2022 President's Report BAR-ILAN BY THE NUMBERS HIGHLIGHTS FOR
2 #1 fastest-growing university President’s Message 4 2 new international M.A.s, and 2 new indexes for shaping policy The International School, BESA & The Lookstein Center A WORD FROM THE CHAIRMEN 3 new ways that Bar-Ilan is expanding its engineering faculty The Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering 4 exits for Bar-Ilan startups Technology Transfer 5 pilot cities in an ambitious initiative for diabetes The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE 6 years of dedicated work to include Israel in the Istanbul Convention The Ruth & Emanuel Rackman Center 7 pathways to a more sustainable world The Center for Energy and Sustainability & The School for Sustainability and Environment 8 legal clinics creating a more just society The Faculty of Law 9 faculties in total for Bar-Ilan The Faculty of Education 22 highlights for 2022 6 12 14 CONTENTS 16 18 ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Prizes & Awards 8 22 24 28 30
3 RESEARCH IN PICTURES 10 stars from the theater visited Bar-Ilan this year The Drama & Theater Program 11 Jewish studies departments blooming like a Spanish orchid The Faculty of Jewish Studies 12 new ventures founded by UnBox, and more popping up every day... UnBox Ventures 13 media highlights for Bar-Ilan research and initiatives The University in the News 14 days in the treatment cycle of a groundbreaking medical study ERC Grants 15 thousand students took online exams Digital Testing Software 16 fully online courses, and counting The Division of Teaching and Learning Data science innovation since 2017 The Department of Computer Science 18 months of research show: Greener walls make for happier people The Green Wall Initiative COVID-19 vaccine, a technology for space, a superconducting quantum interference device, and a prestigious science academy Influencers of the Year ~20 thousand students in Bar-Ilan The Student Union BIU FRIENDS 21st century technology for a 21st century university Digital Transformation & Physical Infrastructure 22 more researchers in the Bar-Ilan faculty New Recruits BIU MANAGEMENT 32 36 38 40 42 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 68
4 #1 fastest-growing university Those of us who grew up in Israel in the 1970s undoubtedly remember the television series Maher Yoter, Gavoah Yoter, Chazak Yoter (“Faster, Higher, Stronger”), both because it was an excellent show about sports—and because those were the years of single-channel television. Since I became president of Bar-Ilan, it has often occurred to me that the sense of drive conveyed by the series’ title and the determination it expresses to excel across not just one, but many parameters, could just as well be the mantra of our leadership and faculty. It is therefore only natural, albeit still immensely gratifying, that we have increasingly become the place at which both Israelis and overseas students choose to pursue their degrees in the Jewish state. Indeed, with nearly 20,000 students, Bar-Ilan is now officially Israel’s fastestgrowing university.* Better yet, make that Israel’s fastest sustainably growing university: Our rise in enrollment occurred alongside not only an increase in students’ average entrance scores and the quality of our instruction through new technologies. It has also taken place while we’ve kept a tight lid on costs, recruiting all department heads to the critical task of lowering spending— and resulting, for the first time in nearly a decade, with a balanced budget. Their success, in turn, was made possible by an organizational culture that facilitates high productivity, by new operational and business-intelligence systems that dramatically boost efficiency, and above all, by leaders and staff who are committed to the dual goals of good education and good management. And in this regard, I would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Efrat Bodner, who until this past April served as my chief of staff. It is in no small part thanks to her talent and dedication that the University was able to effect this transformative change. Yet while growth is certainly an important way to measure the success of our educational and administrative accomplishments, it is never a goal in itself. Rather, the growth President’s Message
5 in our student body—like the parallel growth in our faculty, which grew by 22 new researchers this past year—is a means to extend and deepen our impact here in Israel, and ultimately around the world. Let me explain. For starters, larger enrollment garners more funding for research in areas of national priority. And we are involved in many: This year alone, Bar-Ilan launched two ambitious “mega-projects,” The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE and the Center for Energy and Sustainability. These initiatives, which harness the strengths of multiple disciplines and feature collaborations with government and industry, will prove vital to the health of Israel’s environment, economy, and society. Our Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering also saw notable expansion, in particular the addition of a new degree program and several new study tracks. One such track, in the field of computer hardware and chip design, is essential to Israel’s defense strategy. As war moves to the cyber sphere, Israel will increasingly need to trust the electronics systems that underlie our security controls, military networks, and power grids. This will require that more design and fabrication take place here at home, and Bar-Ilan has a key part to play in preparing the talent and providing the skills. Fortunately, it will also now have the space: Beyond more enrollment and research activity, Bar-Ilan is also gaining new facilities. For example, this year saw the opening of our new student dorms and the continued construction of both a classroom building at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine and the newAlexander Grass Computer Science Building. And last, as a university committed to ensuring Jewish literacy, Bar-Ilan saw essential growth in our Faculty of Jewish Studies. Already the largest faculty of its kind in the world, it now includes new degree programs in a diverse range of fields, demonstrating that engagement with Jewish texts, culture, and history can respond dynamically to the evolving needs of both amodern Jewish state and the Jewish people everywhere. No doubt, we have become a faster, higher, and stronger institution this year. Yet there is still another dimension to this tagline that holds true in our case: Like an athlete forever improving and pushing back against physical boundaries, BarIlan is ensuring that its future growth and development will be unhindered by the limits of the traditional model of higher education. To be sure, the work of transitioning to a digital university, of breaking down academic barriers and moving toward inter-disciplinarity, and of orienting research and education toward tomorrow’s challenges—all these objectives make for a marathon, not a sprint. But thanks to all of our hard work, we are well on our way to our goal of becoming the university that tomorrow needs. * According to Israel's Council for Higher Education, 2020/2021. Prof. Arie Zaban President of Bar-Ilan University
