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AFTAU Connections: September 2018
 


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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

 


RICHARD SINCERE

Dear Friends,

I was invited to the Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University 45th Anniversary Gala in Montreal on August 26. I decided to drive the 216 miles from New Hampshire.

During the trip, I thought of Prof. Simon Benninga, z'l, the former Dean of the now Coller Business School at Tel Aviv University. It's hard to believe that it's already been three years since he passed. Simon was a highly regarded financial modeling professor and a very close friend. The thing is, I know that literally hundreds of other people would say the same about him.

Simon had a uniquely global perspective. He was always bringing people together — people from all walks of life, religions, political beliefs, etc. He was a pioneer in bringing students from Israel's periphery to the business school, and for bringing international students from all over the world to study at Tel Aviv University.

I learned so much from him, but one day truly stands out. Simon was the chairman of the West Jerusalem YMCA. He had heard that the East Jerusalem Y was really successful and he wanted to know why. I joined him on his trip to East Jerusalem. Simon just walked right in and started asking questions. Any initial suspicions quickly turned into an extraordinarily respectful, hope-filled conversation. It showed me that people from many different cultures can all get together.

Five hours later I'm at the black-tie gala with Boaz Nol, the recently appointed head of the North American Global Campaign, and more than 560 other dignitaries, donors and friends. Boaz is working with Amos Elad, TAU Vice President of Development, and Dafna Meitar-Nechmad, the campaign's Co-Chair. Within minutes of our arrivals, Boaz and I were literally and figuratively embraced by Canadian Friends National President Judge Barbara Seal and Executive Director Sharon J. Fraenkel, who quickly proceeded to introduce us to friends and colleagues from across the country.

As I drove back to New Hampshire, I realized that this is going to be a great year. President Klafter has instilled the university with a passion for globalization. Simon Benninga drove it home every day of his life. And Amos Elad is leading an international professional team that is dedicated to bringing TAU to the world.

As National Chairman of American Friends of Tel Aviv University, I'm excited to work in concert with lay leaders from Friends groups around the world to aggressively roll out the Global Campaign in anticipation of making the university even greater than it is now. I hope you will join me.

I encourage you to share this wonderful new year with family and friends — from around the corner and around the world. Invite them to the TAU International Gala on December 12 in Los Angeles. And consider attending other gala events hosted by other Friends groups. If you love Tel Aviv University as much as I do, you'll love it even more when you experience its global reach.

Shana Tova,


Richard Sincere
National Chairman

 
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