As we usher in the Jewish New Year 5777, we reflect with pride on BIU’s past achievements as we gear up with renewed vigor to the coming academic year.
Our growing ranks of superstars (this past year we recruited 21!) have gained wide acclaim for their novel research, which ranges from turning cooking oil into auto fuel to an Alzheimer’s drug to a study on Tourette syndrome (highlighted in this issue). Our new Center for Research in Applied Cryptography and Cyber Security, founded as part of a national program, is advancing frontier research and training leaders in this vital field. A revolutionary challenge-driven research paradigm is now being implemented which encourages cooperation of multidisciplinary BIU teams, with the participation of industry and government.
We are targeting new markets, including the Ultra-Orthodox community, the IDF and Security Forces, and the Arab sector, providing the learning venue that is compatible with their unique needs. We have also revamped our International Office to converge all study tracks (e.g. three BA programs taught in English) designed for overseas students under one roof. The BIU campus has become a multicultural environment, a meeting place for students from different walks of life.
We are positioning ourselves to spearhead public and intellectual discourse on burning issues confronting Israel and the Jewish world, through such vehicles as our new Center for Jewish and Democratic Law. We are also reaching out to the general public with thought-provoking programs such as Ted-style talks and the Rector’s Forum.
Looking ahead, we hope to expand the number of faculty positions, particularly in the natural sciences and to continue to recruit talented returning Israelis. We hope to boost student enrollment, and advance our ambitious dormitory construction and renovation project started this past year to address the dearth of student housing.
Wishing you a Shana Tova, a joyous and healthy New Year,
Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz,
President of Bar-Ilan University