Campaign Co-Chair: Ms. Dafna Meitar-Nechmad, Israel
Dafna Meitar-Nechmad invests much of her time cultivating philanthropy in Israel. For the past 12 years, she has managed the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund. Its projects include the Meitar Opera Studio - the young singers' program of the Israeli Opera, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. She is a board member of the Jewish Funders Network, a member of Committed to Give, and a Governor of Tel Aviv University. Additionally, she is a board member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. From 1989 to 2006, Ms. Meitar-Nechmad was a partner at Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal, the largest law firm in Israel, where she specialized in commercial, telecommunications and corporate law. She holds an LLB, a BA in political science, and an MA in political communications, all from Tel Aviv University. She lives in Tel Aviv and is married with three daughters and one grandson.
Campaign Co-Chair: Dr. Anita Friedman, USA
Dr. Anita Friedman is president of the Koret Foundation, a major San Francisco Bay Area organization supporting mostly Jewish educational and community projects in the USA and Israel. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University, where she facilitated the establishment of the Koret Foundation TAU-Bay Area Collaborative Initiative in Smart Cities and Bioinformatics. Dr. Friedman has a distinguished record of public service, both as a professional and as a volunteer leader. She heads Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) in the Bay Area, one of the largest and oldest family service institutions in the US. As a speaker, lecturer and author, Dr. Friedman’s expertise includes social policy and programming for diverse populations; the financing of health and human services; and the development of innovative business and social enterprise models. Dr. Friedman is also an expert on Holocaust and genocide education. She has served on various local, state, national and international commissions, including as Commissioner of the San Francisco Human Services Commission and as policy consultant to the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs. She serves as a trustee for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, USC Shoah Foundation, and Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.
Mr. Sylvan Adams, Israel
Until his recent move from Montreal to Israel, Sylvan Adams served as President and CEO of Iberville Developments, a firm founded by his father, Marcel Adams, a TAU benefactor and founder of one of Canada’s largest real estate development companies. As a proud new oleh, Adams is committed to promoting the very best Israel has to offer the world. To this end, Mr. Adams has continued his parents’ tradition of philanthropy, supporting an array of causes, notably in education, health sciences and Jewish continuity. He also serves as a Governor of Tel Aviv University. The family’s initiatives have had a transformative impact on the Jewish communities of Montreal and Israel. Mr. Adams holds an MBA from the University of Toronto. He is married to Margaret and they are the proud parents of Sarah and her husband Paul, Rachel and her husband Alex, Naomi and Joshua. In addition to his business and philanthropic endeavors, Mr. Adams is a competitive road and track cyclist, with multiple National and World Championship titles.
Mr. Ido Aharoni
Mr. Ido Aharoni, former Israeli Ambassador to New York, earned his joint BA in Film and TV Studies and in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel Aviv University, before pursuing a master’s in Mass Communications at Emerson College in Boston. He is a 25-year veteran of Israel’s Foreign Service who became Israel’s longest-serving Consul-General in New York. Ido is a Global Distinguished Professor for International Relations at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science; and a Governor of Tel Aviv University since 2015. Over the years, he has worked tirelessly for the benefit of Tel Aviv University and helped bring significant donations to the University.
Mr. Fred A. Chaoul, Switzerland
Fred Chaoul was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1937. Continuing his family's tradition, he established FONSECA, one of the largest leather-producing groups in South America. The Argentina-based, family-owned company is renowned worldwide for its quality leather used in automobile interiors as well as its community outreach programs—support for youth in distress, schools and hospitals. A longtime Governor of Tel Aviv University, he was awarded an honorary doctorate, the University’s highest honor, in 2007. Among the projects he supports at TAU is the Chaoul Center for Nanoscale Systems. He is also an important and generous contributor to Jewish organizations in Argentina, supporting Jewish education, elderly Jewish communities, and Keren Hayesod, where he served as treasurer of the Committee for Major Contributors.
Mr. Chaoul studied at Whittingham College, Westminster College and Leathersellers Technical College, all in the U.K. He is married to Mirtha, and collectively they have four children and nine grandchildren.
Mr. Ariel David, Israel
Ariel David is Director of the Dan David Foundation, a board member of the Dan David Prize founded by his father, the late philanthropist Dan David, and a Governor of Tel Aviv University. Born in Rome in 1980, he trained as a journalist and has worked as a reporter covering news from Italy and the Middle East for international publications including the Associated Press and the International Herald Tribune. While continuing work as a freelancer, he is active in various business ventures ranging from renewable energy to private equity. As a board member of the Dan David Foundation, he is involved in the foundation's many philanthropic activities.
Ms. Leslie Gelrubin Benitah
Leslie Gelrubin Benitah was born and raised in Paris. She earned her PhD in Journalism from the Sorbonne. Leslie became a broadcasting powerhouse right out of university, eventually becoming Executive Producer for primetime content for TF1, the most popular French network. She moved to Miami in 2006, and continued working as a freelance journalist for various international publications including Challenges Magazine and L’Officiel, covering topics such as politics, economics and fashion. Leslie also serves as the Vice President of Groupe Terrot, a family-owned French development company. She is a proud third generation governor at TAU and has seen firsthand the impact the University has on the city of Tel Aviv, on Israel, and on the world.
