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Friends Associations of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem<br />


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Meet<br />

Outstanding<br />

Faculty and<br />

Alumni<br />

Tour Campus<br />

Art<br />

Ask the Expert,<br />

the Latest<br />

Books & More<br />

Celebrating<br />

Women in<br />

Academia<br />

VOLUME 63 <strong>2016</strong>/2017

President<br />

Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson<br />

Rector<br />

Prof. Asher Cohen<br />

Chairman of the Board of Governors<br />

Michael Federmann<br />

Honorary Chairs of the Board of Governors<br />

Charles H. Goodman, Ralph Halbert, Harvey M. Krueger, Barbara Mandel<br />

Vice-President for Advancement & External Relations<br />

Ambassador Yossi Gal<br />

Vice-President for Research & Development<br />

Prof. Isaiah T. Arkin<br />

Vice-President & Director-General<br />

Billy Shapira<br />

Vice-Rectors<br />

Prof. Orna Kupferman, Prof. Oron Shagrir<br />

Comptroller<br />

Zvi Aizenstein<br />

Director, Division for Advancement & External Relations<br />

Ram Semo<br />

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel’s first university, is a multidisciplinary<br />

institution of higher learning and research where intellectual pioneering, cutting-edge<br />

discovery and a passion for learning flourish. It is a center of international repute, with<br />

ties extending to and from the worldwide scientific and academic community and<br />

where teaching and research interact to create innovative approaches that ensure the<br />

broadest of educations for its students.<br />

Ranked among the world’s leading universities, at the Hebrew University Israelis<br />

of all backgrounds receive a university education where excellence is emphasized;<br />

where advanced, postgraduate study and research are encouraged; and where special<br />

programs and conferences attract students and academics from around the world.<br />

At its core, the Hebrew University’s mission is to develop cutting-edge research,<br />

to educate future leaders in all walks of life, and to nurture future generations of<br />

outstanding scientists and scholars in all fields of learning.<br />

LOCATION On six campuses: three in Jerusalem (Mount Scopus, Edmond J. Safra<br />

and Ein Kerem) and in Rehovot, Beit Dagan and Eilat<br />

ENROLLMENT 23,500 students and 200,000 degrees conferred to date<br />

FACULTY 973<br />

RESEARCH 3,600 projects in progress in University departments and some 100<br />

subject-related and interdisciplinary research centers<br />

Save the Date<br />

Highlight of Friends of the Hebrew University <strong>2016</strong>/2017<br />

June 23<br />

July 4<br />

September 10<br />

September 15<br />

Edmonton Canadian Friends' Gala honoring Dr. James<br />

Shapiro in support of IMRIC<br />

London British Friends' Annual Tea for 40th anniversary<br />

of Operation Entebbe<br />

Los Angeles American Friends' Bel Air Affaire Students<br />

Scholarship Gala & Humanitarian Torch of Learning<br />

Award Tribute honoring Corie and Michael Koss<br />

New York American Friends' 90th Anniversary Scopus<br />

Award Gala, honoring Marion and Stanley Bergman,<br />

Henry Schein, Inc., and Nancy and Kenneth Stein<br />

September 16-18 Toronto Canadian Friends' Annual General Meeting<br />

September 20<br />

September 25<br />

November 9<br />

November 14<br />

December 12<br />

December 12<br />

2017<br />

January<br />

January 14<br />

May<br />

Geneva Swiss Friends' Scopus Award Dinner honoring<br />

Lord Norman Foster<br />

Washington American Friends' Sponsorship Forum &<br />

Dinner at the U.S. Supreme Court, hosted by Justice Ruth<br />

Bader Ginsburg<br />

Jerusalem British Friends' 64th Annual Lionel Cohen<br />

lecture with Lord Dyson<br />

Brussels Belgian Friends' Scopus Award Gala Dinner<br />

honoring FranÇois Englert<br />

London UK Brain Circle Inaugural Gala Dinner<br />

New York American Friends' Innovation Conference<br />

Punta del Este Argentinian and Uruguayan Friends'<br />

Summer Symposium<br />

American Friends' Palm Beach Scopus Award Gala<br />

Montreal Canadian Friends' Albert Einstein Awards Gala<br />

in celebration of Montreal's 375th anniversary<br />

Contact your local Friends of the Hebrew University for full listings

The Hebrew University has been fortunate to count women among our ranks<br />

since we first opened our doors in 1925. We are exceedingly proud of the<br />

numerous accomplishments realized by our female faculty, students, and<br />

administrators over the past nine decades. Yet we are not blind to the obstacles<br />

women still face in <strong>2016</strong>, particularly for those women attempting to reach the top<br />

echelons of academia.<br />

In our cover story we explore the present – what the University looks like today–<br />

and how we are challenging the current trend in academic institutions across the<br />

industrialized world in which women are found in less than half of the professional<br />

academic positions. With the sincere belief that this phenomenon does not fit the<br />

legacy or the vision of our institution, we are dedicated to investing energy and<br />

resources to advance women at all levels of academia – both for the sake of women<br />

in society and for the sake of maintaining the excellence of our university. As an<br />

institution, we acknowledge our responsibility toward the broader population,<br />

beyond those in our classrooms and labs, and we embrace this responsibility as<br />

we move forward with purpose and vision.<br />

In this edition of Scopus you will have the privilege to meet a few of the remarkable<br />

women of the Hebrew University. They comprise some of the most accomplished<br />

academics in Israel, if not the world; they are our prominent alumni who have<br />

already achieved a high measure of success, and they are our students, who are<br />

brimming with incredible potential. Together these women have pioneered scientific<br />

breakthroughs, enlightened us with astounding discoveries in the social sciences<br />

and the humanities, and been named CEOs at leading Israeli companies.<br />

We will also take you on a tour of our Jerusalem campuses, exploring the artistry<br />

and thoughtfulness of our physical spaces. Finally, we bring your attention to the<br />

new sections in this edition of Scopus including, ‘Bookshelf’, ‘Ask the Expert’,<br />

and ‘Yesterday’s News’.<br />

We are enlightened by the women of today featured in Scopus, and we hope<br />

that through our efforts we can inspire and ensure the success of the coming<br />

generation.<br />

Michael Federmann<br />

Chairman, Board of Governors<br />

Menahem Ben-Sasson<br />

President<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 1

Contents<br />

4<br />

10<br />

12<br />

18<br />

20<br />

22<br />

26<br />

30<br />

36<br />

38<br />

40<br />

Feature<br />

Cracking the Glass in the Ceiling of the Ivory Tower:<br />

How the women of today are pushing for a brighter tomorrow<br />

What's on Our Minds<br />

Words of Wisdom: Quotes from our faculty<br />

Leading by Example<br />

Profiles of our faculty who are inspiring a generation of academics<br />

Community Scoop<br />

Women at the helm of programs that are improving our lives<br />

A Glimpse of the Future<br />

Student Profiles: Hebrew University's best and brightest offer a peek<br />

at what's to come<br />

Campus Tour<br />

Our Hidden Treasures: Rediscover the beauty of Hebrew University<br />

World of Friends<br />

Photo gallery of our friends and supporters<br />

HUJI Connect<br />

Where Are They Now: Hebrew University alumni who went from<br />

the classroom to the top of their professions<br />

Yesterday's News<br />

A trip down memory lane with Hebrew University<br />

Bookshelf<br />

What we are reading now<br />

Ask the Expert<br />

The academic perspective on international joke telling<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


Editors: Leah Geffen & Shoshana Israel<br />

Assistant Editors: Michal Novetsky & Aviv Harkov<br />

Design & Production: Studio Rami & Jaki<br />

Photography: Nati Shohat Flash90<br />

Printed in Israel ISSN 0334-7591<br />

Published by the Division for Advancement<br />

& External Relations<br />

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem<br />

Mount Scopus, 91905 Jerusalem, Israel<br />

www.support.huji.ac.il<br />

www.facebook.com/HebrewU<br />

Subscribe to our channel:<br />

Hebrew University English Media<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 3



Cracking the Glass<br />

in the Ceiling of<br />

the Ivory Tower:<br />

How the<br />

Women of<br />

Today are<br />

Pushing for<br />

a Brighter<br />

Tomorrow<br />

When Dr. Sarah Hestrin-Lerner, a brilliant pathologist<br />

at the Hebrew University, won the prestigious Israel<br />

Prize in 1955, she triumphed over all the country’s<br />

male scientists—including her own brother, Hebrew University<br />

biochemist Dr. Shlomo Hestrin, who had to wait patiently for two<br />

more years before winning the nation’s top prize himself.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


