Domenico Agostini, 2021 Kadar Family Award Recipient

Prof. Domenico Agostini is an Associate Professor of Ancient History in the Department of General History, at Entin Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on historical, religious, anthropological, and philological topics pertaining to pre-Islamic Iran and Zoroastrianism. In particular, he works on apocalypse, individual and collective eschatology, and cosmogony and their interaction with the Mediterranean traditions in antiquity and late antiquity.

With a career spanning Italy, France, and Israel, Prof. Agostini served as teaching fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2010-2015) and as a visiting professor at the “La Sapienza” University of Rome (2013). He was a research fellow at the French Institute of Research in Iran (2005) and at the Accademia dei Lincei, Rome (2010-2011). He received the Prix Pirasteh in Persian Studies at the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris (2008), and the Polonsky Fellowship for Outstanding Post-Doctoral Researchers (2013-2017). He served as Fellow at the Young Scholars Forum on Abrahamic Religions (2013-2015). He was also the Assistant Editor and Coordinator of the Middle Persian Dictionary project of the ISF (2009-2016). Currently, he is leading a three-year research project “Rethinking and Reassessing the Iranian Apocalypse from the Sixth to the Tenth Century CE,” which is funded by the Israeli Science Foundation.

Prof. Agostini earned two PhDs, the first from Sapienza University in Rome, and the second from École Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris.

Alon Ben-David, Senior Defense Correspondent, Channel 13

Alon Ben-David, TAU alumnus, is a television and print journalist, covering the Middle East conflict for the last three decades. Specializing in defense and military issues, Mr. Ben-David is currently Senior Defense Correspondent for Israel Channel 13 and a contributor to several international publications. He previously anchored the network’s Friday news magazine.

Mr. Ben-David has covered all major events in the region, including the first and second Intifada, the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the disengagement from Gaza, Israel’s war in Lebanon, and the recent Gaza conflicts. He has also reported from the scenes of major global events, such as the 9/11 attacks in New York.

Mr. Ben-David holds a BA in political science from Tel Aviv University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University, and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Communication at Bar-Ilan University.
He frequently lectures throughout the world on topics relating to the Middle East.

Dr. Orna Berry, Computer Scientist and Entrepreneur

Dr. Orna Berry, a TAU alumna, is a recognized entrepreneur, scientist, policy maker and industry executive, with over 30 years of experience in Israeli science, technology and venture capital. She is known for her efforts to promote excellence, entrepreneurship and innovation for the betterment of Israeli society. She has held a wide range of key positions with significant public impact, having been nominated Chief Scientist and the Director of the Industrial Research and Development Administration, the only woman to hold this post to date. 

Dr. Berry co-founded ORNET Data Communication Technologies (1993) which was acquired by Siemens in1995. She held research positions at UNISYS and IBM; led data-communication projects at Fibronics; served as Chair of the Board at PrimeSense; and was a Corporate Vice President and General Manager at EMC and Dell EMC from 2010-2018. Under TELEM at the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Art, Dr. Berry leads the committee that will design and set the National Program for Quantum Science and Technology. She also leads a related subcommittee with TAU Professors Isaac Ben-Israel and Eviatar Matania, tasked with specifying the computing power infrastructure required for Artificial Intelligence.

Dr. Berry received her MA and BA degrees in Statistics and Mathematics from Tel Aviv University and Haifa University, respectively. In 1986, she earned her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC).

Dr. Vered Blass, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences

Dr. Vered Blass has been a Senior Lecturer at the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University since 2019.  Her expertise lies in the integration of industrial ecology concepts, sustainability strategies, and operations management. She focuses on decision-making and the measurement of economic and environmental performance, using a diverse set of tools and analytical methods.

Dr. Blass’ projects have attracted funding from prestigious institutions such as the Marie Curie IRG program, Israeli Energy and Water Ministry, Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry, European Commission FP7 program, and the Israeli Science Foundation. She previously served as a member of the Special Advisory Committee to the Israeli Minister of Finance and served on the technical expert group for the UNIDO Green Industry Platform. She has been serving as the Chair of Engineers Without Borders Israel since 2010.

