biblical studies.




Prof. Yossi Yovel is an Associate Professor at the Wise Faculty of Life Sciences and Head of both the Sagol School of Neuroscience and the I. Meier Segals Zoological Garden. He is the Junior Researcher in Science laureate for his groundbreaking research program using bats in the fields of behavioral science and neuroscience. Prof. Yovel applies knowledge taken from the world of bats to various biotechnological uses.




Prof. Domenico Agostini is an Associate Professor of Ancient History at the Entin Faculty of Humanities. He is the Junior Researcher in Humanities laureate for his research focused on historical, religious, anthropological, and philological topics pertaining to pre-Islamic Iran and Zoroastrianism. In particular, he studies apocalypse, individual and collective "end time" and creation myth doctrines along with their interactions with the Mediterranean traditions in Antiquity and Late Antiquity.   




Speaking on behalf of all the award recipients, Prof. Yovel thanked the Kadar Family and their family’s Naomi Prawer Kadar Foundation. "No less important than science education is academic education," said Prof. Yovel, noting the alignment of his passions for both academic scholarship and excellence in teaching with that of the Kadars'.


The Kadar Family Award honors pioneering scholarship in fields across the entire spectrum of faculties and disciplines. Since its inception, the Award has been granted annually to four TAU researchers, two senior and two junior faculty members. The Award Committee selected the winners based on the following criteria: groundbreaking research; teaching quality; research grants earned from competitive foundations; quality and quantity of scientific publications; and their status in the global scientific community.


The Naomi Foundation established the Award in 2015 to honor the memory of Naomi Prawer Kadar PhD, a lifelong Yiddish specialist and the late wife of TAU benefactor Dr. Avraham Kadar, a TAU graduate, physician, educator and innovator. The three Kadar children, Einat Kadar Kricheli, Nadav Kadar, and Maya Kadar Kovalsky, are all TAU alumni and active board members of the Foundation along with Dr. Kadar.


Maya Kadar Kovalsky spoke on behalf of her family and the Foundation in an online address. “Through the Kadar Award we honor the pioneering achievements of TAU’s highest-level researchers and scholars, and give a megaphone to these researchers so they can amplify their work and people can learn about their findings all around the world,” she said. “We are proud to support Tel Aviv University in many ways, because we see TAU as a hub of innovation.”


At the award ceremony, TAU President, Prof. Ariel Porat said, “I warmly congratulate this year’s winners. I want to take this opportunity to thank the family and the Naomi Prawer Kadar Foundation for renewing their support for this important award." Fondly recalling his first encounter with Dr. Avraham Kadar and his family, Prof. Porat said it “wasn’t a typical get-to-know-you meeting. It was more like a faculty seminar where I was presenting a paper, and the Kadar family challenged me with very sharp questions and comments.”


"The Kadar Award is a symbol of excellence for leading researchers in their field at TAU, along with the investment in teaching and educating the next generation," stated Prof. Dan Peer, Vice President of Research and Development, Chairman of the Kadar Family Award Committee. 


In further recognition of their deep ties and philanthropic contributions to the University, the American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) recently bestowed The Changemaker Award to Maya Kadar Kovalsky and Nadav Kadar, honoring them as second-generation supporters of TAU. The Kadar siblings received the award at the October 7th AFTAU Gala that raised $2 million to benefit University initiatives.



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