BOG 2017: All-Access Mission forges fresh ties to TAU
Paving the way for a lifelong relationship with TAU, this year’s All-Access Mission comprised youthful participants representing a range of backgrounds and professional fields. Unlike previous missions, this third mission ran concurrently with the 2017 International Board of Governors meeting, offering participants an insider’s view of the University, as well as the chance to see firsthand the vital and supportive role of TAU’s international governors.
Upon arrival, guests were welcomed with an inaugural dinner at the home of longtime Israeli Friends of TAU, the Blustein family in Kfar Shmaryahu. TAU President Joseph Klafter greeted the group: “What a diverse and interesting group this is. We hope you’ll be inspired and stimulated by what you see, and we look forward to hearing your ideas of how to promote the University and Israel in your home communities.”
The next day, the group visited Israel’s Aerospace Industries to view the nation’s cutting-edge drone technology, followed by a tour of IDE Technologies, pioneers in desalination technologies. Prof. Dror Avisar, Head of TAU’s Hydro-Chemistry Laboratory and consultant to IDE Technologies, explained how TAU is creating life-changing technologies to address the world’s ongoing water shortage. Later, at e² Young Engineers, a company which offers educational enrichment programs to children, TAU’s Dr. Boaz Almog outlined breakthroughs in quantum levitation and super conductivity, demonstrating how a two-millimeter-thin superconducting layer could hold a car.
All-access member David Roitman from Germany summarized the day: “We have two miracles in Israel: One is the State of Israel, and one is Tel Aviv University.”
The next morning featured TED-style talks from star TAU lecturers. Leading the way, Prof. Asher Susser of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies examined changing alliances in the Middle East. Prof. Tal Dvir, Head of the Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnologies, then presented recent developments in experiments conducted at TAU to print 3D hearts as an alternative to transplants. Prof. Carmit Levy of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Prof. Gal Oestreicher-Singer of the Coller School of Management wrapped things up with presentations from their latest research on melanoma breakthroughs and the future of content websites, respectively. “I wasn’t aware of how innovative and advanced the University is. We need to spread the word,” said participant Samantha Tauby from Canada. “I’m very happy to go home and share all this information, and hopefully raise money to get more scholarships so that more people can benefit from the University.”
The afternoon included visits to TAU’s resident “Batman,” Dr. Yossi Yovel of TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, and TAU’s Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery, the first of its kind in Israel. Subsequently, the group visited TAU’s Steve Tisch School of Film and Television where they viewed some of its students’ award-winning films.
Culminating the mission, the group went on a culinary tour of Jaffa and attended a Board of Governors reception at the newly constructed Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, the first in the Middle East.
“It blew my mind. In a week, I’ve met everyone and anyone who is an innovator in Tel Aviv and has a relationship with Tel Aviv University. This is a place I will look to return to at least once a year!” said Canadian participant Paul Davidescu.
“The All-Access experience has been fantastic. It gives you a taste and flavor of what’s happening in Israel. It’s lovely to see that younger people are getting involved, and I look forward to future years with more people to come,” said participant Vinna Katz, from the United States, of the experience.