Ms. Dafna Meitar Nechmad, Chairwoman 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.

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.

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.

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.

Gadi Frank, Director-General of Tel Aviv University

Mr. Gady Frank has been serving as the Director-General of Tel Aviv University since 2017.  He is an alumnus of the University, having completed both his BA degree in Economics (Cum Laude) and Communication and MA in Economics (Cum Laude) there.

From 2006-2009 Mr. Frank served as Senior Economist on the National Economic Council of the Prime Minister’s Office. He then went on to hold several key positions on the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), including serving as Deputy Director-General for Planning and Policy from 2009-11; Deputy Director-General, Head of Budgeting Division from 2011-13; and Director General of the Planning and Budgetary Committee and the CHE from 2013-2017.

Dr. Anita Friedman, TAU Campaign 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.

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

Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University. He is Chairman of the Frenkel-Zuckerman Institute for Global Economics, and 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. Lihi Adler-Abramovich

Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich is an Associate Professor at the School of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, where she is a principal investigator and the Head of the Laboratory of Bioinspired Materials and Nanotechnology. She studied biology at Tel Aviv University where she received both her M.Sc. (summa cum laude) and her Ph.D. (2010). She was awarded numerous prestigious grants and prizes, including the ERC Starting Grant, ISF-Center for Excellence Grant and the Colton Foundation Scholarship.

Lihi is the author of over 80 publications including publications in Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Communications, Nano Letters, ACS Nano. She is also the holder of more than 10 patents.

Keren Bastaker, MBA Student

Keren Bastaker was born in Kiryat Shemona. After graduating with honors from Danciger High School, she served for five years in the Israeli army as an Operations Officer. She pursued a career in law, completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Haifa in 2018, followed by a one-year internship. In 2020 Keren began her MBA at the Coller School of Management.

Throughout her studies, Keren has continued with her numerous volunteer roles. She has been volunteering at the Ilan Association in Haifa for 4 years; worked on projects for Halev, and The New Path, named after the late Judge Edmund Levy, and at the Haifa Court Hall, as part of the Center for Citizenship and Democracy Studies at the Ministry of Education.
Keren is a recipient of a scholarship from The Benatar Scholarship Fund.

David Bodenheim, Law Student

David is a second-year student at The Buchman Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University, pursuing an LL.M. degree in commercial law.

With 4 small children at home, including triplets, David plans on getting a Ph.D as soon as he completes his Masters and finishes the bar exams. He recently started his internship at the law firm of Hertzog, Fox & Neeman. From 2014-2020  he was a volunteer with the police in traffic enforcement.

David is a recipient of a scholarship from The Albert Wahl Scholarship Fund.

Mark Carney, Vice Chair Brookfield Asset Management

Mark Carney is the former Governor of the Bank of England (2013-2020), former Governor of the Bank of Canada (2008-2013) and former Chairman of the Financial Stability Board (2011- 2018). He currently serves as UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance and as Vice-Chair and Head of Transition Investing at Brookfield Asset Management. He is a member of the Global Advisory Boards of the Group of Thirty and the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, among others.

Born in Canada’s Northwest Territories, Mr. Carney received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and a master’s and doctorate from Oxford University – all in economics. Following a 13-year career with Goldman Sachs, he was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada in 2003, and in 2004, he became Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Finance.

The Honourable Irwin Cotler, PC, OC, OQ

The Honourable Irwin Cotler, P.C., O.C., O.Q., is the founder and international chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, an Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and an international human rights lawyer. He was named Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism in November 2020.

A constitutional and comparative law scholar, Professor Cotler is the author of numerous publications and seminal legal articles and has written upon and intervened in landmark Charter of Rights cases in the areas of free speech, freedom of religion, minority rights, peace law and war crimes justice.

A leading Parliamentarian on the global stage, he has been Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran; Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Justice for Sergei Magnitsky; Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition; Chair, Canadian section, of the Parliamentarians for Global Action and Member of its international council.

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.

Dorit Dor, Chief Product Officer, Check Point Software

Dr. Dorit Dor is one of the world’s leading women in cyber. She has been serving as Chief Product Officer at Check Point Software Technologies for more than 25 years, leading an organization of over 1,500 employees and managing all of Check Point’s products, research and development.