Beyond the personal feat and ultimate<br />

sibling bragging rights, the award<br />

signaled that women could compete—<br />

and win—at the highest levels of academia in<br />

the then nascent State of Israel. This message<br />

matched the trailblazing spirit of the young<br />

country, and particularly that of its premier<br />

educational hub, The Hebrew University.<br />

From the pioneer days of the kibbutz<br />

movement to present-day leading roles for<br />

women in the Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s<br />

most respected and historical institutions have<br />

consistently broken new ground in advancing<br />

the role of women.<br />

As Israel’s leading academic and research<br />

institution, the Hebrew University is<br />

a formidable force in ensuring that<br />

outstanding female candidates can lay claim<br />

to top positions and be on equal footing with<br />

their male colleagues. Yet these gains were<br />

hard-fought, often requiring bursts of creativity<br />

and a readiness to rethink the status quo.<br />

More than anything else, of course, women’s<br />

progress demanded a female champion at every<br />

turn.<br />

The Name Game<br />

From her bright office overlooking The<br />

Edmond J. Safra Campus herbaceous<br />

border, Professor Orna Kupferman reflects<br />

on her tenure as Advisor to the President on<br />

Gender Affairs, before becoming Vice-Rector<br />

in 2013.<br />

A faculty member in the Rachel and Selim<br />

Benin School of Computer Science and<br />

Engineering, she describes her initial surprise<br />

when presented with the research of gender<br />

bias in academia.<br />

“I knew that<br />

women faced an<br />

uphill battle, but I<br />

assumed it would<br />

be more about<br />

balancing research<br />

with motherhood<br />

“Put a woman’s name on and much less about<br />

top of a scientific paper, or gender bias.”<br />

on a CV, or place her name on<br />

a grant application – and she is<br />

significantly more likely to be rejected<br />

or ignored than a man with the exact same<br />

qualifications,” Prof. Kupferman explains.<br />

The prestigious journal, Proceedings of<br />

the National Academy of Sciences of the<br />

United States of America (PNAS), published<br />

an influential study that showed academic<br />

hiring committees were more likely to deny<br />

tenure to an applicant with a female name<br />

than a male one, even if their credentials were<br />

completely identical. And even when they<br />

did choose to hire a woman, they tended to<br />

recommend paying her roughly $4,000 less<br />

per year.<br />

One of the study’s more interesting findings,<br />

however, was that it hardly made a difference if<br />

men or women were making the decision: both<br />

sexes discriminated against women, apparently<br />

without even realizing it.<br />

“I read the research in disbelief,” Prof.<br />

Kupferman recalls. “I knew that women faced<br />

an uphill battle, but I assumed it would be more<br />

about balancing research with motherhood and<br />

much less about gender bias.”<br />

To help address the situation, Prof.<br />

Kupferman called meetings with the deans<br />

of all of HU’s faculties to familiarize them with<br />

the prevalence of this unwitting gender bias.<br />

She also helped draft protocols guaranteeing<br />

that appointment committees are gender<br />

balanced.<br />

Measures such as these certainly helped<br />

clear a path for female professors to begin<br />

receiving equal treatment and opportunities.<br />

But the problem was greater than professors<br />

merely getting in the door.<br />

Prof. Orna Kupferman<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


A New Woman Takes Charge<br />

Billy Shapira, Vice-President and Director-<br />

General of The Hebrew University,<br />

is a key figure in the remarkable<br />

transformation of the gender profile of the<br />

University’s senior administration.<br />

Immediately following her appointment in<br />

2009, Ms. Shapira asked for a report on the<br />

number of women working at all levels of the<br />

administration.<br />

“There were hardly any women in the top<br />

positions,” she says. “It was obvious to me that<br />

we had to do something about that.”<br />

Ms. Shapira made it her personal<br />

responsibility to identify and encourage<br />

women of exceptional talent to push for higher<br />

positions. Her diligent work paid off; now, just<br />

seven years later, there is gender parity across<br />

every level of the administration.<br />

“It’s about giving women more confidence,”<br />

she explains. “I always say you should ‘jump<br />

the bar’ and dare to meet new challenges.”<br />

Yet Ms. Shapira understands that the unique<br />

career challenges faced by women are stubbornly<br />

persistent. She has experienced firsthand the<br />

complexities of juggling demanding jobs and<br />

raising four young children, while struggling<br />

to be present for a husband pursuing his own<br />

professional career. The stark impact<br />

of these realities is plainly visible<br />

in academia.<br />

“It’s about giving<br />

women more<br />

confidence. I always<br />

The Scissors Effect<br />

say you should ‘jump<br />

the bar’ and dare<br />

to meet new<br />

Despite huge advances<br />

challenges.”<br />

in the number of<br />

women earning<br />

doctorates—just over half of<br />

Billy Shapira<br />

the Ph.D candidates at the Hebrew<br />

University today are women—the<br />

statistics reveal a troubling trend. In<br />

universities worldwide, an astonishingly low<br />

percentage of female doctoral students are<br />

pursing academic careers, leading to severe<br />

underrepresentation of women at the senior<br />

faculty level.<br />

The falloff in the number of women<br />

continuing with postdoctoral research and<br />

professor<br />

Masters Degree<br />

children<br />

Ph.D<br />

into faculty positions is so dramatic that it has<br />

earned a title, the “Scissors Effect,ˮ named for<br />

the striking image produced by its graphical<br />

representation (see figure). The situation is<br />

particularly marked in the sciences, where<br />

only 18% of the University’s faculty are<br />

women—and only 10% are full professors;<br />

the humanities is only slightly better with<br />

women comprising 34% of faculty and holding<br />

21% of professorships.<br />

The scissors diagram is replicated by most<br />

major universities in the industrialized world,<br />

visually depicting the toll of global obstacles<br />

to women’s careers in academia. Research<br />

has shown both in Europe and the U.S., that a<br />

woman’s pursuit of an academic career often<br />

comes at the expense of having children.<br />

Recently published data of U.S. academic<br />

institutions indicates that less than half of<br />

all tenured female faculty have children, far<br />

below the national average of women in the<br />

same age groups.<br />

In other words, most women in academia<br />

face a daunting choice: have a career or have<br />

children. It is not hard to see why the scissors<br />

cut the way they do.<br />

postdoc<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


Can You Have It All?<br />

But what if a woman didn’t have to choose?<br />

That’s a question the Hebrew University<br />

is doggedly trying to answer.<br />

In formulating new initiatives to promote<br />

women into senior academic positions, the<br />

Hebrew University has undertaken to remove<br />

barriers that deter female academics from<br />

starting a family and that grant outstanding<br />

women the same professional opportunities as<br />

their male counterparts. Recognizing the need<br />

to address the scissors effect in academia, the<br />

University is now prioritizing and developing<br />

new forward-thinking initiatives to facilitate<br />

the progress of women moving up the academic<br />

ladder.<br />

Israeli families have an average of three<br />

children—the highest in the industrialized<br />

world. Women in the Hebrew University’s<br />

most senior administrative positions, however,<br />

are on par with the country’s average fertility<br />

rate, suggesting that family-friendly policies<br />

can literally bear fruit.<br />

The PostDoctoral Dilemma<br />

Despite the University’s successes<br />

in fostering a more welcoming<br />

environment for women, too many<br />

women are discouraged from forging ahead<br />

on the academic route. Nowhere is this more<br />

evident than in the acute decline in women<br />

pursing postdoctoral studies in the STEM<br />

subjects (science, technology, engineering,<br />

and mathematics).<br />

The path to senior positions in the STEM<br />

subjects often requires a lengthy postdoc<br />

abroad, entailing a major familial upheaval<br />

with enormous ramifications. These fellowships<br />

abroad, a common waystation on the road to<br />

academic security, put having a family in direct<br />

conflict with pursuing an academic career.<br />

“A male Ph.D graduate may not think twice<br />

about transplanting his family,” explains<br />

Professor Hermona Soreq, the Charlotte<br />

Slesinger Professor of Molecular Neuroscience<br />

and the first woman to have served as Dean of<br />

the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Science.<br />

Women Academic Year 2006/07<br />

100%<br />

Men 2006/07<br />

Women 2011/12<br />

90%<br />

Men 2011/12<br />

80%<br />

70%<br />

60%<br />

50%<br />

40%<br />

30%<br />

20%<br />

10%<br />

0%<br />

Bachelor’s Degree<br />

Master’s Degree<br />

Doctoral Degree<br />

Lecturer<br />

Senior Lecturer<br />

Junior Professor<br />

Senior Professor<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


Prof. Hermona Soreq<br />

“But female graduates won’t even ask<br />

their spouses to consider such a move.”<br />

Complicating matters, Prof. Soreq<br />

points out that the length of a postdoc<br />

has increased over the years – from the<br />

two years she experienced, to the current<br />

stint of 5-10 years in the life sciences.<br />

Think Out of the Box<br />

Seeing that the postdoc studies<br />

overseas were pushing capable<br />

women away, Prof. Batsheva Kerem,<br />

the current Advisor to the President on<br />

Gender Affairs, formulated an innovative<br />

solution: she developed a program offering<br />

fellowships to women seeking postdocs<br />

abroad who hope to return to senior<br />

academic positions within the Hebrew<br />

University.<br />

The fellowship funds, which come on<br />

top of their regular stipends, help ease<br />

the strain of relocating overseas and<br />

provide some breathing room for spouses<br />

to reconstruct their careers in a new<br />

country. Several female postdocs across<br />

all disciplines have already benefited from<br />

these fellowships, and Prof. Kerem aims<br />

to fund ten additional two-year postdoc<br />

fellowships by 2025.<br />

Additionally, Prof. Kerem, who is a<br />

faculty member of the Department of<br />

Genetics at the Alexander Silberman<br />

Institute of Life Sciences, initiated a<br />

family-friendly dual-location postdoc<br />

program, the first of its kind actually<br />

designed with women in mind.<br />

“The program allows a postdoc to be<br />

based at the Hebrew University but still<br />

gain invaluable experience by working<br />

throughout the summer in a prestigious<br />

laboratory overseas,” explains Prof.<br />

Kerem. This program has already been<br />

implemented with the assistance of outside<br />

philanthropic foundations and will be<br />

implemented directly at the Hebrew<br />

University next year.<br />

“This is an important initiative in<br />

evening out the playing field for women,”<br />

Prof. Kerem says.<br />

Stop the Clock!<br />

Deep in every fresh academic’s<br />

mind, there is a clock. The “tenure<br />

clock” ticks on relentlessly for<br />

seven years, and then it stops: if the new<br />

professor has not published a sufficient<br />

amount of high quality research in those<br />

seven years, in addition to raising research<br />

money, teaching, and training students, he<br />

or she may say goodbye to tenure.<br />

The “tenure clock” puts pressure on<br />

every new academic, but it hits women<br />

with particular force. In most cases,<br />

these years are a woman’s prime years<br />

for bearing children, yet taking time off<br />

after giving birth often seriously disrupts<br />

research and academic output during that<br />

crucial seven-year window. Many women<br />

are reluctant to even ask for an extension,<br />

fearing it will somehow reflect poorly on<br />

their commitment or competence.<br />

Prof. Kupferman somewhat eased<br />

that burden for female academics at the<br />

Hebrew University by helping institute<br />

a mandatory policy to stop the “tenure<br />

clock” for new mothers. Today, female<br />

scholars at the Hebrew University receive<br />

an automatic one-year extension after<br />

having a child.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 8

Even without the stress of the tenure clock,<br />

having a baby during one’s studies can be a<br />

serious handicap. Female medical students, for<br />

example, who took the Israeli standard 14-week<br />

maternity leave missed so much coursework<br />

that they used to repeat the entire year. This<br />

made their already lengthy medical studies<br />

far longer.<br />

Now, however, a creative Hebrew University<br />

program enables The Faculty of Medicine to<br />

provide summer courses tailor-made for new<br />

mothers, allowing them to take advantage of<br />

a brief maternity leave without falling a full<br />

year behind.<br />

Beyond these essential programs, the<br />

Hebrew University has enacted − although<br />

it does not yet cover the expenses for − a<br />

mandatory 14 weeks of paid maternity leave<br />

for all doctoral students, a period comparable<br />

to time granted in the Israeli workplace.<br />

Women Supporting Women<br />

Creating equal academic opportunities<br />

for women is not just about removing<br />

a host of impediments. It also means<br />

actively reaching out to women and ensuring<br />

that potential female scholars can find a vibrant<br />

community of mentors and peers.<br />

That’s why each Hebrew University faculty<br />

has enacted regular, informal groups in which<br />

female students at the graduate and doctoral<br />

level can meet and mingle; they discuss<br />

current issues and future ambitions, forming<br />

a supportive community of talented, ambitious<br />

women. These groups also provide a forum for<br />

newly returned postdocs to provide firsthand<br />

feedback about the challenges and adventures<br />

from their research abroad.<br />

The latest group, initiated in the summer<br />

of 2015, is dedicated to women studying<br />

mathematics, computer science, and physics,<br />

departments in which the female students are<br />

notoriously outnumbered.<br />

The monthly meet-up, affiliated with the<br />

Israeli Association for Women in Mathematics,<br />

is a comfortable social space for these women.<br />

It has also begun developing its own outreach<br />

program for girls in high schools. Imagine the<br />

impact of a cadre of talented and passionate<br />

women, all of whom are deeply invested in their<br />

postgraduate studies, who visit high schools<br />

and encourage girls to study mathematics,<br />

computer science, or physics.<br />

This is just one example of how the Hebrew<br />

University can affect change within the<br />

wider community, while also supporting the<br />

community of women on campus.<br />

The University Meets the World<br />

The benefits of adopting policies that help<br />

women pursue careers in academia, aside<br />

from simple fairness, are far-reaching.<br />

“All the research shows that by increasing<br />

diversity, not only do you see greater creativity<br />

and innovation, but the overall functioning of<br />

the organization itself is improved,” explains<br />

Prof. Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, Dean of the<br />

Faculty of Social Sciences. “These are<br />

benefits that feed very directly into society,<br />

both socially and economically, and I hope<br />

to see the University advance diversity even<br />

more.”<br />

The world doesn’t pause at the<br />

University gates. The Hebrew University is<br />

embedded in the texture of Israeli life and,<br />

consequently, uniquely able to shape its own<br />

surroundings.<br />

As Prof. Tamar Zilber, Director of the<br />

Hebrew University’s Lafer Center for Gender<br />

Studies (see page 19), notes, “Universities<br />

are both a reflection of the conditions<br />

prevailing in society at large and pivotal for<br />

transformational change in societal attitudes<br />

towards women.”<br />

The central role of the Hebrew<br />

University as a catalyst for<br />

change in gender equality, both<br />

within its walls and beyond,<br />

cannot be separated from the<br />

social and economic health of<br />

Israel as a whole. It is a role<br />

that the University has shown<br />

itself willing to embrace.<br />

“We are creating<br />

important<br />

initiatives to<br />

even the playing<br />

field for<br />

women.”<br />

Prof. Batsheva Kerem<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 9

Profiles<br />

Faculty<br />

“Academia is a good place for women.<br />

Women should seek out all the<br />

help they can from family, pursue<br />

fellowships and stop stressing out because<br />

it doesn’t help.”<br />

“Women in general, and Arab women in particular,<br />

face many obstacles and difficulties integrating<br />

into academia. These barriers must be addressed at<br />

the different levels of society. Despite the challenges,<br />

no women should give up.”<br />

Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri, Faculty of The Paul Baerwald School of<br />

Social Work and Social Welfare (see pg 14)<br />

Prof. Mimi Ajzenstadt, Dean of The Paul Baerwald<br />

School of Social Work and Social Welfare (see pg. 12)<br />

“I’m the director of a busy research lab,<br />

a married mother of four, and – you<br />

may be surprised to hear this – a former<br />

professional basketball player. From each of<br />

these experiences I’ve learned that the secret<br />

of success is keeping your team happy, and<br />

earning their support. While every scientist<br />

should be judged on his or her own merits, I<br />

think women – as team members – have the<br />

home-court advantage.”<br />

Dr. Galia Blum Nanoscientist, Faculty of Medicine (see pg. 13)<br />

“It is hard combining motherhood with research<br />

but I’ve never known anything else—I had my<br />

first child when I was in graduate school, and<br />

now we have three sons. My husband and I did our<br />

doctorates and postdocs together; we always split our<br />

family responsibilities equally.”<br />

Prof. Tamar Ziegler, Faculty of Science (see pg. 15)<br />

“In the humanities, women academics are<br />

in the minority, but their presence is very<br />

important. Not only do we serve as role<br />

models for our female students, we open up the<br />

discussion of women’s experience in society –<br />

something that might otherwise be overlooked.”<br />

“The main ̔problem’ faced by<br />

women who make a career<br />

in academics is that we have<br />

very high standards, and demand<br />

excellence in everything – both at<br />

work and at home.”<br />

Dana Reichmann, Faculty of Science (see pg. 16)<br />

“I can’t tell you how many<br />

times I was asked at lectures<br />

ʻare you sure it says that in the<br />

Talmud?’ I don’t think my male<br />

colleagues would be asked the<br />

same question.”<br />

Prof. Elishiva Baumgarten, Faculty of<br />

Humanities (see pg. 13)<br />

“Since becoming head of<br />

the Israel Institute for<br />

Advanced Studies, I’ve<br />

worked hard to promote<br />

women in science – creating<br />

frameworks for young<br />

women to study and advance<br />

together.”<br />

Prof. Michal Linial, Alexander<br />

Silberman Institute of Life Sciences<br />

(see pg. 17)<br />

Prof. Manuela Consonni, Faculty of Humanities (see pg. 16)<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 10