Dr. Blass earned her BSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Technion; and her MSc and PhD in Environmental Science and Management, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ariel David, Board Member of the Dan David Prize

Ariel David is Director of the Dan David Foundation, a board member of the Dan David Prize founded by his late father Dan David, and a Governor of Tel Aviv University. 

Born in Rome in 1980, Mr. David trained as a journalist and has worked as a reporter covering news from Italy and the Middle East for international publications including the Associated Press and the International Herald Tribune. While continuing his freelance work, he is active in various business ventures ranging from renewable energy to private equity, as well as the Foundation’s many philanthropic activities.

Dr. Ram Fishman, School of Social and Policy Studies

Dr. Ram Fishman is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University and a TAU alumnus. Prior to TAU, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at George Washington University, and a Giorgio Ruffolo Post-Doctoral Fellow in Sustainability Science at the Harvard Kennedy School.

An expert in sustainable development Dr. Fishman’s research focuses on empirical and quantitative analyses of sustainable agriculture, water scarcity and climate change, with an emphasis on developing countries. He directs a research group that runs multiple field projects in Israel, South Asia and Africa. He also directs the Nitsan Lab (nitsanlab.org) which helps Israeli technologies in precision agriculture and water treatment to be technically and economically adaptable to the requirements of low-income populations in developing countries.

Dr. Fishman holds a PhD in Sustainable Development from Columbia University, an MSc in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science and a BSc in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University.  

Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman of the Board of Governors

Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel is Chairman of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University.  He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty (G-30) which is a private, nonprofit, Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs.  He recently retired from his position as Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and member of the J.P. Morgan International Council.

Prof. Frenkel served from 2001 to 2011 as Chairman and CEO of the G-30, from 2004 to 2009 as Vice Chairman of American International Group, Inc., and from 2000 to 2004 as Chairman of Merrill Lynch International, as well as Chairman of Merrill Lynch’s Sovereign Advisory and Global Financial Institutions Groups.  Between 1991 and 2000 he served two terms as the Governor of the Bank of Israel.  He is credited with reducing inflation in Israel and achieving price stability, liberalizing Israel’s financial markets, removing foreign exchange controls, and integrating the Israeli economy into the global financial system. 

Between 1987 and 1991, he was the Economic Counselor and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund, and from 1973 to 1987 he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago where he held the position of the David Rockefeller Professor of International Economics and served as Editor of the Journal of Political Economy. 

He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Economic Club, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research, of the Japan Society, and of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a member of the Trilateral Commission, a member of the Boards of the Aspen Institute Italia and The Council for the US and Italy, a member of Temasek International Panel (TIP), and a member of the International Advisory Council of China Development Bank.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Boston Properties, Inc. and Loews Corporation.

Prof. Frenkel is a Laureate of the 2002 Israel Prize in Economics, a recipient of the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University, the Hugo Ramniceanu Prize for Economics from Tel Aviv University, the Czech Republic’s Karel Englis Prize in Economics, the “Order de Mayo al Merito” (the rank of Gran Cruz) decoration from the Government of Argentina, the “Order of Merit” (the rank of Cavaliere di Gran Croce) decoration from the Republic of Italy, and the YIVO Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is also a recipient of several honorary doctorates and other decorations and awards, including the 1993 Economic Policy Award by Emerging Markets and the 1997 Central Banker of the Year Award by Euromoney.

Prof. Frenkel previously served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (1995-1996), as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1999-2000), as Governor of the IMF and Alternate Governor of the World Bank for Israel (1991-2000), and a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1986-2014).

Prof. Frenkel is the author of numerous books and articles in the fields of international economics and macro-economics.  He holds a BA in economics and political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MA and PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.

