Highlight #1 – 11 Distinguished and Accomplished Honorary Degree Recipients
At the University of Haifa’s Honorary Doctorate Conferment Ceremony, held outside against the magnificent backdrop of the surrounding hills, 11 outstanding individuals were recognized for achievements that have left a lasting mark on society.
H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was cited for her vision, courage and willingness to march, against every risk and every obstacle, along a path that has led her people to peace and prosperity and her struggle for equal rights for women. Learn about all Honorary Doctorate recipients here.
Highlight #2 – President Amos Shapira’s Annual Report
Amos Shapira, who will be retiring at the end of September, provided an overview of his four years as president, noting that the University is continuing to grow and develop.
• The University remains the most diverse in Israel, with more than 18,000 degree track students up from 17,000
• 20 new English-language International Master’s programs have been introduced
• Research grants have increased 66%, from $46M to $76.5M
• Donations, many from the U.S., are up 31% to $79M
• Investment in Carmel Ltd, the University’s technology transfer company, have increased eight fold to more than $9M
• Major new infrastructure projects are underway, from new buildings for the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences and Faculty of Law to expansion of the Herta and Paul Amir Faculty of Social Sciences and the student dormitory complex.
“I came to this position,” President Shapira recalled at the end of his presentation, “out of great love for the University and I am finishing with an even greater feeling of satisfaction, love and appreciation than when I began.”
Highlight #3 – Tribute to Leon Charney
The University paid a moving tribute to its Lifetime Honorary Chairman, Leon H. Charney, who recently passed away.
A special tribute film was screened in the presence of Mrs. Tzili Charney who had flown from the U.S. especially for the occasion, and Mr. Charney’s sister Mrs. Byrna Blumenreich Dryer, in a party of 12 friends and loved ones of Mr. Charney.
Mrs. Charney subsequently visited the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences with Founding Director Prof. Zvi Ben Avraham, at right.
Highlight #4 – The Herta and Paul Amir Faculty of Social Sciences Dedication
The newly named Herta and Paul Amir Faculty of Social Sciences was dedicated in a special ceremony in the presence of both Mr. and Mrs. Amir, in center of photo at left. Mr. Amos Shapira spoke warmly about the Amirs and their contribution to Israel.
Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Gustavo Mesch provided an overview of the achievements and plans of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the enormous positive impact the Amir’s $10 million pledge will have on the University for generations to come.
• Dr. Hadas Okon-Singer of the Department of Psychology, won the Dusty and Ettie Miller Fellowship Award for her research on responses to negative stimuli. At right, Rector David Faraggi, left, and Dean of the Herta and Paul Amir Faculty of Social Work Gustavo Mesch presented the award,
• The Rector’s Prize for Outstanding Researcher was won by Prof. Kobi Rosenblum for his work on memory. Prof. Rosenblum heads the laboratory for Research of Mollecular and Cellular Mechanisms in the University’s Sagol Department of Neurobiology.
• The Rector’s prize for outstanding lecturer was won by Prof. Eitan Steinberg of the Department of Music, for his work enabling students to explore music in different ways.
Highlight #6 – Helmsley Mediterranean Sea Research Center Launched
The new state-of-the-art deep sea facility laboratories at the Helmsley Mediterranean Sea Research Center were dedicated at a luncheon ceremony with 200 guests at Shikmona in Haifa. The Center is generously supported by the Leona and Harry Helmsley Trust.
Prof. Zvi Ben Avraham, Director of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, spoke at the event, together with Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research (IOLR) Director, Prof. Barak Herut, and President Amos Shapira.
Guests were invited to visit the new labs as well as the Helmsley Center Shallow Water facility at Kibbutz Sdot Yam, about 30 miles south of Haifa.
Highlight #7 – Faculty of Law Building Cornerstone Ceremony
A Cornerstone Laying Ceremony for the Faculty of Law Building was held overlooking the magnificent vista of the Carmel Forest Hills. The assembled guests listened to speeches from the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Gad Barzilai, and Israeli Supreme Court Justice (Honorary Doctorate Recipient and member of the Board of Governors) Justice Salim Joubran, second from right in photo.
Representative of two friends groups that have generously provided early funding for the project spoke — Mr. Alex Karpov, representing the Swiss Friends’ Association, and Dr. Eyal Chvika, his counterpart on the Board of the French Friends Association. Both were instrumental in launching the campaign to construct the new building by pledging their support, and unveiled the plaque to mark the site of the new faculty building.
Highlight #8 – Celebrating 20 Years of Business Administration Education
The Department of Business Administration celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a splendid ceremony at which Rector Prof. David Faraggi, Dean of the Faculty of Management Prof. Yitzhak Samuel and Chair of the Department Prof. Aviv Shoham spoke.
One highlight was the presentation by Dr. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, at left, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel, on MacroeconomicTrends and the Productivity Challenge. She provided a broad-based and comprehensive overview of Israel’s economy and future prospects while providing insights into the impact of Israel’s changing demographics, religious practices and employment trends.
Highlight #9 – The University’s Impact on Communities in Northern Israel
The Festive Opening, in collaboration with the CJP Boston-Haifa Connection, focused on the University’s many Community Projects, and featured the debut of a video on the successful new “Access for All” program. Watch Now.
Highlight #10 – Tribute to Israel Prize Winners
Throughout the 4-day Meeting guests were treated to newly created videos spotlighting a few of the winners of the prestigious Israel Prize associated with the University of Haifa. Learn more about each winner in the videos below:
- Eviatar Nevo, 2016 Israel Prize in Life Sciences
- Ya’acov Dorchin, 2011 Israel Prize in Visual Arts
- Sammy Smooha, 2008 Israel Prize in Sociology
- Tuvya Ruebner, 2008 Israel Prize for Literature
- Miriam Ben-Peretz, 2006 Israel Prize in Education
- Asher Koriat, 2002 Israel Prize in Psychology
- A.B. Yehoshua, 1995 Israel Prize for Hebrew Literature
Highlight #11- Multiculturalism at the University of Haifa
The German Friends Association of the University of Haifa hosted an information-rich program on “Promoting Empowerment and Coexistence”. German Ambassador to Israel H.E. Dr. Clemens von Goetze was guest of honor and Prof. Majid Al-Haj, Founding Director of the Center for Multiculturalism and Education Research at the University discussed the “Challenges of Multiculturalism in Israel: The Case of the University of Haifa”.
Sonja Lahnstein-Kandel, center in accompanying photo, President of the Board of the German Friends Association and Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors, presided over the awarding of scholarships to top performing students..