Words of Wisdom:<br />

Quotes from<br />

Our Faculty<br />

What’s<br />

“When I joined it in 1999, I was one of<br />

only five female members – out of 90 – in<br />

the Faculty of Agriculture. Today, women<br />

comprise 20% of our researchers, but most are<br />

at the beginning of their career, and are not well<br />

represented in the Faculty’s leadership. I tell my<br />

female students not to give up, because as hard<br />

as it is to overcome barriers to advancement,<br />

we’re moving the right direction.”<br />

Prof. Berta Levavi-Sivan, the Robert H. Smith Faculty of<br />

Agriculture, Food and Environment (see pg. 14)<br />

on<br />

our<br />

minds<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 11

Leading by Example<br />

Meet the women who are inspiring the next generation of academics<br />



HU’s Dean of social work<br />

is changing how we impact<br />

society<br />

“One thousand points of daily contact<br />

with the city of Jerusalem,” is how Prof.<br />

Mimi Ajzenstadt, Dean of Hebrew<br />

University’s The Paul Baerwald School of<br />

Social Work and Social Welfare, describes<br />

the noteworthy influence her students<br />

are having on Jerusalem’s residents. She<br />

reflects proudly that at any given time her<br />

students are training in the city’s many<br />

neighborhoods, deeply embedded in all<br />

the various social services.<br />

“Social workers assist with all sorts of<br />

populations at many different points in<br />

the life cycle, not only with the neediest<br />

populations,” she explains. Besides the<br />

traditional welfare services, they are<br />

called upon to act in the public health<br />

system, the court system, community<br />

administration and nongovernmental<br />

advocacy such as supporting the rights<br />

of the disabled.<br />

“We train our students to become social<br />

entrepreneurs,” Ajzenstadt says. Social<br />

work has long been dominated by women<br />

practitioners serving a predominately<br />

female population of clients. Ajzenstadt,<br />

notes, however, a marked improvement<br />

in recent years in the number of women<br />

serving in the top echelons of welfare<br />

services and at times serving as experts<br />

for social institutions and government<br />

committees where they lead the decision<br />

making process on major social issues.<br />

As Dean, Ajzenstadt has focused on<br />

forging new connections between social<br />

work and other relevant disciplines such<br />

as criminology, gender studies, law, and<br />

NGO management as well increasing the<br />

international reach of the School, both<br />

through academic conferences and student<br />

exchange programs.<br />

As a successful woman in academia,<br />

Ajzenstadt says that she never felt “held<br />

back” in her career; however, she did<br />

experience the subtle sting of not being<br />

able to take her family on sabbaticals<br />

abroad much the way her male colleagues<br />

did. “My husband couldn’t leave his job,<br />

so in my entire career I only went on one<br />

sabbatical alone with my daughter for half<br />

a year. I missed having the experience of<br />

sabbatical as a family,” she laments.<br />

Reflecting on her own successes,<br />

Ajzenstadt believes that an academic<br />

career has many advantages for women.<br />

Despite some of the limitations, it offers<br />

women flexible hours and the opportunity<br />

to enjoy themselves by doing something<br />

they love.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 12




This social historian explains<br />

why the narrative of our past<br />

is relevant to today<br />

In her research on Jewish life in Christian<br />

Europe during the Middle Ages, social<br />

historian Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten’s<br />

mission is to tell the lesser-known stories<br />

of the “common folk”—to reveal the<br />

everyday life of Jews, men, women,<br />

and children in 1100-1350 Northern<br />

Europe. “The medieval period was a<br />

very formative one for Jewish history,”<br />

she says, adding that “People often don’t<br />

realize that women played an active part<br />

in the dialogue that shaped Judaism and<br />

many of the customs and practices we<br />

have today.”<br />

Combining her passions for Jewish<br />

history and gender studies, Baumgarten,<br />

the Yitzhak Becker Professor of Jewish<br />

Studies in the Department of History, has<br />

published books about medieval family<br />

life, everyday religious practice, and<br />

is currently writing a social history of<br />

medieval Jewish marriage. Baumgarten<br />

relies upon original rabbinic writings,<br />

Jewish and Christian legal textbooks,<br />

city records, tax lists, archaeological<br />

artifacts, tombstones and economic<br />

documents to bring medieval practices<br />

to life. The European Research Council<br />

recently awarded Baumgarten one of<br />

its prestigious grants with the goal of<br />

enabling her to establish a research team<br />

to further her work.<br />

In the course of her career, Baumgarten<br />

has seen women make marked progress in<br />

the field of Jewish studies. “When I was a<br />

student I had no female professors, while<br />

today about one third of the professors<br />

are women,” she says. More telling is<br />

that today her female students can read<br />

the Jewish texts that are central in her<br />

research, whereas two decades ago,<br />

only men had the appropriate training<br />

to analyze them. “I am proud that my<br />

female students are so accomplished and<br />

combine traditional textual skills with the<br />

languages and methods used by medieval<br />

historians at large.”<br />


An ERC grant is helping this<br />

nanoscientist to improve our<br />

understanding of tumors<br />

Dr. Galia Blum, a Senior Lecturer in<br />

the Faculty of Medicine’s Institute<br />

of Drug Research, hopes to stop<br />

cancer before it starts. The prestigious<br />

European Research Council recently<br />

awarded Blum one of its highly sought<br />

after scientific grants of 1.5 million<br />

Euros for her design of a series of CT<br />

contrast probes that identify and target the<br />

processes that lead to tumor formation.<br />

Applying the most advanced<br />

nanotechnology, Blum developed a<br />

fluorescent probe that lights up when<br />

activated by an enzyme associated with<br />

primary tumor inflammation and earlystage<br />

metastasis. She also developed<br />

a second probe that tags a cancerassociated<br />

enzyme with a molecule that<br />

– when exposed to an external source<br />

of light – triggers cell death. Blum’s<br />

work has implications for cardiac<br />

health as well, drawing on chemical and<br />

biological methodologies to improve<br />

our understanding of how our arteries<br />

harden.<br />

Using the European funds, she is<br />

currently designing a new generation of<br />

probes that will enable real-time imaging<br />

of enzyme activation using hospital CT<br />

scanners rather than specialized laboratory<br />

equipment, an important step toward<br />

eventual trials in human patients. Blum’s<br />

lab is part of the Center for Transformative<br />

Nanomedicine, a newly-established<br />

research partnership between Hebrew<br />

University and the Cleveland Clinic, a<br />

leading multi-specialty academic center<br />

in the United States.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 13



Prof. Levavi-Sivan’s<br />

groundbreaking research is<br />

providing African villagers<br />

with the nutrition they need to<br />

survive<br />

A<br />

recent grant from the US-AID<br />

attests to the nutritional impact<br />

that Prof. Berta Levavi-Sivan<br />

has had on the African villagers living<br />

around Lake Victoria in Uganda. An<br />

expert in fish endocrinology, Levavi-<br />

Sivan from the Robert H. Smith Faculty<br />

of Agriculture, Food and Environment<br />

has successfully established a thriving<br />

pond based “aquaculture” for breeding<br />

and harvesting carp. As a result of her<br />

research, the carp are now the main source<br />

of protein for the African villagers, and<br />

especially their children.<br />

Continuing her decade-long mission<br />

to provide sustainable food sources to<br />

the villages bordering the lake, Levavi-<br />

Sivan has shifted her focus to adding<br />

Nile Perch as a viable food source for the<br />

villagers as well. With the cooperation<br />

of her Ugandan partners, she recently<br />

studied the key markers that play a<br />

critical role in establishing Nile Perch<br />

as an aquaculture-based food source.<br />

Ironically, the Nile Perch – which<br />

can grow as large as 100 kg – is the<br />

predatory species that decimated the<br />

carp population when it was artificially<br />

introduced into Lake Victoria 50 years<br />

ago.<br />

In other nutrition-based activism,<br />

Levavi-Sivan serves as a volunteer<br />

consultant for Engineers Without<br />

Borders, in a project that trains Ethiopian<br />

students in modern agricultural methods,<br />

and has significantly increased crop<br />

yields.<br />



One of only two female<br />

Arab faculty members, Prof.<br />

Khoury-Kassabri is on a<br />

dual mission to defend our<br />

children and to broaden the<br />

University’s Arab presence<br />

Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri, is<br />

director of the MSW program at<br />

the Paul Baerwald School of Social<br />

Work and Social Welfare, and an expert<br />

in juvenile delinquency. She researches<br />

youth involvement in delinquency, school<br />

violence, cyber bullying, and the effect of<br />

parental discipline methods on children’s<br />

well-being. “Most of the literature on<br />

school violence is about violence between<br />

children, or by children against teachers,”<br />

explains Khoury-Kassabri. “My studies<br />

on teacher violence towards students are<br />

among the few in Israel and the world<br />

that focus on this subject.”<br />

Alongside her own career success, as<br />

one of only 11 Arab faculty members at the<br />

Hebrew University, of whom only two are<br />

women, Prof. Khoury-Kassabri serves as<br />

the advisor on Arab affairs to University<br />

President, Menahem Ben-Sasson.<br />

Together with the Council for Higher<br />

Education, they aim to raise the number<br />

of Arab students at the University, lower<br />

the dropout rate, increase the numbers of<br />

Arab faculty members and administrative<br />

staff, and to provide cultural competence<br />

training for University staff.<br />

“In addition to my academic role, this<br />

is a social mission,” she says.<br />

Earlier this year, Prof. Khoury-Kassabri<br />

was selected for membership in the<br />

Global Young Academy, recognizing her<br />

outstanding track record as a successful<br />

scientist and her commitment to improving<br />

conditions for young scientists around the<br />

world.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />



This mathematician is<br />

integrating numbers into our<br />

world<br />

AHebrew University trained<br />

mathematician, Prof. Tamar<br />

Ziegler’s research focuses on the<br />

interaction between Number Theory, the<br />

study of integers, and Ergodic Theory,<br />

the study of long-term behavior of<br />

dynamical systems. Using ideas from<br />

Ergodic Ramsey Theory, Ziegler has<br />

made new discoveries about distribution<br />

properties of special patterns in the prime<br />

numbers.<br />

After completing her doctorate, Ziegler<br />

spent five years abroad, first at Ohio<br />

State University, then at the Institute<br />

of Advanced Study at Princeton, and<br />

finally, at the University of Michigan.<br />

After returning to Israel in 2007 together<br />

with her children and husband – also a<br />

mathematician – Ziegler joined the faculty<br />

of the Technion. In 2013, she returned to<br />

her alma mater, accepting an appointment<br />

to Hebrew University’s Einstein Institute<br />

of Mathematics.<br />



This innovative researcher is<br />

broadening our understanding<br />

of the brain<br />

When the director of a Jerusalembased<br />

camp for aspiring young<br />

hackers invited Dr. Ayelet<br />

Landau to lecture to its young charges,<br />

he wanted its students to be inspired by<br />

her success as a female scientist. However,<br />

he and Landau soon realized that there<br />

were almost no young girls—their target<br />

audience – in attendance at the camp.<br />

But there were young 10-year-old<br />

girls attending a nearby martial arts and<br />

leadership camp—all of whom were<br />

recruited to the lecture. As Landau recalls,<br />

“Instead of just being a role model for<br />

the few girls interested in science at the<br />

hackers camp, I ended up speaking to a<br />

mixed group of bright inquisitive girls<br />

and boys who are going to be leaders<br />

of the future – it was a worthwhile and<br />

interesting interaction!”<br />

A native Jerusalemite who is dedicated<br />

to public outreach, Landau is a veteran<br />

speaker of the prestigious TEDx talks and<br />

of Hebrew University’s own Professors in<br />

Slippers speaker series. She completed her<br />

BA and MA at the Hebrew University and<br />

returned as a researcher to the Departments<br />

of Psychology and Cognitive Science after<br />

a decade of advanced studies abroad: a<br />

Ph.D from the University of California,<br />

Berkeley, and as a postdoctoral scientist<br />

at the Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI)<br />

for Neuroscience in cooperation with<br />

The Max Planck Society in Frankfurt,<br />

Germany.<br />

Landau uses brain imaging techniques<br />

and behavioral studies to examine how<br />

people select relevant stimuli from the<br />

environment and ignore distraction –<br />

essentially how we pay attention.<br />

“The breadth of cognitive neuroscience<br />

research and the intellectual community<br />

at Hebrew University is unmatched,” she<br />

explains. As a faculty member in two of<br />

the university’s stronger departments,<br />

she feels a special responsibility to offer<br />

women students opportunities to succeed.<br />

“I tell young female academics to be<br />

optimistic, think big, and plan big.”<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 15