Dr. Dor is a prominent speaker on cyber security and is a frequent keynote at some of the world’s biggest cyber security and tech conferences. She was named one of Israel’s most influential women by Forbes Israel for her leadership role in one of the world’s leading tech industries. She is a member of  both the World Economic Forum and the Global Future Councils.  In 1993 she won the Israel National Defense Prize.

In 2022 Dr. Dor chaired the national committee to select the Israel Prize for technology and innovation.  

Dr. Dor holds a PhD and MS degree in computer science from Tel-Aviv University, in addition to graduating cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree. 

Her research about graph decomposition, median selection and geometric pattern matching in d-dimensional space has been published in several influential scientific journals.

Prof. Karnit Flug, VP Reseach, Israeli Democracy Institute

Since 2019 Tel Aviv University Honorary Doctor Prof. Karnit Flug has been Vice President of Research and the William Davidson Senior Fellow for Economic Policy at the Israeli Democracy Institute, as well as Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics at the Hebrew University. She completed her five-year term as Governor of the Bank of Israel in November 2018, where she was ranked each year as among the top 10 central bankers in the world by Global Finance magazine. 

Following five-years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund, Prof. Flug returned to Israel in 1988 and began working at the Bank of Israel’s Research Department, publishing papers on topics including macroeconomics, the labor market and social policies. From 1997-2001 she was Deputy Director of the Research Department and in June 2001 she was appointed Director of the Research Department and a member of the Bank’s senior management—a position she held for 10 years.

Prof. Flug served on a number of public and government committees, including the Committee on Increasing Competitiveness in the Economy, the Committee for Social and Economic Change (“the Trajtenberg Committee”) and the committee for the Defense Budget.

Prof. Flug received her B.A. and M.A. (cum laude) in Economics from The Hebrew University and her Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University in 1985.

Eric Gertler, Executive Chairman, U.S. News & World Report

Eric Gertler has held leadership roles in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors.  He is Executive Chairman of U.S. News & World Report and oversees Ulysses Ventures, a multi-strategy investment fund. In 2019, Eric was appointed by the Governor of New York State to serve as Acting Commissioner/President and CEO-designate of the Empire State Development, the state’s principal economic development agency, a position he held through July of 2021.

A dedicated philanthropist, Eric is a trustee to the Zuckerman Institute and Zuckerman Family Foundation. He is a board member of Columbia University’s Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering; and is a member of the Boards of Governors for Tel Aviv University, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Weizmann Institute of Science. Eric is Chairman of the American-Israel Friendship League, and is a member and former Chapter Chair of Young President’s Organization. 

Prof. Tali Hatuka, Architect and Urban Planner

Professor Tali Hatuka (B.Arch, MSc., PhD), is a renowned architect and urban planner. She is the Head (and Founder) of the Laboratory of Contemporary Urban Design, in the Department of Geography and Human Environment at Tel Aviv University. Her work is primarily focused on two main areas: The urban environment and society (i.e., public space, conflicts and dissent); and urban development and city design (i.e., housing and industrial areas). Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, books, and edited volumes. Recent awards for research include the prestigious GIF– German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (2018); The Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (2015); Ministry of Economy (2015); MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI Global Funds, 2011, with Prof. Eran Ben Joseph); the European Community’s Marie Curie OIF and IRG (FP6, FP7) Research Fellowships (2006-2009, 2009-2013); a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship (2004-2005); and the Rechter Prize for Young Israeli Architect of 2012 (Ministry of Culture and Sport, 2012).

Her latest project is the establishment of IN4 Center (Industry 4.0) which focuses on preparing cities and society for the dramatic changes with the coming of the fourth Industrial Revolution.

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.

Michal Herzog, First Lady of the State of Israel

Since becoming First Lady of the State of Israel in July 2021, Mrs. Michal Herzog has been active in the field of mental health – fighting stigmas and promoting open discussion about mental health, particularly in the wake of the COVID pandemic and its ramifications on children and youth. She has also been promoting  employment and sports as tools for social mobility.

Prior to her role as First Lady, Mrs. Herzog served as the director of philanthropic foundations active in social fields, such as health, education and civil society in Israel. She was engaged in projects of scientific research, social  welfare, empowerment of special populations and creation of pathways to their employment and financial independence.

