BOG 2019: Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research

On its 5th anniversary, the Kadar Family Award continues to nurture research and teaching excellence on campus
06 June 2019
From left: Ms. Lindsey Bodner; Dr. Ayala Arad; Prof. Tamar Herzig; Prof. Danny Cohen-Or; and Prof. Oded Rechavi

Four outstanding junior and senior TAU faculty members on campus were presented with the 2019 Kadar Family Award during the Second Assembly of the 2019 Board of Governors Meeting. The ceremony was held in the presence of Ms. Lindsey Bodner, Executive Director of the Naomi Prawer Kadar Foundation, who represented the family at the event. Also participating were Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman of the Board of Governors, outgoing TAU President Joseph Klafter, Incoming TAU President Ariel Porat, Rector Yaron Oz and Vice President for Research and Development Yoav Henis, Chair of the Kadar Family Award Committee.


The Kadar Family Award was created by the Naomi Foundation, which honors 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. 


Lindsey Bodner told the gathering: “The Naomi Foundation exists to continue Naomi’s life’s work dedicated to education and Yiddish scholarship. Naomi taught Yiddish around the world, including at the International Yiddish Summer Program at TAU which bears her name. As a foundation, we also support scientific and medical research, including through the Kadar Family Award and the TAU Global Research and Training Fellowship.  


Ms. Bodner conveyed greetings from Dr. Avraham Kadar, who was unable to attend. “This award recognizes an elite group of scholars and researchers doing groundbreaking work across disciplines – imparting new ideas and encouraging new ways of thinking about existing challenges. On this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Klafter, both for his visionary leadership of this university and for our friendship. As a TAU graduate – and the father of TAU graduates with advanced degrees in film, business and medicine – I am proud and optimistic for the future of the University and Israel,” he said.


Prof. Klafter noted that, “within five short years, the Kadar Family Award has gained considerable prestige among our faculty members, the entire University community, and beyond. It is inspiring admiration and encouraging scientists and scholars to reach for even greater heights,” he said.


“The Award recognizes outstanding performance of both senior and younger researchers – in teaching no less than research across the campus,” said Prof. Klafter. “We are very proud of this prize and its contribution to raising the University’s profile in Israel and internationally, and deeply grateful for it.”  


The 2019 Kadar Family Award was presented to:


Prof. Danny Cohen-Or, Blavatnik School of Computer Science, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences was recognized for his global impact on the field of visual computing, specifically, computer graphics, and for developing advanced techniques of modeling for digital images. Prof. Cohen-Or is a recipient of the 2018 ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award.


Prof. Tamar Herzig, Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies, Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, a specialist in Women’s studies and Renaissance piety, won the award for her five-year study on religious conversion of Jews in pre-modern Italy, including Jewish girls who were baptized as nuns.  Prof. Herzig is a recipient of the Rector’s Teaching Award, a member of the Young Academy of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and a recipient of a Fellowship from the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.


Prof. Oded Rechavi of the School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, has shown that acquired traits can be inherited between generations, not via changes to DNA, rather through other heritable molecules called “small RNAs.” This discovery opens news understanding of genetic inheritance and evolution, and could lead in the future to new medical tests and interventions. Prof. Rechavi is a recipient of the 2018 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists and receives funding from Schmidt Futures.  


Dr. Ayala Arad of the Coller School of Management was recognized for her research in behavioral economics, a field that lies on the border between psychology and economics. She investigates individual decision-making processes and reasoning in competitive interactions, in an attempt to shed light on fundamental economic and managerial questions.


Each recipient gave a short TED-style presentation on his or her field of research.  



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