Worried about wrinkles?<br />

More serious issues like<br />

Alzheimer’s? Dr. Dana<br />

Reichmann’s research may<br />

eventually solve some of<br />

the discomforts and more<br />

distressing diseases of old age<br />

as well as new drugs to treat parasitic<br />

diseases like sleeping sickness.<br />

Reichman joined HU in 2012 after<br />

completing her Ph.D and postdoc at the<br />

Weizmann Institute, followed by four<br />

years at the University of Michigan doing<br />

another postdoc as a Human Frontiers<br />

Research Scholar.<br />

“My field hasn’t yet been fully<br />

developed,” she notes enthusiastically.<br />

“It’s a new niche that I discovered during<br />

my postdoc in Michigan, along with very<br />

advanced techniques that I brought back<br />

with me. My lab is a pioneer in Israel.”<br />

Reichmann’s commitment to her work<br />

was recognized earlier this year with the<br />

Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific<br />

Research. And her enthusiasm comes<br />

across loud and clear in her advice to<br />

women wondering about their futures:<br />

“When younger women ask whether it’s<br />

possible for a female research scientist<br />

to live a balanced life, I always say: It’s<br />

difficult, but don’t let that stop you!”<br />

Dr. Reichmann, who heads a lab in<br />

the Alexander Silberman Institute<br />

of Life Sciences, focuses parts<br />

of her research on protein oxidation and<br />

maintenance of “healthy” and active<br />

proteins. She also studies “intrinsically<br />

disordered chaperones,” a complex<br />

chain of proteins that enables cells to<br />

cope and recover from environmental<br />

stresses. Down the line, her findings may<br />

well bring us improved diagnostics for<br />

neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s<br />



AND NOW<br />

Prof. Consonni is examining<br />

the legacy of the Holocaust<br />

on modern Europe and<br />

understanding its impact<br />

on emerging anti-Jewish<br />

prejudices<br />

Prof. Manuela Consonni is a noted<br />

expert in the cultural and intellectual<br />

history of modern Europe, with a<br />

particular focus on Italian and Holocaust<br />

studies. A faculty member in the School of<br />

History, she is also the newly appointed<br />

head of Hebrew University’s Vidal Sassoon<br />

Center for the Study of Antisemitism.<br />

She focuses the Vidal Sassoon Center’s<br />

academic programming on anti-Jewish<br />

prejudice, examining the ever-present<br />

bias from a variety of different disciplines<br />

and perspectives.<br />

Her most recent work, L’eclisse<br />

dell’antifascismo. Resistenza, questione<br />

ebraica e cultura politica in Italia 1943-<br />

1989 examines the conciousness of Italy’s<br />

post-war national ethos, with respect to<br />

both Italian society’s uneasy relationship<br />

to its history of fascism and its role in<br />

the persecution and extermination of<br />

Italy’s Jews. Looking at the modern-day<br />

implications of the Holocaust’s legacy,<br />

Consonni explores how both personal<br />

and collective trauma have contributed<br />

to ethnic and pan-European cultural<br />

identities. Notably, she demonstartes<br />

how the absent Jewish population plays<br />

a pivitol ideological role in forming these<br />

identities.<br />

She is currently working on a project<br />

that applies our understanding of<br />

Holocaust-era Jewish victimization to<br />

the emerging European attitudes toward<br />

Muslim immigrants and refugees.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 16



A leading human rights<br />

advocate, Prof. Gavison has<br />

used her brilliant legal mind to<br />

shape Israeli society<br />

Professor Emerita Ruth Gavison<br />

is a world-renowned expert<br />

in jurisprudence, a brilliant<br />

philosopher, and a pivotal figure in the<br />

Israeli public discourse on the relationships<br />

between law and morality, politics and<br />

religions. A leading voice for human rights<br />

and Israeli democracy, she founded and<br />

served as president of Israel’s largest civil<br />

rights organization, the Association for<br />

Civil Rights in Israel. “My whole public<br />

life I have been raising my voice for a<br />

humanistic, liberal, Zionist Israel,” she<br />

reflects.<br />

Gavison, an Israel Prize laureate for<br />

legal research, was first appointed as an<br />

instructor at the Faculty of Law in 1969,<br />

and went on to many prestigious academic<br />

appointments both in Israel and abroad<br />

long before the initial struggles of the<br />

feminist movement left their mark on<br />

Israeli society. She gained recognition for<br />

her notable research on the right to privacy,<br />

freedom of expression and equality<br />

before the law, through her courageous<br />

positions and indefatigable commitment<br />

to excellence. “I never thought that as<br />

a woman more was demanded of me,”<br />

she explains. “The women who were my<br />

colleagues competed as equals. We had<br />

to be good and achieve.”<br />

Her academic work and her public<br />

work, in Israel and abroad, taught her<br />

the urgency, the critical importance, and<br />

the complexities of promoting women’s<br />

equality in modern societies, struggling<br />

between modernity and tradition.<br />

Case in point: In her induction speech<br />

at the Israel Academy of Sciences and<br />

Humanities last December, Gavison took<br />

the unorthodox step of referring to nonspecific<br />

practitioners of law and science<br />

in the feminine, challenging the Hebrew<br />

language’s choice of the male plural as<br />

the default form including both genders.<br />

“My decision to speak in this way reflects<br />

a big difference in the academic and<br />

legal world since I went to school and<br />

became a professor,” she says. “Today<br />

there are men and women players at the<br />

highest levels. This should be reflected<br />

through our language. Such language in<br />

its turn may help increase the presence<br />

of qualified women in them.”<br />



An innovator in computational<br />

biology, Prof. Linial’s research<br />

is enabling life-changing<br />

treatments<br />

When asked to name her<br />

proudest accomplishment,<br />

Prof. Michal Linial, Director<br />

of the University’s Sudarsky Center for<br />

Computational Biology, does not point to<br />

her appointment as President of the Israeli<br />

Institute for Advanced Studies (2012) —<br />

although she is the first woman to hold<br />

this position in the Institute’s 40-year<br />

history. Instead, she recalls the moment<br />

over a decade ago, when she introduced<br />

methods to determine the molecular “age”<br />

of neural tissue and hidden function of<br />

active molecules in the brain and the<br />

immune system. Her technique enabled<br />

her colleague Prof. Marta Weinstock-<br />

Rosin, from the School of Pharmacy, to<br />

test a drug that has the potential to improve<br />

our ability to learn.<br />

During the course of her career, Linial,<br />

a world-renowned expert in neurobiology<br />

and bioinformatics, has created a number<br />

of advanced procedures to understand<br />

the protein-based “signatures” behind<br />

biological functions such as neural<br />

development, neurodegeneration, and even<br />

weight gain associated with diabetes.<br />

Her methodology – which employs<br />

machine learning to classify large amounts<br />

of data – uncovers data points that can<br />

serve as highly accurate predictors for<br />

important biological conditions. For<br />

example, Linial’s systems can help<br />

identify the impact of a drug treatment on<br />

particular patients, or reveal the function<br />

of related families in organisms such<br />

as insects – contributing real value to<br />

both the field of agriculture and disease<br />

control.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />





Shluchei Tzibur: Opportunity Through Community By Shoshana London Sapir<br />

This unique academic program offers a valuable education to ultra-Orthodox students<br />

The growing visibility of ultra-<br />

Orthodox students with their<br />

distinct modest dress code on the<br />

Hebrew University campuses is part<br />

of a quiet revolution: members of this<br />

significant and growing minority are<br />

reaching beyond the boundaries of<br />

their insular community and integrating<br />

into the larger Israeli society. Shluchei<br />

Tzibur, an academic training program<br />

for haredi (Hebrew for ultra-Orthodox)<br />

leaders at the Hebrew University, is<br />

supporting that process by providing<br />

a select group of mid-career haredi<br />

community leaders with the tools,<br />

skills, and support necessary both<br />

to succeed in acquiring an academic<br />

education and to increase their impact<br />

on their community.<br />

Program mastermind, Naomi Perl,<br />

says the ultimate goal is to realize<br />

economic self-sufficiency within haredi<br />

society. Herself a haredi woman and<br />

mother of ten, Perl sees the haredi<br />

community, which is approximately<br />

10% of the Israeli population, as a<br />

large and growing untapped resource<br />

that has the ability to benefit the whole<br />

country. “We have great people but we<br />

don’t have the tools and the language<br />

we need to realize our potential,” she<br />

said.<br />

The program is in its fifth year,<br />

having recruited and trained a group<br />

of 20 haredi men and women each<br />

year and supported them through<br />

mostly graduate degrees in numerous<br />

departments of the University:<br />

economics, medicine, political science,<br />

and genetics. The standard recruit<br />

is in his or her thirties, works in the<br />

community, is raising a family, has<br />

a strong religious education, and has<br />

an idea for a project that will aid the<br />

community.<br />

As director of the Mandel Programs<br />

for Leadership Development in the<br />

Haredi Community at the Mandel<br />

Leadership Institute in Jerusalem,<br />

Perl designed Shluchei Tzibur to fill<br />

in the gaps of a religious education,<br />

familiarize participants with various<br />

aspects of Israeli society, and teach<br />

them leadership skills. Perl’s studies<br />

at the Mandel School for Educational<br />

Leadership helped her cultivate her<br />

vision of leadership and dialogue<br />

for the program. “I have learned<br />

to appreciate how essential these<br />

attributes, along with the investment in<br />

the right people, are for the future of<br />

Israeli society,” she says.<br />

“I explain to applicants that the<br />

program is not to improve your<br />

ability to make a living. It is not to<br />

promote self-realization. It is not to<br />

help you make connections and raise<br />

your income. All of those things will<br />

happen, but that is not the purpose.<br />

The goal is for every dollar invested<br />

in you to return tenfold to the haredi<br />

community,” Perl explains. She says<br />

the program’s 90 participants and<br />

alumni are already making significant<br />

contributions in the haredi community,<br />

from encouraging a greater openness<br />

in the community towards prenatal<br />

genetic testing to revitalizing the<br />

history curriculum in the network of<br />

haredi girls' schools.<br />

Naomi Perl: In tune with the<br />

community<br />

Perl was born in Jerusalem<br />

to “open-minded” Orthodox<br />

European parents. Her mother<br />

was a Holocaust survivor whose own<br />

schooling was cut short by the war,<br />

and who was fiercely determined to<br />

give her daughter the music education<br />

she never had. “She decided to get<br />

a piano for me before I was even<br />

born,” Perl says. Perl continued her<br />

music studies, acquiring bachelors and<br />

masters degrees, and becoming one of<br />

the founders of the first haredi musical<br />

conservatory. Currently a doctoral<br />

student at Hebrew University in the<br />

sociology of education, Perl sees her<br />

situation as similar to that of other<br />

women who work and raise families.<br />

“We as women do our best and always<br />

feel guilty,” she says, even as she<br />

acknowledges her extremely helpful<br />

husband and children.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 18


The Lafer Center for Women and Gender Studies: Advancing Equality By Michal Novetsky*<br />

The first of its kind in Israel, the Center represents women on<br />

campus and beyond<br />

The Lafer Center for Women and<br />

Gender Studies is dedicated to the<br />

advancement of gender studies<br />

within the Hebrew University. Building<br />

on critical feminist thinking, it strives<br />

to use this knowledge to advance<br />

gender equality within both academia<br />

and greater Israeli society.<br />

The first of its kind in Israel,<br />

the Center was established in 1990<br />

by Hebrew University Professors,<br />

Galia Golan and Amia Leiblich,<br />

who envisioned bringing together<br />

feminist academics and social activists<br />

within the formal framework of the<br />

University. Golan and Leiblich had<br />

previously tested the waters a decade<br />

earlier when they launched their<br />

interdisciplinary graduate seminar,<br />

“Women in the Modern World,” with<br />

an ulterior motive: to establish whether<br />

the time was right to initiate a fullscale<br />

women’s studies program. The<br />

overwhelmingly positive feedback<br />

from the seminar proved that there was<br />

indeed a niche at HU waiting to be<br />

filled.<br />

Almost thirty years later, the Center<br />

has had a palpable impact within and<br />

beyond the walls of the University. It<br />

offers introductory BA courses, and<br />

a program in Gender Studies for MA<br />

students, supported by competitive<br />

scholarships. Its courses are taught<br />

by professors specializing in a multidisciplinary<br />

range from the humanities<br />

and social sciences including history,<br />

psychology, and medicine among<br />

others. Prof. Tamar Zilber, one of the<br />

Center’s first scholarship recipients and<br />

now its acting director, explains that<br />

“gender is relevant to every field of<br />

study, as it enriches our understanding<br />

of any individual and collective level<br />

dynamics and processes.” Striving to<br />

put gender and feminist theory into<br />

practice, she is often called upon by<br />

the University to represent the Center<br />

during policy-making processes.<br />

Social Impact<br />

The Center runs conferences<br />

each year that are open to the<br />

public and respond to current<br />

events through a collaborative multidisciplinary<br />

effort. A recent conference<br />

focused on surrogacy – a much<br />

talked about topic in the Israeli media<br />

following the Nepal earthquake in<br />

April 2015.<br />

In recognition of its eminence<br />

in its field, the Council for Higher<br />

Education of Israel and the Planning<br />

and Budgeting Committee recently<br />

awarded the Center a grant to<br />

develop an online course as part of<br />

the Council’s initiative to expand<br />

higher education via technology. Prof.<br />

Zilber will develop and teach the<br />

“Introduction to Feminism,” course as<br />

the Center proves that the time is right<br />

to expand its mission even beyond the<br />

vision of its founders.<br />

* Michal Novetsky is currently completing<br />

her degree at the Hebrew University’s<br />

Faculty of Law.<br />

“I myself was not a scholar of women’s studies (my<br />

own field was Soviet foreign policy); it was purely as a<br />

feminist activist that I undertook this venture… It seems<br />

to me that scholarship on women and gender-related<br />

issues go hand in hand with activism. The academy<br />

offers resources, research, and information, as well as a<br />

platform for activism.”<br />

Galia Golan, Co-Founder of the Lafer Center, Women’s Studies<br />

Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3/4 Vol. 27, No. 3/4, Fall – Winter, 1999<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 19

