Message from the Chairman
The other day one of my friends introduced me to someone he said I would like. Within minutes, we were fast friends. Of course, we talked about family and business and, in the end — or beginning — philanthropy. I was inspired by his passion to find a cure for a devastatingly cruel genetic disease affecting his grandchild. He asked, could Tel Aviv University help?
His foundation is already working with two very respected US universities, but my new friend felt that an Israeli institution might be more aggressive … and more effective.
I immediately went home and read about the disease and quickly realized the importance of finding a cure. I turned to American Friends of TAU VP of Communications Fran Sommers.
Within a few days, she had learned that TAU was the leading Israeli university working on this disorder and sent along a copy of a Skype call she had with Prof. Eli Sprecher, a member of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Within a week, Prof. Sprecher was talking with the head of my friend's foundation about his groundbreaking research on the disease.
I realized that the slogan for Tel Aviv University should be, "Try Me."
When I am approached by a donor or prospective donor looking to support a certain kind of project or address a particular need, I immediately call the talented group of AFTAU professionals headed by President & CEO Gail Reiss. I know they almost always will be able to find exactly the right research or project or class in what others might consider an extraordinarily complex ecosystem of professors, researchers and students — all working in concert to find solutions for today's problems.
It doesn’t matter if you're interested in adopting a bat for $25 or establishing a $1 million institute. The just-coined "Try Me" program can help you make a difference in the world. Once you affect or are affected by a TAU program or set foot on its campus, you will fall in love with the possibilities that present themselves.
I fell in love with TAU for the first time in 1973 as an overseas student. But I fall in love all over again each time I bring a new person on campus. Every newbie immediately recognizes that together, at this place, at this time, we can make a difference in the world. It's exhilarating!
It would be my great pleasure and privilege to introduce you to Israel as seen through the Tel Aviv University lens. Our mission starts May 15th. We will travel with people from across the US — some who are seeing Israel for the first time; others who go every year or so. World-renowned TAU professors will provide the expertise and insight and join in the fun. Please, come along. I promise you'll fall in love with TAU for the first time or all over again.
As we say, this year at Tel Aviv University.