BOG 2015: Supporting Public Health Research and Collaboration with Zambia
The Zambian Jewish Community Public Health Wing at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine was inaugurated during the 2015 Board of Governors Meeting in the presence of officials from the Zambian Jewish community, TAU and Zambia’s Copperbelt University.
The newly renovated wing is home to the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Health Promotion and Occupational and Environmental Health, which are part of the TAU School of Public Health. This important addition to the Faculty of Medicine is part of a far-reaching contribution by the Zambian Jewish Community that includes support for the construction of the new medical school at Copperbelt University, the Zambian Jewish Community Public Health Exchange Program between the two universities and funding for novel epidemiological research at TAU.
Mr. Edwin Wulfsohn, longtime Trustee of the UK Tel Aviv University Trust, made the initial connection between Council for Zambian Jewry President Michael Galaun and Tel Aviv University, allowing this unique project to come to fruition. “I think that today must be one of the finest days in the history of the Jewish community in Zambia,” Galaun said at the inauguration ceremony, adding that, “We are a very small community, but we punch above our weight, and I am very, very proud to be here.”
From left: President of the Council for Zambian Jewry, Mr. Michael Galaun; Head of TAU’s School of Public Health Prof. Daniel Cohen; Vice Chancellor of Copperbelt University Prof. Naison Ngoma; Dean of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine Prof. Ehud Grossman and Dean of the Copperbelt University School of Medicine Prof. Kasonde Bowa. Photo: Yossi Zeliger
TAU President Joseph Klafter thanked the members of the Zambian Jewish community, saying, “Your contribution reflects your deep commitment to your home country, to Jewish solidarity, to the State of Israel and to universal public health.” Dean of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine Prof. Ehud Grossman also expressed his gratitude, pointing out the 35-member community’s dedication to tzedakah. “Despite your small size, you are very generous community,” he said.
Addressing the guests from Copperbelt University, the Head of TAU’s School of Public Health Prof. Daniel Cohen conveyed his excitement about the exchange of knowledge and skills planned. “We are happy to share our knowledge with you and we want to learn from you too,” he said, adding that TAU’s School of Public Health would benefit from learning about the challenges facing Zambia’s healthcare system.
Vice Chancellor of Copperbelt University Prof. Naison Ngoma praised the community’s meaningful donation, which will help fill a void in human resources in Zambian medical care, and said that he hoped “public health is just the beginning of our collaboration with Tel Aviv University.” Dean of the Copperbelt University School of Medicine Prof. Kasonde Bowa added that “the opportunity to work with Tel Aviv University’s School of Public Health is one that we grab with both hands.”
Summing up the impact of the Zambian Jewish Community’s generous gift, Prof. Klafter described the three-fold benefits it will bring: “It will ensure that our talented medical students have the highest quality resources they need to take the reins of Israeli healthcare and public health research in the years to come; It will expand the university’s relations with Africa by enabling us to share and exchange public health expertise with medical professionals and scientists from Copperbelt University; and it will help advance new knowledge by supporting high caliber research.”