Profiles<br />

Students<br />

A Glimpse<br />

of the Future<br />

Galit Agmon<br />

Process this: This Ph.D candidate is uncovering<br />

how our brain understands language<br />

Galit Agmon grew up surrounded by academics<br />

in the hard sciences – her father, grandfather,<br />

and uncles were all professors of either math<br />

or physics. Driven by a keen interest in linguistics and<br />

cognitive science, Agmon pursued her studies on the<br />

Hebrew University’s Mt. Scopus Campus. It was only<br />

later in her academic career, when she was giving a talk to<br />

high school girls, that Agmon realized how preconceived<br />

social norms and gender stereotypes had discouraged<br />

her – and other women – from perusing the sciences.<br />

Now as a Ph.D candidate at the Edmond and Lily Safra<br />

Center for Brain Sciences, Agmon researches how the<br />

human brain processes linguistic quantifiers – words<br />

such as: ̔few’, ̔many’, ̔more’, and ̔less’. Using behavioral<br />

techniques, Agmon and her advisors demonstrate the<br />

cognitive importance of specific logical properties in the<br />

processing of natural language quantifiers. In the future,<br />

Agmon hopes to link this phenomenon to specific regions<br />

in the brain using fMRI-based studies. Relating to her own<br />

experience, she has founded ̔Common Ground’, a studentrun<br />

organization that provides gender education workshops<br />

to raise awareness of gender stereotypes.<br />

Shirin Lotfi<br />

An Iranian native and aspiring diplomat flourishes<br />

in multi-cultural Jerusalem<br />

Shirin Lotfi, a graduate student at Hebrew University’s<br />

Rothberg International School, is an aspiring<br />

diplomat whose ambition is to bridge the gaps<br />

between the West and the Middle East. Born in Tehran,<br />

Lotfi and her family moved back and forth between Tehran<br />

and the U.S. before finally settling in California.<br />

Familiar with five languages and fluent in three of them,<br />

Lotfi is of mixed Jewish and Moslem heritage, she earned<br />

her BA in political science and international security at<br />

the University of Washington. “I always wanted to attend<br />

Hebrew University,” she says, “because where better<br />

to study Middle Eastern Studies than Jerusalem? I can<br />

practice my Arabic while improving my Hebrew. I can go<br />

to church on Sundays, mosque on Fridays, and synagogue<br />

on Saturdays and mingle with the locals.”<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


Students maximizing<br />

their potential<br />

Estefania Brasil<br />

Originally from South America, this Glocal student is<br />

now helping asylum seekers in Tel Aviv get on their feet<br />

Estefania Brasil, an MA student originally from<br />

Uruguay, knew little about Israel when she moved<br />

here and selected the Hebrew University’s Glocal<br />

Community-Development Studies program to add a<br />

second degree to her BA in economics. Calling Glocal’s<br />

MA program “the most practical academic program there<br />

is,” Brasil jumped at the chance to work in different<br />

environments with a diverse groups of peers while<br />

developing skills from Glocal that aim to improve and<br />

save lives around the world.<br />

Her studies at Glocal opened up a job with Microfy, an<br />

NGO in south Tel Aviv that helps African asylum seekers<br />

in Israel become self-supporting by offering refugees<br />

business training, consultations, and small loans.<br />

Brasil is eager to continue her studies when she<br />

graduates from Glocal this year. She dreams of getting a<br />

Ph.D in economics at the Hebrew University — “with a<br />

scholarship,” she adds hopefully — and one day working<br />

with the Israeli government to improve life in Israel.<br />

Moriyah Rosenfeld<br />

A Schulich Leader is inspiring young scientists to<br />

reach for the moon<br />

Within the span of one month, Moriya Rosenfeld<br />

finished her Israeli army service, married, and<br />

began her studies in electrical engineering at the<br />

Hebrew University. A high school physics major and a tech<br />

specialist in one of the IDF’s Intelligence units, Rosenfeld<br />

found herself as one of only 16 women among over a<br />

hundred students in her department.<br />

A recipient of one of the competitive Schulich<br />

Leadership Scholarships, Rosenfeld was obligated to<br />

volunteer in the local community as a requirement for<br />

her scholarship. In 2007, Google launched Lunar X, an<br />

international competition challenging private entities<br />

to launch a satellite to the moon. Rosenfeld joined the<br />

education initiative of SpaceIL — the Israeli affiliate<br />

of Lunar X — hoping to spark the imaginations of<br />

schoolchildren and inspire their interest in science.<br />

Rosenfeld notes that women role models are essential in<br />

creating gender equality in her field. “This year we had two<br />

female teaching assistants,” she says enthusiastically. “My<br />

female classmates and I realized that these are the classes<br />

where we are the most focused and involved. The women<br />

teaching assistants make us feel like it is possible to juggle<br />

it all.”<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 21

CAMPUS<br />


Campus Tour:<br />

Our Hidden Treasures<br />

1<br />

6<br />

2<br />

Mount Scopus Campus<br />

by Shoshana London Sapir<br />

Nobody knows the nooks, crannies, and secret spaces on<br />

Hebrew University’s six campuses quite like University<br />

Curator Michal Mor. With over 2,000 pieces of university<br />

art to showcase, she is constantly on the lookout for areas<br />

that can be transformed to reflect on the University’s history<br />

and to illuminate its profound connections: art to science;<br />

the past to the present; and the campus to the surrounding<br />

community.<br />

“I use art to create unexpected connections, to tell the<br />

untold stories and to give new perspectives to the familiar ones,” she explains.<br />

Drawing on her 20 years’ experience as a curator and informal educator at the Israel<br />

Museum, she has facilitated a number of exhibits that highlight the contributions of<br />

women to the University, Israeli science, and culture.<br />

Tucked into the corridors among the oversized pictures of our finest researchers, donor plaques, and our beloved images of<br />

University founder Albert Einstein – Mor explores with us the lesser-known treasures that pay homage to the University’s great<br />

women: Come and join the tour!<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 22

The Leah Goldberg Corner<br />

This is one of my favorite corners at the University<br />

– set up to commemorate the 100th birthday of<br />

renowned poet Leah Goldberg (1911-1970), one of<br />

Israel’s most prolific Hebrew-language poets, authors,<br />

playwrights, literary translators, and comparative literary<br />

researchers. Prof. Leah Goldberg was a faculty member<br />

at the Hebrew University for twenty years, where she<br />

established and headed the Department of Comparative<br />

Literature for over a decade. A small lounge honoring<br />

her life’s works sits at the entrance to the Bloomfield<br />

Library for The Humanities and Social Sciences. Three<br />

book-shaped wall panels display pages from her diary,<br />

correspondences with friends and acquaintances, as well<br />

as pictures that give visitors a chronological glimpse into<br />

the distinct periods of her life: her childhood in Lithuania,<br />

her life as a bohemian in Tel Aviv, and finally, her calmer<br />

days as a professor at Hebrew University.<br />

Also featured are recordings of Goldberg’s most famous<br />

poems – read by Goldberg and set to music – along<br />

with recordings of well-known Israeli songs composed<br />

to her lyrics.<br />

1<br />

Leah Goldberg in<br />

her younger years;<br />

Photo: Douglas<br />

Gordon<br />

The display incorporates original books and copies of her<br />

manuscripts as well as actual items from her office at the<br />

University: chairs, a desk and a bookcase<br />

Photo: Douglas Gordon<br />

Bina Gvirtz Stekelis Display<br />

Our next exhibition is dedicated to the groundbreaking<br />

and delightful collection of Bina Gvirtz Stekelis,<br />

famed children’s illustrator. Gvirtz illustrated<br />

more than 300 books, including her most celebrated<br />

drawings for the textbook series Alfoni and Al Ha’arnevet<br />

by Israeli National Poet Hayim Nahman Bialik. Situated<br />

at the entrance to the Seymour Fox School of Education,<br />

the exhibition presents a collection of her illustrations on<br />

the Holocaust, Zionism and settlement, Israel’s wars, and<br />

heroes of the Bible. Gvirtz captured reality alongside a<br />

world of fantasy in illustrations that have long charmed<br />

young viewers and adults alike, and are considered integral<br />

to the collective memory of the Israeli childhood.<br />

Born in Poland, Gvirtz studied art in Germany and<br />

moved to Jerusalem with her parents and sister in 1935.<br />

Initially, she illustrated fairy tales and translated literature<br />

(from European languages) in a restrained European<br />

style. After her marriage in 1939 to Prof. Moshe Stekelis,<br />

researcher and director of the Institute of Archaeology at<br />

the Hebrew University, she molded her works to reflect<br />

the life and culture of Israeli society.<br />

2<br />

Gvirtz used a variety of techniques to create her images. Before<br />

technological advances in computer-generated printing led to a<br />

shift in her creative style, she used many layers of paper to create<br />

her visual richness. Photo: Guy Yechiely<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


3<br />

Henry Moore: Draped Seated Woman, 1958<br />

The open spaces of the Edmond J. Safra campus allow for the<br />

display of more dominant structures like Henry Moore’s massive<br />

bronze sculpture of a “draped seated woman” that welcomes<br />

visitors to the campus’s main lawn. A noted English sculptor, Moore<br />

is known for his semi-abstract monumental figures that typically<br />

depict a mother and child or reclining figures. Draped Seated Woman<br />

features a 1.6 ton female with a small head and undefined facial<br />

features to merge the effect between actual representation and an<br />

abstraction of the female body. The shape of the sculpture invites<br />

its viewers to recline in the statue’s embrace.<br />

The figure’s reclining position was inspired by a pre-Columbian<br />

sculpture that Moore saw in Paris in 1925, and its drapery – designed<br />

to convey femininity – was inspired by classic Greek sculpture<br />

form. The Hebrew University owns one of the seven casts that<br />

were made from the sculpture.<br />

Photo: Vered Singer<br />

The figure has a fountain which flows from her belly<br />

button, referring to her connection to the womb, and<br />

the ̔endless’ loop of life. Photo: Flash 90<br />

4<br />

Sigalit Landau: Standing on a<br />

Watermelon, 2009<br />

Standing on a<br />

Watermelon, by<br />

3 4<br />

Sigalit Landau,<br />

hides in the Anna Freud<br />

Garden not far from<br />

5<br />

Moore’s draped woman<br />

on the Safra Campus. I<br />

find the piece especially<br />

moving because Landau<br />

dedicated the statue to her mother,<br />

and donated it to the University in her<br />

memory. Landau’s father, Simcha Landau, is Prof. Emeritus of<br />

Criminology and her sister, Dr. Ayelet Landau (see page 15), is a<br />

researcher at the Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience.<br />

It was important for Landau – who grew up playing on the campus<br />

with her brother and sister (often all over Moore’s piece) – that<br />

her mother also have her own place on the campus. The statue<br />

is appropriately located in the garden named after her mother’s<br />

childhood friend, Anna, daughter of famed psychiatrist Sigmund<br />

Freud.<br />

Landau is a contemporary Israeli artist, specializing in works<br />

that bridge opposite concepts such as “the past to the future; the<br />

west to the east; the private with the collective.” The daughter of<br />

Viennese refugees, her work has been displayed in many prestigious<br />

international galleries including the Israel Museum, the Pompidou<br />

Center in Paris, and the New York Museum of Modern Art.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


Artist in Residence: Nivi Alroy<br />

Our next stop is not a specific piece, but rather the artist<br />

herself. Nivi Alroy is this year’s artist in residence in an<br />

unexpected place: The Faculty of Science. The Faculty<br />

hosts artists as part of the campus vision to create interdisciplinary<br />

collaborations and encourage breakthroughs in both art and<br />

science. “We hope to encourage scientists to ̔think outside<br />

of the box’ and to introduce artists to new materials such as<br />

nanotechnology and other far-reaching ideas that will allow them<br />

to expand their artistic pursuits,” Prof. Idan Segev, a neuroscientist<br />

in ELSC, explains.<br />

Alroy is a multidisciplinary artist who combines drawing,<br />

sculpture, architectural structures, video, and animation. She is<br />

the third artist and the first woman in the program. Working from<br />

a studio on the Safra campus, she explains, “I am fascinated by<br />

attempts to mold time and turn it into a nonlinear dimension.” A<br />

graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, Alroy has won<br />

many awards for her work, including the Ahuvi Most Promising<br />

Artist award, the Frida E. Issiccoff Alumni award, the Mifal Hapais<br />

grant, the Rabinovich grant, Tel Aviv Special Projects grant, and<br />

a Two Trees studio<br />

grant. “Since my<br />

work explores<br />

boundaries,<br />

invasion, infiltration,<br />

and expansion, I<br />

would love to create<br />

more two-way diffusion<br />

between the laboratories<br />

and the studio,” she<br />

says.<br />

Edmond J. Safra Campus<br />

5<br />

6<br />

Multi-disciplinary artwork by Alroy<br />

Motherhood: Alberto de la Vega, 1958<br />

Finally, we make our way back to Mt. Scopus where we find<br />

Motherhood, by Mexican artist Alberto de la Vega perched<br />

on a terrace of the campus's outer wall and overlooking<br />

the breathtaking panorama of Jerusalem. The black granite<br />

sculpture, inspired both by sculptor Henry Moore and local<br />

Mexican folk art, the massive piece contains no hollow spaces<br />

and encompasses a mother embracing her son in a single rounded<br />

representation of a reclining woman’s body. The image represents<br />

the soft Mother Earth that embraces her baby and the spectator<br />

as a single unit.<br />

Photo: Guy Yechiely<br />

To see more of our campuses, please contact our<br />

Visitor's Center at huvisitors@savion.huji.ac.il<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


