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Tel Aviv University


Israel is the largest net exporter of academic human capital in the world.

With help from American Friends, TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY is the largest investor in bringing that human capital home. More than 275 scientists and scholars have returned to Tel Aviv since 2010.

We believe their best work is ahead of them and it’s better for them and for Israel if they do it in their own backyard. The University is making long-term commitments – delivering a creative, interdisciplinary academic environment and state-of-the-art laboratories; delivering top-of-the-line graduate students and research associates – the best Israel has to offer.

In the 1930s, the idea of a new university in Palestine’s central region was being heavily promoted by Tel Aviv Mayor Meir Dizengoff and other statehood visionaries.

Among them, Yehoshua Margolin, founder of the somewhat humble Biological-Pedagogical Institute on Yehuda Halevey Street in 1931. His goal: to train Israeli teachers in the natural sciences. Margolin believed that understanding and caring for and about nature was the best way to forge a bond between a people and their land.  The wooden hut that was the Institute was donated by the Municipality of Tel Aviv. It was the same hut that had served as Tel Aviv's first synagogue. Margolin managed the Institute until his death in 1947.

With Statehood, Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor, then Mayor Haim Levanon energetically campaigned for the founding of a second Israeli university.

The idea was eventually realized on August 16, 1953, when the Municipal Council of Tel Aviv-Jaffa officially transformed the Biological-Pedagogical Institute into the Academic Institute of Natural Sciences, under the leadership of Prof. Heinrich Mendelssohn, which would “form the core of a future university.” It was located at the Abu Kabir campus in southern Tel Aviv, and had 24 students.

In 2012, TAU it was the 4th youngest among the world’s top 100 universities

Message from President Yossi Klafter

April 2016

Dear Governors, Friends and Alumni,

TAU is gearing up for the 2016 Board of Governors meeting, May 18-22, when we'll be celebrating our 60th anniversary and dedicating several major new initiatives by supporters. We wish you an enjoyable Passover, and invite you to watch our animated holiday greetings.



Could the Bible Have Been Written Earlier? Combining archeology, biblical studies, applied mathematics and computerized image processing, a TAU team found widespread Hebrew literacy in the 6th century BCE Kingdom of Judah. More

Do You Really Want to Read Your DNA? TedX at TAU: After listening to a talk by Prof. Noam Shomron, a TAU geneticist and nanoscientist, you'll think twice before getting your genome sequenced for health information. Watch

Can One Man's Vision Boost Israeli-US Research? Yes! Thanks to a $100 million program set up by US philanthropist Mortimer B. Zuckerman, more American post-docs and graduate students in the sciences will arrive at TAU for advanced study. More

What if a Virus Could Cure Alzheimer's & Parkinson's? A 3-billion year old virus was found by Prof. Beka Solomon to dissolve plaque in the brain associated with neuro-degenerative diseases. Startup "NeuroPhage" is developing cures. More


2016 Dan David Prize to 8 Honorees Nanoscience, Social History and Combating Poverty are the fields in the Prize's 15th anniversary year. More

Italian Knighthood to TAU Professor Biotechnologist Prof. Ehud Gazit was recognized by Italy for his contribution to science. More

New Frontiers in Digital Diplomacy The Institute for Internet Research held the first conference on diplomacy in the social media age. More


©2016 American Friends of Tel Aviv University