6 Michael G. Jesselson Chairman, Board of Trustees Dear Friends, As the world is emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are adjusting to the “newnormal”, we are nowable to focus on the future and what we plan to accomplish in the months and years ahead. Nevertheless, let’s look at some of the great things we’ve achieved this past year, which you will also read about in the pages to come. • We ended last year with a balanced budget after many years of annual deficits. This was a result of a collaboration andwork between the Faculty, Administration and Lay Leadership. • We have experienced significant growth in our student population over the past 4 years (from approximately 17,000 to 20,000) becoming the fastest growing University in Israel. • We recruited 37 top new Researchers in the areas of Health, Energy and National Security who also are educating students to be leaders and innovators in their fields. • We have completed major upgrades and improvements to the infrastructure of the University including transforming 100 classrooms to “hybrid” educational classrooms which can provide digital and in-person learning. • We established a new Faculty of Education and a new Division for Teaching and Learning. This underscores the important priority we place on our students’ experience and on all students globally to better their education. • We established a new Research Center for Energy and Sustainability and the School for Sustainability andEnvironment demonstrates our commitment to addressing Israel’s and the World’s pressing environmental challenges. It is being done collaboratively across multi-academic disciplines in pursuit of solutions to this critical crisis. • Together with The Russell Berrie Foundation, the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine Launched the Diabetes “SPHERE”: The Social and Precision-Medicine Health Equity Research Endeavor. This will bring diabetic care to the population in the Galilee and address the needs of the entire nation. This major Initiative will also create a newmodel of best practices and diabetes treatment for patients globally. • Four of our researchers won the prestigious European Research Council Grant, awarding us more than 25 million shekels. Their projects have great potential to improve human and social health issues. • Bar-Ilan researchers and their teams launched 12 technological startups to create commercial companies for international consumers. • The Faculty of Jewish Studies continues to add many new exciting graduate degrees in Jewish language, Art and Culture and Jewish history. • The creation of a Presidential appointee for Gender Equality and the establishment of a Presidential Office Unit to address Gender Equality and Advancement in all areas of the University. There is much to feel proud and excited about and we are seeing the impact of the good work being done under President Arie Zaban’s Leadership together with his excellent Team and our committed Lay Leadership. Working together, we look forward to many more great accomplishments to come in the future! Wishing everyone continued good health. AWORD FROMTHE CHAIRMEN
7 Shlomo Zohar Chairman, Permanent Committee Dear Friends, Walking through campus these days, after two years in the shadowof COVID-19, one cannot help but be struck by how full of life, energy, and purpose Bar-Ilan has once again become. No doubt, this is largely the result of our return to routine after two years inwhich our realitywas upended in significant ways. Yet the fact that we have recruited 37 new faculty members, many of whom conduct research in critical STEM fields, and that we have now fully occupied our new, 1,720-bed student dormitories, are clearly contributing factors as well. These steps demonstrate that Bar-Ilan is growing, and express Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s famous saying that “it is not enough to be up to date; you have to be up to tomorrow.” Clearly, our decision to invest in cutting-edge research, physical facilities, and advanced educational and managerial tools are now bearing gratifying fruit. Other areas in which we have invested are now also proving their worth, namely the various business-intelligence systems that are now standard in every administrative unit. These digitized systems have improved decisionmaking and increased efficiency, and have played a key role in the University’s ability to begin this year—for the first time inmany—with a balanced budget and a reduced deficit. This fact will allow us to allocate more resources to future growth and development. As we say in Judaism, mitzvah goreret mitzvah, following one commandment leads to another. So, too, in the world of governance: As Bar-Ilan’s various committees improved their system of reporting and provided full transparency, it is not surprising that our Board of Governors has become a more active, enthusiastic, and effective body for the University. Their work this past year has helped secure important new resources and ensure its ability to become a leading educational institution, both in terms of innovation and in our commitment to timeless Jewish values. It is an honor to be a part of the University’s exciting progress, the impact of which will be felt not only in Israeli society, but also around the world. It is an honor, too, to work together with the University leadership, global network of friends, and inspiring Council of Trustees and various committeemembers on behalf of the vital cause that is Bar-Ilan.
