Nov 29 2012
The University’s Friends & Alumni Association held a launch event at the University, attended by guest of honor Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, Chairman of the Council of Higher Education’s Planning & Budgeting Committee, and hundreds of University of Haifa alumni, including Ruben Eblagon, Chairman, Rosario Capital; Sharon Nissim, General Director, Kishon River Authority; Yossi Elbaz, CEO, Domino’s Pizza Israel; Gil Dankner; business leaders; and others.
Initiated by Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development Amos Gaver, the Association is seeking to enhance collaboration between centers of research excellence at the University and alumni who are active in the public and business sectors. The Association is directed by Dr. Dalia Perl-Olshvang under the wing of the Israeli Friends Association and its CEO, Shira Ben-Or. “Our world of friends and alumni has a place for anyone who values higher education. Many of the University’s thousands of alumni hold senior positions in the public, business, and security sectors. They are welcome to join and support this concept and influence the future of the University of Haifa and Israel’s northern region,” said Perl-Olshvang.
Addressing the audience, President of the University Amos Shapira revealed the University’s plans to enlist 400 new faculty members, mostly returning scientists. This, he explained, would support the University’s strategic goals of strengthening the viability of Israel’s north, enhancing the unique cultural and social mosaic of Israel’s different populations, and of course ensuring the University’s continued excellence in research and teaching.
“Establishing such an association is a significant step for the future of the University,” said Prof. Trajtenberg. “A university’s duty does not end upon granting a degree. There must be continued communication with alumni - a connection that gives extra value to the graduates but also gets something back from them,” he said. Addressing the representatives of the business sector at the event, he stressed that government budgets will never suffice for Israel’s higher education needs, so ties with the business sector is necessary.
A highlight of the event was the awarding of a certificate for social excellence to Atty. Itzik Dessie, a graduate of the Faculty of Law and Israel’s first lawyer of Ethiopian origin. Dessie is Founder and Executive Director of Tebeka - Advocacy for Equality and Justice for Ethiopian-Israelis.
“This event was a great success and I am happy to see that we have so many graduates who believe – as we do – that a connection with the university must continue even after completing their studies. It was heartwarming to see after the event that many alumni committed to donating to student scholarships,” said VP Amos Gaver.