Dear Governors, Friends and Alumni

Hannukah gives us a perfect opportunity to celebrate the miraculous human spirit – freedom-seeking, resilient and optimistic. That spirit unites our own Tel Aviv University community and infuses the learning and questing we advance every day.

Great things continue to happen at TAU. We made the top 10 schools – and the only one outside the US – for producing graduates who go on to become VC-backed entrepreneurs (more ), and we placed among the global 100 Most Innovative Universities, and the 1st in Israel, in a recent Reuters ranking (more ). Drilling down, our Blavatnik School of Computer Science again made the world’s top 20 (Shanghai), our business school the top 30 (Eduniversal), and our Buchmann Faculty of Law number 1 in Israel for passing the bar exam.


TAU Expansion in China Intensifying

A database featuring the names and descriptions of 5,000 Israeli companies, all in Chinese, was presented at the inaugural meeting of TAU’s first alumni association in China, in the city of Nanjing. The web-based tool is the brainchild of Sofaer International MBA graduates of TAU – including Nanjing local Mr. Edwards You Lyu, Secretary-General of the association. The alumni launch was one of several China initiatives this past November that included agreements for joint technological innovation, a food security center and academic cooperation. Photo: Myself with TAU alumnus Mr. Huang Lan (right), Vice Mayor of Nanjing. More

Meanwhile, a group of TAU Governors and supporters from across the globe, accompanied by myself, TAU Rector Prof. Yaron Oz,TAU Vice President for Resource Development Amos Elad, and East Asia Studies researchers Drs. Ori Sela and Asaf Goldschmidt, visited Beijing and off-the-beaten-track Yunnan in an exclusive 9-day «Amazing China» trip. A private tour of the Forbidden City led by TAU Honorary Doctor Ronnie C. Chan, meetings with top Chinese artists and a visit to Shangri-La were among the highlights of this truly amazing journey. More



Creating an Electronically Enhanced Brain

Brain injury can severely impede bodily functioning. Now, a team led by Prof. Matti Mintz of the School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience, together with TAU engineering colleagues and European partners, has succeeded in replacing a damaged area of the brain – the section that controls motor reflexes like blinking – with an electronic chip that restores lost functioning. Their prize-winning work opens an entirely new field for artificial systems that can record and recreate neural signals to achieve brain rehabilitation. More



Passion Can Trump Talent in Getting Ahead

Against the backdrop of a recent Gallup poll that found that over half of working Americans feel disengaged from their jobs, TAU management researcher Dr. Daniel Heller set out to find whether it is talent or passion that drives our professional success. His study found that the stronger a young person’s calling to a particular field, the more likely they are to take risks, persist and get a job in that field – thereby satisfying both their personal and career needs. Further, it also found that those who exhibit a passion for these interests as teenagers are more likely to be successful later on, regardless of their actual talent. More



Getting Serious about Policy Issues

The Boris Mints Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions to Global Challenges was recently established at TAU with the support of Russian businessman, public figure and philanthropist, Mr. Boris Mints. The mission of the Institute, based at the Department of Public Policy, Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences, is to recommend novel and field-proven solutions for pressing global problems in areas such as energy, food security and social inequality. Photo: At the signing ceremony with Mr. Boris Mints (left). More



Bolstering India-Israel Ties

Continuing our drive to increase TAU’s presence in Asia, the University recently hosted the 8th India-Israel Forum on campus. The TAU-initiated Forum, which alternates between the two countries and is aimed at enhancing academic and economic relations, includes policy-makers, captains of industry, academic figures and diplomats. Our Indian visitors met with TAU and other Israeli experts and entrepreneurs in fields that included energy, environment, water, agriculture, space exploration, transportation and cyber security. Photo: The group with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence. More. Video interview: Indian digital journalism outlet Boom talked to me about the Israeli innovation and start-up culture. Watch

I would like to wish you an enjoyable holiday season. We’re excited about the New Year right around the corner; 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of Tel Aviv University and we’re planning many special celebrations on campus and around the world.

Have a very happy Hannukah,