CAMPUS<br />

World of Friends<br />


Dear Friends,<br />

The Hebrew University’s<br />

Supporters and Friends<br />

Associations across the<br />

globe have been integral<br />

partners in its development<br />

since its founding. In these<br />

pages you will meet the<br />

individuals who actively<br />

support the University and its<br />

mission across six different<br />

continents.<br />

In following with the<br />

theme of this year’s Scopus<br />

magazine, we especially<br />

want to recognize the<br />

impressive women who<br />

have brought strength, vigor,<br />

and grace to the Hebrew<br />

University.<br />

We are indebted to all of<br />

our supporters for their<br />

volunteerism, longstanding<br />

generosity, and unswerving<br />

advocacy of our mission to<br />

help ensure that the Hebrew<br />

University continues to<br />

thrive and to contribute to<br />

a better Israeli society and<br />

global community.<br />

Ambassador Yossi Gal<br />

Vice President for Advancement<br />

and External Relations<br />

The American Friends of The Hebrew University:<br />

Annual Leadership Education Forum the<br />

American Friends’ Annual Leadership Education<br />

Forum in Palm Beach showcased recent University<br />

achievements and innovations. University faculty and<br />

other leading experts discussed Middle East affairs,<br />

national security, and recent medical and scientific<br />

breakthroughs.<br />

From left: Stanley<br />

Bogen, University<br />

Governor and<br />

American Friends’<br />

Honorary President<br />

and Honorary<br />

Chairman,<br />

Ambassador Yossi<br />

Gal, University Vice<br />

President for Advancement and External Relations;<br />

and Ambassador Stuart Bernstein.<br />

Capehart Photography<br />

The Palm Beach Scopus Award Gala honoring<br />

Michelle and Joseph Jacobs<br />

University Benefactors Joseph and Michelle Jacobs<br />

(center) accepted American Friends’ National Scopus<br />

Award from University President Professor Menahem<br />

Ben-Sasson (left), and American Friends’ National<br />

Chairman, Michael Kurtz (right), during a festive<br />

night in the desertthemed<br />

gala in<br />

Palm Beach. Funds<br />

raised benefited<br />

the construction<br />

of the Palm Beach<br />

Courtyard at<br />

the University’s<br />

Edmond and Lily<br />

Safra Center for<br />

Brain Sciences.<br />

Capehart Photography<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 26

The Bel Air Affaire and Humanitarian Torch of<br />

Learning Award Tribute<br />

Leading real estate developer Albert Sweet received the<br />

Humanitarian Torch of Learning Award at the American<br />

Friends’ annual Bel Air Affaire scholarship fundraiser in<br />

Los Angeles. The dazzling event was supported for the<br />

eighth consecutive year by Brindell Gottlieb, University<br />

Benefactor, Associate Governor and Honorary Doctorate<br />

recipient, and American Friends’ National Board Member<br />

and Western Region President.<br />

From left: Albert Sweet with business partner, Craig<br />

Darian.<br />

The Harvey L. Silbert Torch of Learning Award Dinner<br />

honoring Jonathan Anschell and Dick Volpert<br />

During a celebratory dinner in Beverly Hills, the American<br />

Friends presented the Harvey L. Silbert Torch of Learning<br />

Award to attorneys Jonathan Anschell, Executive VP and<br />

General Counsel of CBS Television and Friends’ Western<br />

Region Board Member, and Dick Volpert, Senior Partner<br />

at Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP. The<br />

evening’s proceeds went toward the University’s Faculty<br />

of Law.<br />

Below: Jonathan Anschell<br />

Robert Lurie<br />

Below: Renae Jacobs-Anson, University Governor,<br />

Western Region Vice President and event Co-Chair,<br />

Brindell Gottlieb and Helen Jacobs-Lepor, National and<br />

Western Region Board Member and event Co-Chair.<br />

Robert Lurie<br />

Robert Lurie Robert Lurie<br />

Below: Mr. Volpert’s children and Zev Yaroslavsky<br />

(center) accept the award on Mr. Volpert’s behalf<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 27

The European Friends of The Hebrew University:<br />

The new Vice President<br />

of the Hebrew University,<br />

former Israeli Ambassador<br />

to France, Yossi Gal, returns<br />

to Paris for an intimate<br />

dinner hosted by Anne Marie<br />

Mitterand and the Board of<br />

the French Friends of the<br />

Hebrew University.<br />

The British Friends of The Hebrew University:<br />

Sam Leek QC,<br />

member of the BFHU<br />

legal committee,<br />

received a limited<br />

edition Zadok Ben-<br />

David statuette of<br />

Albert Einstein,<br />

presented by<br />

Committee chair,<br />

Lord Pannick QC.<br />

The Australian Friends of The Hebrew University:<br />

Marcel<br />

Landesmann,<br />

the new<br />

President of<br />

the Austrian<br />

Friends of<br />

The Hebrew<br />

University,<br />

hosted<br />

the friends’ dinner gala with keynote Speaker Josef<br />

Ostermayer, the Austrian Minister of Culture.<br />

The 9 th European Conference of the The Hebrew University<br />

of Jerusalem, “Explorers of Knowledge for the Benefit<br />

of Humanity”<br />

was held in<br />

Berlin in<br />

April, bringing<br />

together<br />

175 friends<br />

from across<br />

Europe. The<br />

participants<br />

gathered to<br />

learn more about the ongoing collaborations between HU<br />

and their European counterparts on important topics such<br />

as Feeding the World, Healing the World and Innovation<br />

for Progress.<br />

Professor Shy Arkin, Vice President for Research and<br />

Development at the Hebrew University, presented the<br />

prestigious Torch of Learning to The Hon Julie Bishop MP,<br />

Australia’s Minister<br />

for Foreign Affairs.<br />

Minister Bishop<br />

received the award<br />

in recognition of her<br />

role in supporting<br />

Israel in the UN<br />

and in denouncing<br />

unequivocally those<br />

who support boycotts of Israel.<br />

From left: Australian Friends’ State President for NSW<br />

Michael Dunkel, Prof. Arkin, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Mr<br />

Harry Triguboff AO PhD (Hon) HU, and Australian Friends’<br />

Federal President and University Honorary Fellow, Robert<br />

Simons OAM.<br />

A boardroom lunch<br />

was hosted for<br />

members of the<br />

Australian Friends<br />

in Victoria in<br />

honor of the visit<br />

of Professor Shy<br />

Arkin, Vice President<br />

for Research and<br />

Development at the<br />

Hebrew University.<br />

From left: Australian Friends’ Executive Director for<br />

Victoria Eitan Drori, Australia’s Minister for Industry,<br />

Innovation and Science The Hon Christopher Pyne MP,<br />

Victorian Friends’ Patron Lady Anna Cowen, Prof. Arkin<br />

and Victorian Friends’ President Grahame Leonard AM.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 28

The Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University:<br />

Chelsea Clinton delivered<br />

the keynote address at the<br />

Einstein Legacy Awards, a<br />

gala hosted by the Canadian<br />

Friends’ Toronto chapter<br />

in honor of a select group<br />

of exemplary Canadian<br />

philanthropic families who<br />

have “demonstrated values,<br />

vision, social responsibility<br />

and a passion for education.”<br />

From left: Einstein Legacy<br />

Awards event Co-Chair Judy<br />

Nathan Bronfman, keynote speaker Chelsea Clinton, and<br />

event Co-Chair Karen Simpson-Radomski.<br />

Canadian Friends’<br />

Montreal chapter<br />

presented the<br />

Scopus Award to<br />

Alvin Segal OC,<br />

OQ. Proceeds<br />

from the dinner<br />

benefited brain<br />

research at<br />

The Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, and<br />

Revivim, a Jewish Studies teacher training program.<br />

From left: Hebrew University President Menahem Ben-<br />

Sasson, Emmelle and Alvin Segal, CFHU Montreal chapter<br />

President Ari Brojde, and CFHU President & CEO Rami<br />

Kleinmann.<br />

Several hundred<br />

members of the<br />

Canadian Friends’<br />

Vancouver<br />

community<br />

gathered in May to<br />

celebrate 90 years<br />

of excellence<br />

at the Hebrew<br />

University and to raise scholarship funds for its “soldierstudents<br />

from IDF's Duvdevan Elite Unit.”<br />

From left: CFHU National Vice President Phil Switzer,<br />

CFHU past National Chair Nathan Lindenberg, and CFHU<br />

Vancouver chapter President Randy Milner.<br />

The Latin American Friends of The Hebrew<br />

University:<br />

The twenty-eighth annual<br />

Punta del Este Symposium<br />

organized by the<br />

University’s Argentinian<br />

and Uruguayan Friends<br />

was hosted one more time<br />

by Mr. James Shasha, University benefactor and Honorary<br />

recipient at the Grand Hotel.<br />

From left to right: Mrs. Vail Shasha; Dr. Emilio Cárdenas;<br />

Mr. James Shasha; Ambassador Yossi Gal and<br />

Dr. Isidoro Kepel, President of the Argentinian Friends.<br />

The Brazilian Friends<br />

honored Brazilian Minister<br />

Nelson Jobim, for his ties<br />

to the Brazilian Jewish<br />

community and for his<br />

personal and political<br />

efforts in defense of the Jewish people.<br />

From left: Mr. Edu Pollak, Director of Advancement and<br />

Public Relations for Latin America, Spain and Portugal;<br />

Minister Nelson Jobim; Prof. Ronnie Friedman, Ron<br />

Barbaro Chair in Veterinary Medicine at the Hebrew<br />

University, and Mr. Jayme Blay, President of the Brazilian<br />

Friends.<br />

Israeli Friends of The Hebrew University<br />

The Israeli Friends of the<br />

Hebrew University hosted<br />

the “Alumni Lead the Path<br />

to a New Reality” event.<br />

Standing from right:<br />

Professor Shy Arkin, Vice President for Research and<br />

Development at the Hebrew University, Prof. Ronnie<br />

Friedman, Rector Asher Cohen, President Menahem<br />

Ben-Sasson, Vice-President and Director-General, Billy<br />

Shapira, Member of Knesset (MK) Manuel Trajtenberg.<br />

Sitting from right: MK Abraham Nagosa, MK Kasnya<br />

Savtlova, MK Benny Begin, Israel’s Ambassador to the<br />

United Nations Danny Danon, and MK Omer Barlev.<br />

The Neuman Prize for<br />

Hebrew Literature was<br />

awarded to poet Meir<br />

Wieseltier for his life’s<br />

work.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 29

ALUMNI<br />


Our Alumni<br />

Where Аre They Now?<br />

Tamar Yassur, Vice-President<br />

& Head of Digital Banking,<br />

Bank Leumi<br />

A<br />

silver sculpture of two willowy<br />

ballerinas is poised on a wide<br />

shelf in Tamar Yassur’s office<br />

at Bank Leumi. Yassur is the first<br />

Executive Vice President and Head of<br />

the Digital Banking Division at Bank<br />

Leumi as well as Chairperson of the<br />

Board of Leumi Card. Twice a week<br />

she briefly escapes from her relentless<br />

daily schedule to dance – classical<br />

ballet infused with modern elements –<br />

“a style created by the world-renowned<br />

Rina Schenfeld,” explains Yassur.<br />

Still exuberating energy and<br />

enthusiasm near the end of a long<br />

work day, she describes her present<br />

roles within Bank Leumi, as “a daily<br />

learning curve requiring critical<br />

decisions to be made at every<br />

meeting.” At the moment, she is<br />

spearheading an initiative to develop a<br />

full digital bank by the end of <strong>2016</strong><br />

The digital future, she explains,<br />

provides the possibility for “nanopersonalization”<br />

of products: “the right<br />

product, in the right place, at the right<br />

time, at the right price.”<br />

She is the clear voice of a marketing<br />

professional, a career that she has been<br />

engaged in since graduating from the<br />

Hebrew University with an MBA.<br />

Prior to enrolling at HU, Yassur had no<br />

interest in entering commerce. “I had<br />

thought I’d be a scientist...a chemist or<br />

microbiologist, but when I heard that<br />

the University was initiating a new<br />

double major that sounded exciting, I<br />

changed tracks,” she explains.<br />

In 1991 she became the first woman<br />

CEO of the Jerusalem-based Kol Ha’ir<br />

newspaper. From there she has climbed<br />

the corporate ladder, never feeling<br />

that she encountered any difficulties<br />

by being a woman in what used to be<br />

a male-dominated environment. That<br />

said, she notes that “for the past ten<br />

years, banking has become completely<br />

open to women,” and this, she feels,<br />

has been an important development<br />

“because of the diversity and balance<br />

women bring to an organization.”<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />


