AFTAU hosts virtual gala on October 7, 2021, raising funds and awareness for TAU initiatives

Noa Tishby, AFTAU Gala 2021 Honoree

Hosted by Jake Tapper, the gala honored author, actress, and activist Noa Tishby

Support Tel Aviv University

On Thursday, October 7, 2021, American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) hosted a virtual gala to support Tel Aviv University’s (TAU) mission to advance the world through innovation, education, and impact. The gala raised over $2 million for three University initiatives including student scholarships, medical research, and the Center for Combatting Pandemics.

AFTAU CEO Jennifer Gross kicked off the evening, welcoming guests and noting, “You are making it possible for today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

Hosted by American journalist, author, and TAU alum Jake Tapper, the virtual gala honored Dr. Anita Friedman with the Visionary Leadership Award, Maya Kadar Kovalsky and Nadav Kadar with the Changemaker Award, and author, actress, and activist Noa Tishby with the Trailblazer Award. During the gala, event co-chairs Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Garry Rayant announced the Fields-Rayant Scholarship Fund in honor of Dr. Anita Friedman to fund student scholarships.

In acceptance of her Trailblazer Award, Noa Tishby said, “TAU encompasses [all of] these values: democracy, diversity, freedom, ingenuity and intelligence. That’s why we are here to support TAU tonight, and that’s why the world needs to support Israel.” She continued, “You know this and you understand this. Now it is our job to share the truth and beauty and importance of Israel with everyone we can.”

TAU’s President Ariel Porat was joined by the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, and special guests including Mayim Bialik, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Andy Cohen, Gal Gadot, Bill Maher, Debra Messing, and Gideon Raff.

“Each day TAU is advancing the world through innovation, education, and impact,” said President Porat. “It is a gift to come to this campus everyday and know I am surrounded by the most brilliant minds in the world,” he shared.

As Israel’s largest public institution of higher learning, TAU is home to 30,000 students, including 2,100 international students from over 100 countries. The University encompasses nine faculties, 35 schools, 400 labs, and has 17 affiliated hospitals in its network. In 2021 thus far, Tel Aviv University has broken ground with a variety of studies and globally impactful research findings, demonstrative of its research expertise in the arts, humanities, and sciences.