Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program honored by President Rivlin

Scholarships will advance research in STEM areas at Israel’s four major research universities
25 January 2017

American business leader and philanthropist Mortimer B. Zuckerman was recognized by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin for his $100 million initiative to provide scholarships to the next generation of STEM researchers in the United States and Israel. The event at the President’s residence was held in the presence of Mr. Zuckerman, Zuckerman Institute Trustees Eric J. Gertler and James S. Gertler, and the heads of the four participating Israeli universities.


Pictured above: Seated, Mortimer B. Zuckerman shakes hands with President Reuven Rivlin. Standing, left to right: James S. Gertler, Trustee, Zuckerman Institute; Eric J. Gertler, Trustee, Zuckerman Institute; Prof. Daniel Zajfman, President, Weizmann Institute of Science; Prof. Joseph Klafter, Tel Aviv University President; Prof. Yaffa Zilberhats, Head, Council for Higher Education Budget Committee; Prof. Peretz Lavie, President, Technion Institute of Technology; Menahem Ben-Sasson, President, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Isaiah Arkin, Head, Authority for Research & Development, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Photo: Israel Hadari


Mr. Zuckerman launched the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program to support future generations of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States and Israel and, over time, foster greater collaboration between two of the world’s most advanced scientific research powers. The Program enables the highest-achieving American post-doctoral researchers and graduate students to collaborate with eminent researchers at Israel’s top research institutions: Tel Aviv University; the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology; and the Weizmann Institute of Science.


By providing American graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with exposure to Israel’s cutting-edge research and startup culture, the Program will raise a generation of academic, scientific and industry leaders infused with a unique spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.


The Program simultaneously bolsters Israeli research institutions by providing large-scale funding needed to develop top-tier research labs, projects, and programs.


The Zuckerman Program, will, over time, help strengthen the US-Israel partnership as Zuckerman Scholars return to the United States after building long-lasting relationships rooted in collaboration. Israeli academic leaders returning to research institutions in Israel will similarly advance the overarching collaborative effort in science between the two nations as they continue to build bridges with their American colleagues.


Representing the four participating universities, TAU President Joseph Klafter, said that the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program has infinite benefits on many levels. “By bringing topnotch American post-docs to Israeli campuses, the Program will generate cross-currents of knowledge, especially in emerging fields. The visitors will share their expertise with our scientists and take Israeli know-how back home to the USA, and American researchers will serve as ambassadors for Israeli science and society.


”It is a huge vote of confidence by Mort and the family in Israel and its leading universities to launch such a far-reaching, collaborative STEM Program,” Prof. Klafter said. 


The first cohort of 14 Zuckerman Scholars began with the 2016–2017 academic year. At TAU, they include Zuckerman postdoctoral Scholar Dr. Joseph Kinghorn-Taenzer, who earned his doctorate at the University of Toronto and is involved in the ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider; and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar Dr. Ishay Pomeranz, who is newly recruited to TAU’s Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy after completing a post-doc at the University of Texas at Austin.


TAU alumna Dr. Margarita Orlova will be pursuing research on honeybees as a Zuckerman Post-Doctoral Scholar at Arizona State University after specializing in entomology, animal communications and evolutionary biology.


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