Prof. Emilia Fridman, 2021 Kadar Family Award Recipient

Emilia Fridman is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Fleischman Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University. She received her MSc from Kuibyshev State University, USSR, in 1981 and her PhD in Mathematics from Voronezh State University, USSR, in 1986. From 1986 to 1992 she was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Kuibyshev Institute of Railway Engineers, USSR. She joined TA in 1993.

Prof. Fridman has held numerous visiting professor positions including INRIA in Rocquencourt (France), Ecole Centrale de Lille (France), Valenciennes University (France), Leicester University (UK), Kent University (UK), CINVESTAV (Mexico), Zhejiang University (China), St. Petersburg IPM (Russia), Melbourne University (Australia), INRIA Saclay (France), and KTH (Sweden).

Research interests include time-delay systems, networked control systems, distributed parameter systems, robust control, singular perturbations and nonlinear control. She has published about 200 journal articles and serves/served as Associate Editor of Automatica, SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization and IMA Journal of Mathematical Control and Information.

In 2014 Prof. Fridman was nominated as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson ISI. Since 2018, she has been the incumbent of the Chana and Heinrich Manderman Chair on System Control at the University. She is an IEEE Fellow from 2019 and the recipient of IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Delay Systems Lifetime Achievement Award 2021. She is currently a member of the IFAC Council.

Dr. Anita Friedman, TAU Campaign Co-Chair

Dr. Anita Friedman has a distinguished record of public service, both as a professional and as a volunteer leader. Her roles in the Jewish and general communities extend from the Bay Area to the national and international arenas.

Professionally, Dr. Friedman heads Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the largest and oldest family service institutions in the United States. JFCS programs are internationally distinguished for their excellence, innovation, and compassion.

As a speaker, lecturer, and author, Dr. Friedman’s expertise includes social policy and programming for diverse populations that include children, youth, families, and the aged; the financing of health and human services; and the development of innovative business and social enterprise models. Dr. Friedman’s expertise also includes Holocaust and genocide education. She is the editor of the recently published Rywka’s Diary (Harper), now translated into 15 languages and the subject of a forthcoming film.

Dr. Friedman has served on various local, state, national, and international commissions, including as a longtime Commissioner of the San Francisco Human Services Commission, overseeing the City and County of San Francisco’s social welfare budget.

As a policy consultant to the State of Israel Ministry of Social Affairs, she has advised on effective policy strategies for human service provision and immigrant absorption. She is currently a trustee on the national boards for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture and the Koret Foundation, where she serves as President of the Board .

Dr. Friedman’s numerous awards include the 2015 San Francisco Business Times’ “Most Influential Woman in Business Award,” the State of California’s Family Service Council Distinguished Leadership Award, the International Louis Kraft Award, the National Myrtle Wreath Award, Jewish Community Federation’s Professional of the Year, the Raoul Wallenberg Club Public Service Advocate Award, and A Wider Bridge’s Leadership Honor.

Eli Gelman, Chairman of the Executive Council

Eli Gelman has been serving as Chairman of Tel Aviv University’s Executive Council since December 27, 2018. Prior to that he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amdocs Management Limited (a software company of 25,000 employees leading the customer experience domain of the communication and media space). Mr. Gelman’s career at Amdocs spanned more than 30 years, including operations, software development and sales alongside strategy and corporate development. Mr. Gelman has been a member of Amdocs Board of Directors since 2002, and was also a Board Member and Chairman of Retalix, a provider of software solutions to retailers and distributors worldwide.

Mr. Gelman holds a B.Sc. in electronic engineering with specialization in communication and computers from the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology. His 5 years of service in the Israel Defense Forces included a leadership role in developing frequency-hopping encrypted communication gear during the 1980s which is still in use today.

In his charitable work, Mr. Gelman has devoted significant personal time to youth education.

