Speaking to a packed auditorium on “NASA’s Journey to Mars and Beyond,” the Hon. Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (pictured in center with Rona Ramon, wife of the late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, and BIU President Rabbi Dr. Daniel Hershowitz) said Israel “has incredibly innovative people on the cutting edge of technology” who can help NASA achieve its goal of reaching Mars in the 2030s.
We are excited about ongoing relations with the Israel Space Agency and what we can do together on the International Space Station (ISS),” said the 4-time astronaut and NASA Administrator, noting that some 250 experiments are conducted during each six-month expedition on the ISS.
Focusing on his specialty, Prof. Serge Haroche (right) lectured to BIU students and researchers on “Exploring the Quantum World with Atoms and Photons in Cavities.” The eminent scientist received the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for his “groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.” His pioneering work has helped advance the field of quantum optics.
“Israel and Diaspora Jewry — A Looming Crisis” was the subject of the insightful analysis given by world statesman Isi Leibler (pictured far right) to a hall filled with outspoken and moderate voices in the Modern Orthodox community, including Rabbi Shlomo Riskin (on his left). “Israel is at a pinnacle of success and our start-up nation boasts an incredibly strong economy,” he said. The future of the Jewish people in Israel is assured and will continue to flourish.” Noting that “The status of Diaspora Jews is deteriorating” due to “dramatically eroding identity and escalating intermarriage, combined with an explosion of global anti-Semitism…” Leibler said Israel will determine the future direction of global Jewry.
Visiting BIU’S Department of Music, Israeli award-winning musician and composer Nurit Hirsh gave a master class to students, faculty and guests, providing an intimate melodious encounter with her well-loved works, interspersed with anecdotes and stories. Sitting at the piano, the Israel Prize laureate immediately struck a chord with the audience, who enthusiastically joined in, and this special “Musical Interview” ended on a high note.
Miriam Peretz, a dedicated educator and lecturer who inspires and unites soldiers, students and all society with her message of love for the Israeli nation and humanity, gave a powerful talk on the BIU campus, recounting her moving, personal story of coping with the tragic loss of two sons in Israel’s struggle for security and the triumph of spirit and faith over adversity.