Leslie and her brother Samuel founded the Michel Gelrubin Architecture Prize in 2013. The Mig Prize is designed to give visibility to new talent by providing students opportunities for international recognition. It is awarded annually to honor students whose work demonstrates a combination of vision and talent in the art of architecture and design.
Mr. David Meller CBE, UK
David Meller CBE is the Chairman of the Meller Group, one of the largest luxury home and beauty suppliers in the UK. From 2002-2008, he served as Chairman of the Tel Aviv University Trust and has long acted as a driving force behind the Association. In 2012, he founded the Meller Educational Charity Trust, which establishes and supports academies and colleges in the UK, with the goal of making high-quality education available to different sectors of society. He is also the Chair of the National Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network. For the past several years, Mr. Meller has served as a non-executive board member in the UK’s Department for Education. He received an Honorary Fellowship from Tel Aviv University in 2009.
Dr. Boris Mints, Russia
Dr. Boris Mints is the Founder, Chairman and President of 01 Group, a private holding company that invests in the real estate, industrial and financial sectors. He holds a doctorate in engineering sciences and served as an assistant professor of advanced mathematics at the Ivanovo Textile Academy for 7 years. He later spent a decade serving in a range of municipal and government positions in Moscow. Dr. Mints is an engaged supporter of Jewish and Israeli causes, as well as the arts. Among his many roles, he is a Governor of Tel Aviv University, Chairman of the Board of Patrons of the Conference of European Rabbis, board member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and member of the Board of Patrons of the Mariinsky Theater. He recently donated his modern art collection to the new Museum of Russian Impressionism in Moscow. He received an Honorary Fellowship from Tel Aviv University in 2016.
Mr. Miles S. Nadal, Canada
Miles S. Nadal is an international entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Peerage Capital Group and Peerage Business Partners. Peerage Capital group is a private equity firm whose principal business is Peerage Business Partners, a leading Business Services organization that leverages “the Power of Human Capital.” Peerage is focused on two unique business service platforms – Peerage Realty Partners and Pine Street Asset Management. Mr. Nadal is also the founder and former Chairman and CEO of MDC Partners, the progressive marketing and communications network that champions innovative and entrepreneurial thought leader talent.
Mr. Nadal plays an important role in community and charitable organizations focusing on areas of health care, education and children’s welfare in the Toronto area and has made major gifts to the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre and the Miles & Kelly Nadal Youth Centre at the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club. Mr. Nadal is a recipient of the Harold Lederman award for Volunteer and Philanthropic Leadership and was named a Negev Honoree by the Jewish National Fund. Mr. Nadal is a frequent guest lecturer on the subject of entrepreneurship at schools and universities across the globe, including the Wharton School of Business, Harvard Law School, the University of Miami and Tel Aviv University, where he holds an honorary doctorate degree.
Dr. Michael Edgar Perlman, Brazil
Michael Perlman is an Advisor to Insper and Digipix and a Governor of Tel Aviv University. Member of the Global Advisory Council of London Business School, Fellow Commoner, Christ's College, Cambridge. Other Activities: Albert Einstein Hospital - Counselor since 1974; Member of the advisory board; Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo - board member; Jewish Museum of São Paulo - president of the fiscal council. Dr. Perlman was born in November 1947, in São Paulo. He attended primary and secondary school in São Paulo; BA at Christ's College, Cambridge University (1968); MSc (Economics) at London Business School (1970); MA at Cambridge University (1972); Honorary Fellow at Tel Aviv University (1990).
Mr. Miguel Pinkas, Venezuela
For several decades, Miguel Pinkas served as president and CEO of Micron C.A., a family group of companies dealing in the photographic, medical and office equipment fields. He is now retired and divides his time between Caracas, Florida, Montreal and Geneva. In addition to serving as a Governor of Tel Aviv University, Mr. Pinkas has held many additional leadership roles in business and community organizations over the years. These include President and Director of Rotary Club Altamira; President and Founder of the Venezuelan Photographic Chamber of Commerce; and Director of the Venezuelan-Japanese Chamber of Commerce. He is an active member of Venezuela’s Jewish community, having served as president of ORT Venezuela and Dor-em-shej (Keren Hayesod). Additionally, Mr. Pinkas is involved in projects relating to the Belgrade Jewish Community, from where his family originates. Mr. Pinkas earned a BA in sociology and economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Columbia University. He is the father of Gabriel (deceased), Maya, Ari and Stephanie.
Dr. Kathy Fields Rayant, USA
Dr. Garry A. Rayant, USA
Dr. Garry A. Rayant, BDS, DDS, LDSRCS, MS, is a dental specialist in periodontics and implant dentistry, and an entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and a partner in Dear Doctor Magazine Inc., a print and online national consumer healthcare magazine. Dr. Rayant is active in the San Francisco Bay Area, nationally, and internationally in the fields of US/Israel relations and educational reform. Among his community leadership roles, Dr. Rayant is a Governor of Tel Aviv University and Chair of the Communications Committee for American Friends of Tel Aviv University. In addition, he serves on the advisory board of Stanford University's Challenge Success program, the AIPAC National Council, the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Advanced Judaic Studies Program, and Tulane University's President's Council.