Lior Hazan, Chairperson of the Student Union

Lior Hazan is in the MBA program for outstanding students at Tel Aviv University’s Coller School of Management. She graduated with a BA in Psychological Sciences and Management. During her first year as an undergraduate, she volunteered at the Student Union and was elected to represent the School of Psychological Sciences. A year later, she was elected to lead of the social, international relationships and sports department. She was subsequently elected Vice-Chairperson of the Union and for the past nine months has been the Union’s chairperson, managing a staff of over 50  employees and representing all TAU students.

Before her studies at TAU, Ms. Hazan served as a Human Resources Officer in the IDF. She served as the Vice CNO of Netanya and the Sharon region during operation “Protective Edge.” She was honorably discharged with the rank of captain.

Ms. Hazan has always spent her free time doing volunteer work. She was a representative in the ProWoman organization, working to promote women into influential, high ranking positions in industry. She also volunteered in the Mental Health Institution in Ness Ziona. Today, she continues working and volunteering in various organizations. She is the Head of the Board in Nehes and Extra Student, and a board member of various organizations. She was recently elected to the Board of Directors in the National Student Union.

Maya Kadar Kovalsky, Philanthropist

Maya Kadar Kovalsky, a TAU alumna, is a philanthropist and an activist who brings a unique background that combines experience in education, tech, and entertainment. She sits on several boards, including American Friends of Tel Aviv University, the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University, the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), BrainPOP, and the Naomi Foundation, which was created in 2010 with her family to honor her late mother, Naomi Prawer Kadar. The Naomi Foundation supports initiatives in education to inspire the next generation.

Ms. Kadar Kovalsky was previously the Chief Culture Officer at BrainPOP, an award-winning education platform that engages students and supports teachers. She was part of the senior leadership team whose vision helped the company grow exponentially. She worked for two prominent Israeli film and television companies — JCS PostProduction and Spike Communications — before focusing on education. She received her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University in Film Studies and Art History and Visual Art, and her MFA in film production from Tel Aviv University.

Ms. Kadar Kovalsky lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

Dr. Jessica U. Meir, NASA Astronaut

Dr. Jessica U. Meir was selected by NASA for its astronauts program in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Brown University, a Master of Science in Space Studies from the International Space University, and a Doctorate in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD).

From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Meir worked for Lockheed Martin’s Human Research Facility, supporting human physiology research. During this time, she also participated in research flights on NASA’s reduced gravity aircraft and served as an aquanaut in an underwater habitat for NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO). Prior to becoming an astronaut, her career as a scientist focused on the physiology of animals in extreme environments. She most recently served as Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 61 and 62.

Ms. Dafna Meitar Nechmad, TAU Campaign Co-Chair and Chair-elect of the TAU Board of Governors

Dafna Meitar Nechmad is a TAU alumna and longtime social investor with extensive philanthropic experience. She manages the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund, established by her parents Zvi and Ofra Meitar, which supports cultural and educational projects in Israel and overseas. Following a flourishing law career she turned her time and attention to the nonprofit sector.

Since 2003, Ms. Meitar Nechmad has served as President of Meitar Collection, a private company with an archive of more than 150,000 photographs taken by photographers in Israel since 1940. The company preserves and catalogues photographs, and makes them available to museums, publishers and producers. Her various additional roles include, member of the Managing Committee of the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Law Studies at TAU’s Buchman Law School; board member of JFN – Jewish Funders Network; a member of Committed to Give, and a Governor of Tel Aviv University. Additionally, she is a board member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. From 1989 to 2006, she was a partner at Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal, the largest law firm in Israel, where she specialized in commercial, telecommunications and corporate law.

Ms. Meitar Nechmad holds an LLB, a BA in political science, and an MA in political communications, all from Tel Aviv University. She lives in Tel Aviv and is married with three daughters and one grandson.

Prof. David Nirenberg, Historian

Prof. David Nirenberg is a distinguished American historian. He is Dean of the Divinity School, Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought, and member of the Department of History, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He was the former Executive Vice Provost of the University, Dean of the Social Sciences Division, and the founding Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society.