Over the course of her professional life, Mrs. Herzog served on the board of various public organizations dealing with issues such as at-risk youth, people with disabilities and social mobility. She was appointed to public committees recognizing outstanding social entrepreneurship and volunteer activities in Israel. She founded the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law Alumni Organization, co-chaired the Coalition for Ultra-Orthodox Employment, was a member of the Governmental Committee regulating Surrogacy, and was active in the promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility in Israel.

Mrs. Herzog graduated Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law in 1986. She is a member of the Israeli Bar Association and led her own law firm specializing in white collar criminal law and commercial law. She spent several years in Brazil and Canada before returning to Israel to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, where she headed a department in the Intelligence Corps. During her military service in the technological Intelligence unit 8200, she met Isaac Herzog and the were two married in 1985.


Dr. Eyal Hulata, National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council

Dr. Hulata was appointed National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council in July 2021, following many years in senior administrative positions in the Mossad, including Head of the Strategic Planning and Policy Division and Head of the Technology Division. He was responsible for advancing strategic and diplomatic links that are vital to the security the State of Israel as well as for developing technological responses to the needs of the agency in a broad range of areas.

Dr. Hulata holds a doctorate in physics from Tel Aviv University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He is a graduate of the IDF Talpiyot program for training technological leaders at Hebrew University.

During his 23-year service in the Mossad, Dr. Hulata was awarded the Israel Defense Prize. 

Shira Livne, Architecture Student

Shira is currently in her 5th year at Tel Aviv University, studying architecture at the David Azrieli School of Architecture. Her interest in the field began at an early age, and in high school she began studying the field in earnest. After completing her military service she decided to turn her passion for architecture into her career, enrolling in the architecture program at TAU. Her focus is on designing buildings for use in the public sector.

Prof. Drorit Neumann, Dean of Students

Prof. Drorit Neumann is the Dean of Students at Tel Aviv University. Along with 30 years of scientific research in cellular and molecular biology, she has dedicated herself to the academic development of students, having served as an academic counselor for medical students in their preclinical years.

Drorit was a member of the “Teachers Students Committee” for nine years, and chaired the Committee for Pre-Clinical teaching at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. She then served for seven years as Head of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Graduate School of Medicine, where she was involved in the advancement of new teaching programs and projects. Her work mentoring graduate students earned her The Rector’s Distinction, and Teaching Excellence award from the Faculty.  

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 at 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. 

Guy Peretz, Architecture Student

Guy is in his final year of studies at the David Azrieli School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University. As part of the Program he is doing an internship at HQ Architects.

Prof. Dina Porat, Chief Historian of Yad Vashem

Prof. Dina Porat is Professor Emeritus of Modern Jewish History at the Department of Jewish History, Head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, and holds the Alfred P. Slaner Chair for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University. Since 2011 she has served as Chief Historian of Yad Vashem.

From 2005-2010, Prof. Porat served as Academic Advisor of the ITF, the International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research – now IHRA, the International  Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. She has been a visiting professor at many prestigious institutions of learning, including Harvard, Columbia and New York Universities, and has lectured at the Vatican on the topic of Angelo G. Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) and his efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust.

In 2004 Prof. Porat  was named “Best Teacher” by the Faculty of Humanities at Tel Aviv University, and in 2012 she was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Medal, by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. In 2013, she was listed as one of the leading researchers in Israel by the daily Ha’aretz newspaper, and in 2018 was named one of Israel’s leading women by Forbes magazine.

Prof. Porat has been awarded prizes for some of her many publications, including the National Jewish Book Award for her biography of Abba Kovner, and the Bahat Prize for her new book on Jewish revenge after World War II.

Prof. Uriya Shavit, Head of the of the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry


Asi Shmeltzer, Chairman of Shlomo Group

Asi Shmeltzer is the Chairman of Shlomo Group, one of Israel’s leading investment groups that employs more than 5000 employees in Israel, Romania, and Germany with total reported annual revenues in 2021 of approximately $2.8 BN.

Under the umbrella of Shlomo group, Mr. Shmeltzer is currently the Chairman of Shlomo Holdings, a fully integrated enterprise which provides automotive and insurance services in Israel and overseas in the areas of car rental services, leasing services (private and operational), car sales, insurance and funding solutions, with an overall managed fleet of approximately 80,000 vehicles.

