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Law Prof. Ariel Porat Named New President of Tel Aviv University
Former Dean of TAU's Buchmann Faculty of Law is an EMET Prize Laureate. more


Edith Simchi-Levi and Dr. David P. Rapaport Elected to AFTAU's Board of Directors
New board members are distinguished leaders in their respective fields.  more


TAU Researchers Spearhead Early Detection of Parkinson's Disease
New method tracks early stages of protein aggregation involved in Parkinson's. more

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Inauguration of the Ady Seidman Lobby
Attractive large entrance hall honors the memory of one of the founding fathers of TAU's Engineering Faculty. more


Breakthrough in Laser Technology Lights the Way for Improved Displays and Illumination
TAU researchers demonstrate continuous lasing action in devices made from perovskite materials. more


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs MOU Between Florida Institutions and TAU
Governor presented with Friendship Award for his "continued friendship with the State of Israel." more


Early Humans Deliberately Recycled Flint To Create Tiny, Sharp Tools
Exceptional conditions at Israel's Qesem Cave preserved 400,000-year-old "tool kit," TAU researchers say. more


Egyptian Fruit Bats Trade Food for Sex
Female scroungers form bonds with particular male producers and exchange mating for nourishment, TAU researchers say. more


Major Violent Attacks Against Jews Spiked 13% Worldwide in 2018
U.S. had more than 100 cases of severe violence, annual TAU Kantor Center study reports. more





Dear Friends,

This is my first Connections newsletter writing as the new National Chairman of American Friends of Tel Aviv University. It was a humbling experience to be elected and inaugurated in April. Shortly thereafter we went to Israel for the 2019 Board of Governors Meeting and the inauguration of TAU's new President, Prof. Ariel Porat, and the bidding farewell to past President Yossi Klafter. The programing at this BOG was outstanding, with a range of topics that catered to every interest. The University is engaged in some exciting and creative research while pursuing innovative new ways of looking at old problems.

We inaugurated the Aufzien Family Center for the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Parkinson's Disease and heard from a global expert in the field about the research surrounding the identification of the DNA strand that carries the gene. This identification will soon enable the gene manipulation to inoculate patients to reduce the probability of diagnoses of Parkinson's disease earlier than anyone even imagined 20 years ago.

We also inaugurated the Yehuda Naftali Botanic Garden, which sits next to the I. Meier Segals Garden for Zoological Research, which sits next to the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, the first and only natural history museum in Israel. The presentation of this museum, attractive to all ages, allows young children to have an extraordinary sensory experience.

There was something for every TAU enthusiast. For me, it was the launch of the Dr. Garry Rayant and Dr. Kathy Fields-Rayant Minducate Learning Innovation Research Fund.

Minducate is a collaboration among Neurosciences, Psychology, Education and Computer Science into an innovation and research center created to promote the understanding and application of personalized learning. Competitive research grants are awarded each year to eight to 10 members drawn from all over the country to allow the exploration and implementation of new digital learning methods.

I proudly serve on Minducate's Scientific Advisory Board and have had the good fortune to work closely with Yuval Schraibman, a visionary young man who heads and is the innovator of the University's online education initiatives. His groundbreaking ideas for new online education models first attracted me to Tel Aviv University. Professionally I have been investing in education as a general partner in our private equity funds for more than 15 years, with my particular interest lying at the intersection of technology and education, an area where TAU has a distinct leadership role in Israel.

TAU Online Innovative Learning Center introduced a new route to TAU admissions acceptance. The concern was that the psychometric exam is biased depending on the quality of the high school attended and against social and economic disadvantaged students in the periphery. Only 9% of high school graduates living in Israel's northern and southern peripheries reach university, compared with 32% from wealthier urban centers. Israel's college entrance exams are also very expensive.

TAU now offers online courses that give applicants bonus points on their college admissions test if they receive 85% or higher on one or two online courses. If they receive 85% or higher on three TAU online courses, they are admitted without having to take the psychometric exams!

It's groundbreaking. And it's just one — albeit a glorious one — of the hundreds of game-changing projects currently underway at Tel Aviv University. We'd love to hear about the TAU projects you support and how we can help you help Tel Aviv University. Please feel free to be in touch.

Thank you again,

Clement Erbmann
National Chairman




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