Much of Prof. Nirenberg’s research has focused on the ways in which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultures constitute themselves by relating to or thinking about each other.

Prof. Nirenberg earned his BA from Yale, and his MA and PhD from Princeton. He has held visiting professorships at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is also an Associate of Germany’s Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.

Prof. Dan Peer, Vice President for Research and Development

Prof. Dan Peer is Vice President for Research and Development as well as Director of the Laboratory of Precision Nanomedicine at Tel Aviv University. He is the Founder and Managing Director of the SPARK Tel Aviv, Center for Translational Medicine. Moreover, Prof. Peer is on the  Scientific Advisory Board of numerous international companies and an invited keynote speaker in many conferences. 

Prof. Peer’s work was among the first to demonstrate systemic delivery of RNA molecules using targeted nanocarriers to the immune system and he pioneered the use of RNA interference for drug discovery in immune cells. In addition, his lab was the first to show systemic ,cell- specific delivery of modified mRNA expressing therapeutic proteins that has enormous implications in cancer, inflammation and infectious diseases. Prof. Peer is one of the pioneers in the use of molecular medicines  (gene silencing, gene expression and gene editing) for therapeutics and diseases management.    

Prof. Ariel Porat, President

Prof. Ariel Porat was elected the ninth President of Tel Aviv University in May 2019. After receiving his LLB degree and direct JSD degree at TAU, he performed post-doctoral studies at Yale Law School.  In 1990, he joined TAU’s Buchmann Faculty of Law, where he is the incumbent of the Alain Poher Chair in Private Law. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Prof. Porat’s main research interests are torts, contract law and the economic analysis of the law, with many books and articles published in these areas. He served for 15 years as an Associate Member and Fischel-Neil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago (2003-2019). He was also Visiting Professor at Stanford University, and at the Universities of New York, Columbia, Berkeley, Virginia and Toronto. He was a member of the Board of the American Law and Economics Association for three years, and is a member of the American Law Institute.

From 2002 to 2006, Prof. Porat served as Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law, during which he introduced joint LLM programs together with UC Berkeley and Northwestern University. He also founded an admittance program for students from Israel’s geographic and social periphery, which was initially at the Law Faculty and thereafter adopted throughout the University. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Prof. Porat was Director of the Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law (1997-2002), where he founded the journal Theoretical Inquiries in Law, today ranked as one of the world’s leading journals in the field of law theory.

Prof. Porat has been the recipient of numerous honors, among them the EMET Prize, Chesin Prize, Zeltner Prize and Zusman Prize.

Dame Shirley Porter

The Porter School of Environmental Studies (PSES) at the Tel Aviv University (TAU) is the realization of Dame Shirley Porter’s vision and commitment. Dame Shirley is a visionary as well as a practical woman; a former Lord Mayor of Westminster in London, she was appointed Dame by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth in 1991.

During her many years of public activity, Dame Shirley gave special attention to the environment. Here in Israel, she wanted to establish a school that would advance environmental issues both in the academic and public spheres, and would contribute to the development of environmental solutions at both the national and global levels. It was quite natural for her to approach Tel Aviv University with this ambitious project: four generations of her family, Cohen-Porter, have been supporting the university since it was founded, and her late husband, Sir Leslie Porter, was TAU Chancellor. Dame Shirley is now an active member of the TAU Board of Governors.

Since PSES was established in the year 2000, Dame Shirley has been actively involved in the environmental work undertaken by the School in particular and TAU in general. She supports PSES’s extensive activity, and further promotes the building of its innovative home, which she initiated. The Building is intended to be the first in Israel to be LEED Platinum certified (the highest American green building ranking), and is under last stages of construction. Additionally, as chair of the university’s Development Committee, Dame Shirley has been leading TAU’s Green Campus initiative.

Via the Porter Family Foundation Dame Shirley focuses her attention to funding environmental activity in Israel, as well as supporting the arts, education and health issues. Asa champion of the environmental movement in Israel, she was awarded the Green Globe award (aka Israel’s ‘Green Oscar’), by Life and Environment, Israeli Union of Environmental NGOs.