Anat Levine, Director of<br />

Finance, Clal Insurance<br />

Back in 1989, as a young mother<br />

with an MBA in hand, Anat<br />

Levine dreamed of making a<br />

big name for herself in Israeli finance.<br />

Today, as second to the CEO of the<br />

Clal Insurance Company and the<br />

Head of the Division for Investments,<br />

Funding, and Finance – it’s Levine’s<br />

reality.<br />

Levine received both her BA and<br />

MBA at the Hebrew University before<br />

entering the finance industry. She<br />

credits the University with giving her<br />

the professional language that she still<br />

employs to this day. “I learned not to<br />

settle for the simple solutions,” she<br />

says, “but to search for the creative and<br />

harder to execute, but more worthwhile<br />

answers.” Most importantly, however,<br />

Levine experienced genuine lifework<br />

balance at HU where she found<br />

both intellectual fulfillments and an<br />

incredibly supportive group of friends<br />

(including her husband).<br />

As second-in-command to the CEO,<br />

Levine inspires and manages teams<br />

of hundreds of employees. To young<br />

women looking to emulate her success,<br />

she offers the following, “I’d give<br />

them the same advice I would give<br />

anyone at the beginning of their career;<br />

choose your mentors well, and work in<br />

a place where failure doesn’t stop you<br />

but drives you forward. Always try to<br />

bring creative thinking to the table and<br />

always do the best you can do without<br />

compromising.”<br />

Charlotte Parker, Public<br />

Relations Specialist<br />

Today, Charlotte Parker is<br />

considered one of the premiere<br />

public relations specialists in<br />

the United States, but in 1968 she<br />

was Charlotte Adler and was looking<br />

forward with anticipation to spending<br />

her junior year abroad at the Hebrew<br />

University. It did not disappoint.<br />

“Hebrew University introduced<br />

me to people from all over the world<br />

and helped me embark on a lifelong<br />

love affair with Israel,” Parker says.<br />

She returned to HU for a master’s<br />

program in 1973, and despite tragically<br />

losing her cousin that year in the Yom<br />

Kippur War, she has maintained a close<br />

connection to Israel.<br />

Parker now serves as President of<br />

Parker Public Relations, a firm that<br />

specializes in image making and public<br />

relations crisis management where<br />

she finds “every day is an adventure.”<br />

Adventure is no stranger to Parker, who<br />

hitchhiked through Israel with a friend<br />

and her guitar on her back in 1969.<br />

“I use the skills acquired from my<br />

experiences at Hebrew University, both<br />

in the classroom and beyond, virtually<br />

every day. More than anything, HU<br />

helped give me the confidence to<br />

express my personality through my<br />

work. I made friends there that remain<br />

among my closest to this day.”<br />

Parker began her career in motion<br />

picture publicity, where she was<br />

noticed early on for her talent and<br />

intuition. Profiled in The Columbia<br />

Journalism Review, she has appeared<br />

as a media image analyst on CNN,<br />

MSNBC and the E! Channel. Parker<br />

specializes in creating media profiles<br />

and public images for her clients, both<br />

corporate and personal, which have<br />

included Arnold Schwarzenegger,<br />

Planet Hollywood, and Fitness<br />

Publisher and icon Joe Weider. In<br />

addition to her professional work,<br />

she serves on the boards of two<br />

philanthropic organizations: the Bruce<br />

Lee Foundation and Operation Unity,<br />

which sends inner city kids to spend<br />

time in Israel.<br />

“A lot of college-age women ask<br />

me for career advice. I tell them:<br />

be genuinely interested in other<br />

people. Everyone is important. Have<br />

confidence, but don’t forget to treat<br />

everyone as a human being. When<br />

someone is at their lowest point,<br />

that’s the time to show support.”<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 31

Dr. Judith Richter,<br />

CEO Medinol Ltd.<br />

At the northeastern reaches of<br />

Tel Aviv, on the top floor of the<br />

highest tower block, are the<br />

offices of Medinol – Israel’s largest<br />

privately-owned medical device<br />

company, and a world-leader in the<br />

field of coronary stents, devices used<br />

for treating coronary heart disease.<br />

There, CEO Dr. Judith Richter has a<br />

view from the Mediterranean Sea to<br />

the hills of Jerusalem, situating her,<br />

physically and emotionally, in the heart<br />

of Israel.<br />

Born in Czechoslovakia to<br />

Holocaust survivors, Richter arrived<br />

in Israel with her parents and grew<br />

up in an immigrant neighborhood of<br />

Tel Aviv, where “having parents with<br />

numbers tattooed on their arms was<br />

the norm,” she says. Being raised as<br />

the daughter of survivors shaped her<br />

worldview from an early age, and<br />

influenced by her parent’s dictum that<br />

“what you have studied, no one can<br />

take away from you,” she excelled in<br />

her education.<br />

While serving as an officer in the<br />

Israeli Air Force, she met Kobi, her<br />

future husband and business partner.<br />

She chose to study psychology at<br />

the Hebrew University, subsequently<br />

completing her Masters’ program there<br />

under the supervision of 2002 Nobel<br />

Prize laureate, Daniel Kahneman. In<br />

parallel, she served in the Israeli Air<br />

Force for several years (civilian rank<br />

Major) where she first developed the<br />

selection procedure for air cadets, and<br />

then initiated and headed the unit for<br />

managerial development of pilots and<br />

air crews.<br />

After completing her Ph.D in<br />

organizational psychology at Boston<br />

University, Dr. Richter pursued her<br />

academic career in the Graduate<br />

School of Business Administration.<br />

In 1992 she founded Medinol<br />

and Medcon, companies engaged in<br />

the development of cardiovascular<br />

intervention systems, and since then<br />

has been an active board member of<br />

several medical device companies. “I<br />

have always felt that the struggle for<br />

everything I wanted to achieve was not<br />

as a woman, but as a person,” she adds.<br />

Dr. Judith Richter and her family<br />

sponsor a variety of activities in the<br />

arts and humanities, sports, music and<br />

women in Israel.<br />

For Richter, her extensive charitable<br />

work, and the products manufactured<br />

by her company are the daily<br />

fulfillment of her parents’ vision, “We<br />

always need to find ways to make the<br />

world better.”<br />

Dr. Richter is a<br />

member of<br />

Executive<br />

Committee<br />

of the<br />

Board of<br />

Governors.<br />

Maxine Fassberg,<br />

CEO Intel Israel<br />

In 2014, the State of Israel recognized<br />

Maxine Fassberg’s extraordinary<br />

accomplishments by selecting her<br />

for one of the country’s major honors<br />

— lighting a beacon at the national<br />

Independence Day ceremony. As<br />

the CEO of Intel Israel, Fassberg is<br />

the woman behind the technological<br />

breakthroughs of the company, which<br />

designs and manufactures chips that<br />

power smartphones, tablets, and<br />

laptops around the globe. “Our offices<br />

here are considered one of Intel’s best<br />

in research and development,” she<br />

says, “and I’m very proud to lead Intel<br />

in Israel.”<br />

Fassberg graduated from the<br />

Hebrew University in 1978 with a<br />

BSc in Physics and Chemistry and<br />

an MSc in Applied Chemistry.<br />

Today she runs the Hebrew<br />

University’s Alumni Association,<br />

and she credits the University for<br />

providing her with the knowledge<br />

base that was fundamental to<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 32

her career trajectory. After working as<br />

a teacher for several years, she sought<br />

to expand her professional horizons.<br />

Confident that her education had<br />

prepared her for the rigorous demands<br />

of engineering, industry, and business<br />

management, Fassberg sent her resume<br />

to Intel.<br />

That was thirty years ago when<br />

women were still a rarity in the world<br />

of hi-tech. When Intel sent her to the<br />

U.S. for initial training, one of her<br />

fellow engineers politely asked her<br />

whose wife she was; her mother-inlaw<br />

was concerned that she wouldn’t<br />

be home to cook dinner every night.<br />

Nevertheless, Fassberg has been<br />

a sterling success at juggling her<br />

personal and professional lives. At<br />

the same time, as Intel’s CEO she is<br />

constantly aware of the need to forge<br />

new opportunities for women in the<br />

world of hi-tech.<br />

“Intel actively tries to recruit<br />

new female talent,” she points out.<br />

“Corporations are slowly starting<br />

to wake up to the fact that they are<br />

missing out on female talent. They’re<br />

adapting their thinking to mine<br />

at Intel.” Which is to say, what’s<br />

important to the company is not how<br />

many hours a woman works at her job,<br />

but what she accomplishes when she’s<br />

there.<br />

“As a female CEO,” she admits,<br />

“I am one of very few in my field.”<br />

To get as far as she’s gotten, to leave<br />

a feminist mark on the business<br />

and science culture of Israel, she<br />

knows well that any woman must be<br />

extremely determined, “But,” she<br />

adds, “that doesn’t mean you have to<br />

sacrifice your family life.”<br />

Maxine Fassberg has sat on the Board<br />

of Governors for the past six years,<br />

and she is Chairperson of the Alumni<br />

Association.<br />

Zeruya Shalev, Internationally<br />

Acclaimed Author<br />

Zeruya Shalev’s earliest childhood<br />

memories are of her father<br />

reading her nightly bedtime<br />

stories from the Hebrew Bible. Forever<br />

bonded to its narratives, Shalev went<br />

on to earn her BA and MA in Bible<br />

Studies from The Hebrew University.<br />

Today, the beauty of the Hebrew<br />

Bible’s language and its compelling<br />

storylines inform the very essence<br />

of Shalev’s present-day writings.<br />

An internationally acclaimed author,<br />

Shalev’s books explore the intimacies<br />

and emotional complexities of human<br />

relationships – “a fusion of present<br />

experience and traditional stories,”<br />

explains Shalev.<br />

Although Shalev’s novels have been<br />

translated into 25 languages, it is in<br />

Hebrew that she finds her authentic<br />

voice. “It is compelling to be writing<br />

in this ancient, holy language, with the<br />

knowledge that King David could have<br />

read what I have written,” she explains.<br />

For Shalev, who was named after the<br />

sister of this iconic Jewish king, the<br />

link feels almost familial.<br />

Love Life, the first of Shalev’s six<br />

novels, was published within a decade<br />

of her finishing her studies, to much<br />

international acclaim and awards. It<br />

was ranked one of the 20 best novels<br />

in the past 40 years by the German<br />

newspaper, Der Spiegel and it spent<br />

four months as Israel’s best-selling<br />

novel. Other highly celebrated books<br />

exploring universal truths about<br />

the human condition soon followed<br />

including, Thera and The Remains of<br />

Love, which won France’s prestigious<br />

literary Femina Prize in 2014.<br />

Shalev’s most recent novel, Pain,<br />

published just last year, poignantly<br />

follows the survivor of a terrorist<br />

bombing, something with which<br />

Shalev is all too familiar. She was<br />

caught in the blast and carnage of<br />

the Egged #19 bus that was blown<br />

up in 2004 by a suicide bomber in<br />

Jerusalem’s Rechavia neighborhood.<br />

Injured and confined to her bed for<br />

many months, the experience haunted<br />

her and she found herself unable to<br />

write. Pain ultimately offers catharsis<br />

for her protagonists, her readers, and<br />

even Shalev herself. Shalev’s global<br />

readership is testimony to her powerful<br />

understanding of human behavior,<br />

and her ability to unleash emotional<br />

experiences that transcend culture and<br />

history.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 33

Pamela Nadler Emmerich,<br />

Humanitarian & Benefactor<br />

When Pamela Nadler Emmerich<br />

first decided to attend Hebrew<br />

University as a freshman in<br />

1974, as part of a first year program<br />

abroad, she didn’t know what she<br />

wanted to study, but she did recall<br />

that the principal of her Orthodox day<br />

school had warned her against taking<br />

courses in Bible or archaeology at<br />

a secular university. “So naturally, I<br />

veered towards those classes,” she<br />

admits. “Having the opportunity to<br />

study Jewish philosophy with David<br />

Hartman, the history and archaeology<br />

of Jerusalem with Lee Levine, biblical<br />

texts with Nechama Leibowitz, and<br />

the history of the First and Second<br />

Temple Periods with Isaiah Gafni,<br />

changed my perception of Judaism and<br />

my appreciation of what it means to be<br />

Jewish,” she explains.<br />

Crediting her professors at the<br />

Hebrew University with fostering<br />

her curiosity and teaching her to trust<br />

her intellectual instincts, Pamela<br />

notes, “During the course of the year<br />

I learned how to think for myself,<br />

and gained a sense of academic selfconfidence.<br />

As a Jew, I learned to<br />

appreciate our history, scholarship and<br />

accomplishments. The existence of the<br />

Hebrew University is a testament to the<br />

will of the Jewish people to learn, and<br />

to the power of the human mind and<br />

spirit. I’m proud that for one year I was<br />

privileged to call it my home.”<br />

A magical piece of Pamela’s<br />

experience was walking around the<br />

Mount Scopus campus as it was<br />

literally being built around her.<br />

“Watching the campus go up, on<br />

the very mountain from which Titus<br />

commenced the siege of Jerusalem<br />

2000 years earlier, was extremely<br />

symbolic—a cornerstone of modern<br />

Jewish history for me,” she recalls. The<br />

impact of her studies at Hebrew was<br />

lasting and she went on to complete<br />

her undergraduate degree at McGill<br />

University in Jewish Studies.<br />

Pamela continued onto law school,<br />

and became a corporate tax lawyer<br />

on Wall Street. After the birth of her<br />

second child, however, she left the<br />

practice of law. Since then, Pamela<br />

has graciously spent over 20 years<br />

making many important contributions<br />

to the wellbeing of the Hebrew<br />

University. She is the National<br />

Secretary of The American Friends<br />

of the Hebrew University, serves on<br />

the National Board, and is a member<br />

of the Management and Executive<br />

Committees. She currently serves<br />

on HU’s Board of Governors and<br />

is President Emeritus of the AFHU<br />

Northeast Region Board and is the<br />

former National Campaign Chair.<br />

She and her husband made a naming<br />

gift for the office of the chair of the<br />

University’s Bible Department.<br />

On a trip to the university a few<br />

years ago, Pamela met with Yair<br />

Zakovitch, the Father Takeji Otsuki<br />

Professor of Bible Studies Chair.<br />

“Listening to him describe his<br />

research, I felt a pang of jealousy – his<br />

work just sounded so fascinating,”<br />

she recalls. That conversation sparked<br />

her decision to return to academia<br />

and Pamela is currently working<br />

towards her Master’s degree in Bible<br />

at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s<br />

graduate school. “I’ve come full circle,<br />

returning to the studies I began on<br />

Mount Scopus over 40 years ago. It’s a<br />

dream come true,” she says.<br />

For women beginning their careers,<br />

Pamela advises them to “shoot for the<br />

stars, but be realistic,” adding “success<br />

isn’t necessarily measured by the<br />

size of a paycheck or the number of<br />

children you may or may not ultimately<br />

bear. Let your dreams and goals be<br />

fluid. If you manage to fulfill even part<br />

of them – you’re ahead of the game.”<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 34

hujiconnect.com<br />

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news, videos, and events near you<br />