Companies that are owned under the umbrella group but are not within Shlomo Holdings include: SHIR Real Estate and Hotels, AFCON, Talma–Shlomo Travel Solutions and Shlomo Ventures.

Mr. Shmeltzer is a result driven owner. Strong skill set including business acumen, crisis management, the ability to evaluate performance and interpersonal capabilities and extensive expertise in investment, financing, strategy, partnerships with multi-nationals, and ongoing board-level management of companies that are publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Today the holding group operates in multiple sectors including car rentals and private leasing, logistics, real estate, insurance and finance, shipping, travel, communications and energy.

Mr. Shmeltzer holds an M.B.A., Business Administration, Bournemouth University B.A., Business Administration, Richmond University.

Zehavit Spitzer Zohar, Architect and Town Planner

Zehavit is a seasoned architect and town planner, with experience in complex institutional, commercial, and residential facilities using modern technologies to create better architectural solutions.  She is owner and partner at Dunsky Zohar Architects and Town Planners Ltd. in Tel Aviv and was a partner and consultant at QBIQ Ai an Architectural startup implementing Ai tech in the field of Interior Design.  Since 2018, Zehavit has served as Dean and Head of Architecture School at Tel Aviv’s Handesaim College.  She graduated from Tel Aviv University’s Azrieli School of Architecture in 2000 and recently returned to pursue a Masters in Architecture, winning a scholarship for outstanding scholastic achievements. She plans to continue on to pursue a PhD at TAU.

Linda Streit

Linda Streit is active in three major areas of Israeli life: education, culture and sports.  Her aim is to better the life of Israeli individuals and thus enhance Israel’s reputation around the globe. She believes passionately that a stellar higher education is the means to help extract the best potential from each student. Linda is also an ardent supporter of the sport of rowing, as it demands striving for excellence, and teamwork as well as embraces marginalized communities.

Linda made Aliyah in 1978 from London. She is happily married to Elli Streit, is the mother to Joanna Landau and the late Daniel (z”l), and grandmother of three. In 1990 she became the third generation to be a member of the TAU Board of Governors.

Among her many public roles, Linda is co-chair of the Student Affairs Committee, founder of TAU’s English Departmental Library in the name of the Goldser family, founder of the Daniel Rowing Centre and chairperson of the Friends of Daniel for Rowing Association. 

Prof. Lior Wolf, Researcher, School of Computer Science

Lior Wolf is a full professor at the School of Computer Science at Tel-Aviv University. Previously, he was a post-doctoral associate in Prof. Poggio’s lab at MIT. He graduated from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he worked under the supervision of Prof. Shashua.

Lior is an ERC grantee and has received Best Paper Awards at ECCV 2000, the post ICCV 2009 workshop on eHeritage, the pre-CVPR2013 workshop on action recognition, ICANN 2016, and Face&Gesture 2021. He was also awarded the ICCV 2001 Marr Prize honorable mention and the runner-up for the best paper award at ICCV 2019. His research focuses on computer vision and deep learning and includes topics such as face identification, bioinformatics, medical imaging, document analysis, voice generation, natural language processing, and video action recognition.

Zvi Yehezkeli, Israeli Journalist and Documentarian

Zvi Yehezkeli has been an Israeli journalist for over 25 years, and is currently the Head of the Arab Desk at Israeli News 13. Recognized as one of Israeli’s foremost authorities on Arab affairs and culture, Zvi became interested in Islam while working abroad. At age 25 he returned to Israel, attending the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he became fluent in Arabic and completed his Master’s in Middle East History, then graduated in Media and Journalism at the Koteret School of Journalism in 2002.

In 2012  Zvi co-created a documentary series about Muslims in Europe called Allah Islam, exploring the phenomenon of the ‘Islamization’ of Europe through interviews of Muslim residents around the continent. He also went undercover in Europe and the United States under a variety of Arab aliases to investigate the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood, which he documented in the 5-part series BeZehut Beduya (Under a False Identity).

In the Israel Defense Forces, Yehezkeli served in an elite infantry unit. After his discharge, he worked for Shin Bet. In 1997, he moved to Hebron, and then to Jenin, to achieve a better grasp of Arab culture and its language.