In 2014 the book Building for Change: The Porter School of Environmental Studies At Tel Aviv University was published.This book is a history of the Porter School of Environmental Studies since its inception at Tel Aviv University more than a decade ago: its donor’s initiative, vision and determination, its origins and the stages of its development and implementation, its role in Israel and in environmental research and education globally, and its team of dedicated researchers, teachers, students and administrators all working together toward a common goal.

Prof. Colin Price, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences

Prof. Colin Price is Head of the Department of Environmental Studies at the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Head of the Frenkel Initiative on Combating Pollution, and the new Climate Action Initiative at TAU. A reknowned atmospheric physicist, he specializes in the Earth’s weather and climate, with a focus on thunderstorms, climate change and natural hazards.

Along with publishing more than 150 scientific papers, Prof. Price has a team of more than 10 graduate students and researchers working under his guidance on various scientific projects. He heads the Center for Climate Action and an initiative in Nano-Satellites and New Space, both at TAU.

Prof. Price completed his BSc and MSc degrees in geophysics and atmospheric sciences at TAU, and went on to Columbia University where he earned his PhD while working at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, he returned to TAU in 1995.

Prof. Uzi Rabi

Prof. Uzi Rabi, Ph.D (Tel Aviv University, 2000) is the Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and a senior researcher at the Center for Iranian Studies, both at Tel Aviv University.  Formerly, he was the Head of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. From 2004-2005, he held a visiting professorship at the Lipinski Institute of San Diego State University.

His research focuses on the modern history and evolution of states and societies in the Middle East, Iranian-Arab relations, oil and politics in the Middle East, and Sunni-Shi’i dynamics; within this framework he has supervised the dissertations of numerous doctoral candidates in this field over the years.

Rabi has written a number of books in both English and Hebrew. In 2015, he published “Yemen: Revolution, Civil War, and Unification” (I.B Taurus), which covers the modern history of Yemen. He published a related book in Hebrew, Yemen: the Anatomy of a Failed State (Kibbutz HaMeuchad) in 2014. In 2007, Prof. Rabi published Saudi Arabia: An Oil Kingdom in the Labyrinth of Religion and Politics (The Open University, in Hebrew).  In 2006, he published The Emergence of States in a Tribal Society: Oman Under Sa’id bin Taymur. Rabi has edited a number of volumes, including Iran’s Time (2008), and International Intervention in Local Conflicts: Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution Since the Cold War (2010), and Lost in Translation: Forgotten Paradigms of the Arab Spring, together with Abdelilah Bouasria. Additionally, he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Middle Eastern Studies, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, the Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and Otre-Terre – Revue Europeene de Geopolitique.

Professor Rabi is regularly invited to the Knesset and other governmental forums to deliver briefings and lectures on matters of national and regional importance. Additionally, he has presented many academic papers over the years. He has given annual lectures at the Middle East Studies Association conference; in 2015 the subject of his lecture was Israel and Iran following the P5+1 nuclear treaty.  He has frequently given other lectures in both academic and non-academic forums; the latter includes a roundtable discussion at NATO Headquarters in 2008. Professor Rabi frequently provides expert commentary and analysis on a number of international and Israeli news outlets, including Arabic language television channels. During “Operation Protective Edge,” Rabi was a fixture in both Israeli and international media. 