• Participate in online groups<br />

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• Receive alumni perks including discount<br />

packages at local businesses in select areas*<br />

HUJI Connect allows you to re-connect with old classmates and as enables you to utilize the<br />

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By fully integrating with social networks, and cultivating a culture of helping and giving<br />

back, you will be amazed at how vibrant your Hebrew University community is!<br />

* Hebrew University alumni can enjoy a variety of benefits both in Israel and in the United States. Benefits in Israel can be<br />

found here: http://alumni.huji.ac.il; benefits for alumni residing in or visiting the U.S. are listed here: alumni.afhu.org<br />

Contact: alumnifriends@savion.huji.ac.il<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />




Student Life:<br />

“The opening of the Hebrew University of<br />

Jerusalem is of immense interest to large<br />

groups of people all over the world and<br />

in a peculiar degree to those who have<br />

borne a part in opening university education<br />

to women. For it seems to me certain that this<br />

modern University, to be opened on Mount<br />

Scopus in April, will from its inception open<br />

its classes to women. The most ancient of<br />

races, in a cultural sense, will also be the most<br />

modern in its conception of the position and<br />

the opportunities which should be open to<br />

women. The Jewish women who already have<br />

the magnificent heritage of descent from<br />

Isaiah, will have in addition the broad outlook<br />

given by modern science and learning.<br />

An inheritance like this, an experience like<br />

this, make me feel perfectly certain that when<br />

Hebrew University becomes an actual reality<br />

it will tolerate none of the foolish restrictions<br />

that have marred the universities of the<br />

Occident for so many centuries.<br />

”<br />

Millicent Fawcet, “Educating the Youth, Palestine Jewry’s<br />

Foremost Concern” The New Palestine March 27, 1925 (334-5);<br />

Fawcet was a British Union leader and known suffragist.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 36

The Early Days (1920s-1940s)<br />

Unlike other historic academic<br />

institutions, women were a natural part<br />

of the student body at The Hebrew<br />

University from its very first days.<br />

In its initial years, the Hebrew University was<br />

a research institution that did not offer any<br />

bachelors degree programs until the 1950s.<br />

The first students were studying for advanced<br />

degrees or simply attending classes to broaden<br />

their horizons and be a part of a recognized<br />

historical moment. Almost all of the first<br />

students were immigrants and held degrees<br />

from their countries of origin.<br />

In the first few years, almost a quarter of the<br />

student body was made up of women, and that<br />

number increased to about 30% at the time of<br />

the establishment of the State.<br />

The early years at the Hebrew University were<br />

interrupted by frequent outbreaks of war. When<br />

the British army drafted many of the male<br />

students to fight in World War II, the number of<br />

female students jumped to 40% of the student<br />

body, allowing them to contribute substantially<br />

to the university culture. Nevertheless, many<br />

prominent women who were studying and<br />

researching at the Hebrew University left their<br />

studies to fight valiantly alongside their male<br />

counterparts in the 1948 War of Independence.<br />

“The original plan of an institute for<br />

higher research in which a small group<br />

of men might pursue their studies in<br />

seminar fashion was clearly in need<br />

of modification... And what an interesting<br />

conglomeration of types were included in<br />

our student body! From Yeshivah Buchrim to<br />

Gymnasium girls – scholars, Chalutzim, selftaught<br />

students – native Palestinians and<br />

recent arrivals.<br />

”<br />

Isidore B. Hoffman, “In the Beginning, From a Student’s<br />

Notebook” The New Palestine March 27, 1925 (365-6)<br />

Photos from the Hebrew University Archive.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 37


Bookshelf<br />

Feminist Theory Across Disciplines:<br />

Feminist Community and American<br />

Women’s Poetry<br />

Shira Wolosky, Professor of American Studies and<br />

English Literature, Faculty of Humanities<br />

Defying traditional, gendered<br />

definitions of public and<br />

private, this study traverses<br />

a multitude of disciplines —<br />

anthropology, psychology, history,<br />

political theory, religion and others<br />

— to broaden the discussion of<br />

American women’s poetry from the<br />

17th to the late 20th centuries. Prof.<br />

Wolosky explores how women’s<br />

writing emerges from and shapes<br />

a woman’s selfhood in terms of<br />

personal relationships and of<br />

communal commitments. Poetry,<br />

she concludes, is where the arenas<br />

of human experience interact,<br />

and this is where women, directly<br />

or through structural means, are<br />

able to define and articulate their<br />

particular forms of selfhood.<br />

A Well-Worn Tallis for a New<br />

Ceremony: Trends in Israeli Haredi<br />

Culture<br />

Dr. Nurit Stadler, Associate Professor, Sociology &<br />

Anthropology<br />

A<br />

Well-Worn Tallis for a New<br />

Ceremony is a study of<br />

contemporary haredi (ultra-<br />

Orthodox) observance in Israel.<br />

Despite long-standing efforts to<br />

buttress this community, the forces<br />

of modernity, secularization,<br />

consumerism, feminism, technology<br />

and the military are profoundly<br />

impacting the yeshiva world. Dr.<br />

Stadler’s extensive research sheds<br />

light on significant changes in several<br />

key areas, among them religious life,<br />

family structure, and the community’s<br />

interaction with government authorities<br />

and other Israelis.<br />

The International Monetary Fund<br />

and Latin America: The Argentine<br />

Puzzle in Context<br />

Dr. Claudia Kedar, Head of the Iberian and Latin<br />

American Section, Department of Romance and Latin<br />

American Studies & School of History<br />

Dr. Claudia Kedar presents<br />

an atypical and revisionist<br />

approach to the relations<br />

between Latin America and the<br />

International Monetary Fund between<br />

1944 and the present, demonstrating<br />

that economics play but a small part<br />

in these relationships. She posits that<br />

the routine and near ritual interactions<br />

between IMF technocrats and local<br />

economists have become characteristic<br />

of these relationships even when the<br />

local economies are not borrowing<br />

from the Fund.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 38

Alternative and Bio-Medicine in<br />

Israel: Boundaries and Bridges<br />

Judith Shuval, Louis & Pearl Rose Professor<br />

(Emerita) of Medical Sociology, Dr. Emma<br />

Averbuch, researcher, Faculty of Medicine<br />

Networks for Learning and<br />

Knowledge Creation in<br />

Biotechnology<br />

Amalya Oliver-Lumermann, George S. Wise<br />

Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences<br />

Hard-Core Romance:<br />

Fifty Shades of Grey,<br />

Best-sellers, and Society<br />

Eva Illouz, Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Social<br />

Sciences<br />

As alternative medicine<br />

increasingly co-exists with<br />

conventional medicine in many<br />

societies, Israel’s heterogeneous<br />

population makes it possible to explore<br />

different cultural attitudes toward<br />

alternative health care. Starting with<br />

the historical background, the book<br />

deals with current health policies and<br />

provides an in-depth analysis of healthcare<br />

practitioners who have added<br />

alternative medicine to their repertoire<br />

of conventional professional skills in<br />

practice settings located in hospitals<br />

and community clinics in Israel.<br />

Scientists in the biotechnology<br />

sector have developed a vast<br />

array of products in the areas<br />

of drugs, diagnostics, agricultural,<br />

waste management and veterinary<br />

medicine. The various intra and<br />

inter collaborations between the<br />

academic and knowledge intensive<br />

firms have helped to foster these<br />

innovations. Prof. Oliver-Lumerman<br />

demonstrates how, in many respects,<br />

the organizational structure of this<br />

sector parallels one of its most<br />

important innovations – recombinant<br />

DNA (rDNA). She shows how<br />

the concept of recombination can<br />

be used to explain a number of<br />

organizational constructs, including<br />

dedicated biotechnology firms,<br />

university-based spin-offs, scientific<br />

entrepreneurship, and trust in<br />

learning<br />

collaborations<br />

and networks.<br />

The result is<br />

a stimulating<br />

account of<br />

how multiple<br />

theoretical<br />

perspectives<br />

can be<br />

used to<br />

understand the<br />

structure of the<br />

biotechnology<br />

sector.<br />

This book about modern<br />

relationships and contemporary<br />

women’s literature scrutinizes<br />

the global popularity of L. James’<br />

erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey<br />

and its two sequels. Placing the<br />

trilogy in the context of bestseller<br />

publishing, Prof.Eva Illouz<br />

investigates how the reading<br />

pleasure it provides resonates<br />

with the structure of male-female<br />

relationships today. Fifty Shades,<br />

Illouz argues, is a contemporary<br />

gothic romance, wherein sexuality<br />

both divides men and women and<br />

orchestrates their reconciliation.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 39

COLUMN<br />

ADVICE<br />

Ask The Expert<br />

Practical advice from Associate<br />

Professor Limor Shifman on the<br />

art of international joke telling.<br />

Aspiring comedians want<br />

to know: Am I funny all<br />

over the world?<br />

When we think of globalization,<br />

we tend to picture the American<br />

brand, Coca Cola, but according to<br />

Associate Professor Limor Shifman of<br />

the Department of Communication and<br />

Journalism, punchlines are getting their<br />

passports stamped across the globe as<br />

well.<br />

It’s one thing for friends and<br />

family to think you are funny, but it<br />

is another layer of comedy altogether<br />

for strangers on the other side of the<br />

globe to find you funny in a completely<br />

different language.<br />

In her article “Internet Jokes: The<br />

Secret Agents of Globalization,”<br />

Shifman and her colleagues from the<br />

Hebrew University and the UK, Hadar<br />

Levy and Mike Thelwall, explore what<br />

it takes for jokes to make it around the<br />

world and whether you’d recognize<br />

them after their journey.<br />

Ask The Expert:<br />

Uniting the World,<br />

One Punchline at a Time<br />

By Aviv Harkov*<br />

What is the topic of your<br />

joke?<br />

Shifman and her colleagues found that<br />

jokes about technology, consumerism,<br />

gender differences and popular<br />

American brands are commonly<br />

translated into other languages, while<br />

jokes based on American domestic<br />

politics and regional stereotypes get<br />

held up at the border.<br />

What country is your joke<br />

now calling home?<br />

In her research, Shifman examined the<br />

translation of 100 jokes from English<br />

into the other nine most commonly<br />

spoken languages on the Internet:<br />

Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, French,<br />

German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic,<br />

and Russian.<br />

“Americanization” can be found<br />

on Facebook pages and around dinner<br />

tables as the high quantity of jokes<br />

translated from English both reflects<br />

the dominance of American culture and<br />

helps to substantiate it. The greatest<br />

number of jokes are translated into<br />

Portuguese and then the other Latin<br />

and European languages, while the<br />

fewest number are translated into Asian<br />

languages. Researchers believe that<br />

this is not just because of linguistic<br />

differences, but because it reflects<br />

wider cultural gaps and natural bonds<br />

between the U.S. and non-Western<br />

regions.<br />

Congratulations. Your<br />

joke has made it to a<br />

foreign country! How does<br />

it integrate into its new<br />

home?<br />

Like any immigrant, for your joke to<br />

be considered a local it has to lose any<br />

lingering signs from the “old country.”<br />

For instance, Bob from your original<br />

joke might become Yung Ju in Korea.<br />

Your dollars will be converted into<br />

pesos in Mexico and the New York<br />

Yankees will turn into Manchester<br />

United in Great Britain. If your joke is<br />

sexual it may need a PG rating in some<br />

languages, while dark humor might<br />

become pitch black in others.<br />

How will my joke be funny<br />

all over the world?<br />

Based on Shifman’s research, the best<br />

way to earn your joke frequent flyer<br />

miles is to keep the theme universal,<br />

limit the reference to domestic politics,<br />

and, of course, make sure it is actually<br />

funny.<br />

By perfecting your international<br />

humor, you may advance globalization<br />

processes and bridge the gaps between<br />

us one laugh at a time.<br />

*Aviv Harkov is a Hebrew University<br />

student ambassador and is currently<br />

studying for a dual degree in business<br />

and Asian studies.<br />

<strong>2016</strong>-2017 40

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