Prof. Dalit Rom-Shiloni, 2021 Kadar Family Award Recipient

Prof. Dalit Rom-Shiloni is a professor of Hebrew Bible at the Department of Biblical Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her academic interests include Judean theology and ideology of the sixth century BCE, specifically concepts of God in times of national crisis; ideologies of war, and internal ideological conflicts of identity within the Judean communities of the Neo-Babylonian and the early Persian period; and inner biblical allusion and exegesis in prophetic literature, mainly in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

From 2012–2015 Prof. Rom-Shiloni chaired the Department of Biblical Studies at TAU. She was recently nominated to the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) Council, after completing two terms as a Chair of the International Meeting Program Committee of the International SBL. In 2019 she established a new consultation group there entitled “Nature Imagery and Conceptions of Nature in the Bible,” and serves as its Co-Chair. She holds two academic General Editor positions: Editor-in-Chief of DNI Bible Supplements, monograph series, and Beit Mikra, one of two journals of Biblical studies in Hebrew.

Prof. Rom- Shiloni has been a visiting scholar at the Chicago University Divinity School, Oxford University, UK, University of Zürich, and University of Leipzig. She graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (BA and MA, cum laude) in Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, and earned her PhD there with her dissertation on biblical theology.

Prof. Mark Shtaif, Rector

Prof. Mark Shtaif is the Rector of Tel Aviv University. After completing his BSc, MSc, and DSc degrees in Electrical Engineering at the Technion in 1997, he joined the research team of AT&T Labs in New Jersey as a senior and then principal member of technical staff, studying communication technologies. In 2002 he joined the Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University and served as the head of the School of Electrical Engineering from 2017 to 2020.

Prof. Shtaif is a communications scientist working mostly in the fields of fiber optics and optical communication systems, focusing on the integration of optics, quantum theory, nonlinear systems, communications theory, information theory, and signal processing. Over the years he has contributed to a variety of topics including optical amplification, analysis of nonlinear propagation, polarization-related phenomena, analysis of noise and signal detection, quantum information in fiber systems, and fundamental limits to optical communications.

Most notable of late is his contribution to the analysis of polarization-dependent loss in fiber communications, to the nonlinear-noise model in fiber-optic transmission, to the theory of space-division multiplexed communications, and to effective phase reconstruction by means of the Kramers-Kronig receiver.

Professor Shtaif is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the IEEE.

Prof. Yossi Yovel, 2021 Kadar Family Award Recipient

Prof. Yossi Yovel, TAU alumnus, is an Associate Professor at the School of Zoology and the School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, and the Head of the lab of NeuroEcology.  His research combines biology with technology, specifically focusing on how bats use sound (bio-sonar) to map and navigate through their environment. This has led to the development of a bat-like autonomous robot that navigates using sound only, as well as several other biomimetic applications in precision agriculture (two of which were recently patented). His work on bats drove the development of miniature GPS sensors that allow tracking the smallest animals ever tracked before while recording their sound emission using miniature microphones.

Prof. Yovel has authored more than 40 journal papers and presented dozens of invited talks. Among other awards, in 2012 he received the Alon Scholarship awarded by the Higher Council for Higher Education Israel, and in 2016, he received the Krill Prize for Young Scientists awarded by the Wolf Foundation. In 2012 he was selected as one of Israel’s most influential people by The Marker magazine. He is also engaged in various public activities including chairing the biology committee of the Ministry of Education, tasked with developing the high school biology curriculum in Israel. 

Pro. Yovel received two BSc degrees, one in Biology and the second in Physics, and an MSc in Neuroscience, all from Tel Aviv University. After earning his PhD in Biology and Machine Learning from the University of Tuebingen, Germany, he completed two postdoctoral degrees at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Chicago, before joining TAU in 2011.

Tamar Zandberg, Minister of Environmental Protection

Tamar Zandberg, Member of Knesset and Tel Aviv University alumna, is the incumbent Minister of Environmental Protection in the 36th Knesset. She has been an active environmental advocate since her days as a member of the Tel Aviv City Council, from 2008-2013. She has chaired and co-chaired various Knesset committees on sustainable development, environmental protection, and women’s and children’s rights. In the 21st Knesset she was the Chairperson of the Meretz Party.

Mrs. Zandberg holds a BA in Law from Tel Aviv University, a BA in Psychology and Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MA in Social Psychology from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She is a doctoral candidate in politics and governance at Ben-Gurion University.