8 Bar-Ilan University encourages excellence in research and teaching and transformative academic contributions to Israeli society. As such, it ismy distinct pleasure to recognize the following remarkable accomplishments of our talented, dedicated faculty and students from nearly every department and discipline. These prizes and awards, granted by some of Israel and the world’s most prestigious academic societies and foundations, are a testament to the University’s successful fulfillment of its vision to “impact tomorrow, today.” Prof. Amnon Albeck Rector PROF. (EMERITUS) DORON AURBACH of the Department of Chemistry, for winning the Most Cited Researcher Award for 2021 in the field of chemistry. DR. SHIRA ILUZ of the Faculty of Education for being selected as a fellow in the Mandel Program for Academic Leadership in Teacher Education. DRS. NIVI GOMEL, SUZY GRUSS, AND DOV COHEN of the Salti Institute for Ladino Studies for being selected as correspondent members of the Real Academia Espanola in Madrid. PROF. (EMERITUS) SHLOMO HAVLIN of the Department of Physics, for winning the Most Cited Researcher Award for 2021 in the field of physics for the third year in a row. PROF. YEHUDA LINDELL of the Department of Computer Science for the acquisition of his company Unbound Tech by the American crypto company Coinbase Global, Inc. PROF. AMIR LESHEM of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering for being selected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). DR. GADMILLER of the Mina and EverardGoodman Faculty of Life Sciences for winning theMost Cited Researcher Award for 2021 in the field of life sciences. DR. SIGAL EDEN of the Faculty of Education for her appointment as president of the International Association of Cognitive Educational Psychology (IACEP). PROF. JONATHANFOX of the DepartmentofPolitical Studies for winning the 2021 Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Outstanding Scholar Award and the Special Excellence Award for his book Thou Shalt Have NoOther Gods BeforeMe:Why Governments Discriminate against Religious Minorities (Cambridge, 2020). PROF. OMRY KOREN of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine for winning the Most Cited Researcher Award for 2021 in the field of medicine. PROF. BEENA KALISKY of the Department of Physics for winning the Na’amat Centennial Prize and being selected as a member of the executive committee of the Israel Young Academy. PROF. LILACH ROSENBERG-FRIEDMAN of the Martin (Szusz) Land of Israel Studies andArchaeologyDepartment for being selected as a board member of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). DR. HAGIT RIFINSKI of the Faculty of Education for being selected as a fellow in the Mandel Program for Academic Leadership in Teacher Education. PROF. HIZKY SHOHAM of the Interdisciplinary Programfor Hermeneutics andCultural Studies for winning the Goldberg Foundation Prize for Outstanding Manuscripts. PROF. AMIT SHRIRA of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences for being appointed to the executive board of the International Center for Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma and as an editor of the journal Stress and Health. PROF. GIL EPSTEIN, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and professor in the Department of Economics, for being selected as a member of Academia Europaea. PROF. NIRIT BAUMINGER-ZVIELY of the Faculty of Education for being selected as a fellow of the International Society for Autism Research. PROF. MIRA BARDA-SAAD of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences for being selected as president of the Federation of Israel Societies of Experimental Biology (FISEB). PROF. MASADBARHOUM of the Azrieli Faculty ofMedicine for winning the 2021 Paul Harris Fellow Award. DR. SHAY AKIVA GOLAN of the Department of Computer Science for winning a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Prof. Amnon Albeck Prizes & Awards
9 DR. BORIS DESIATOV of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering for winning the Alon Scholarship. PROF. JOSHUA TEITELBAUM of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies for being appointed as a member of the editorial board of the journal Middle Eastern Studies and as one of the judges for the journal's Elie and Sylvia Kedourie Prize for Middle Eastern Studies. PROF. YITZHAK MASTAI of the Department of Chemistry for winning the Vebleo Scientist Award. PROF. (EMERITUS) NATHAN NETANYAHU of the Department of Computer Science, for winning the 2021 SoCG Test of Time Award. PROF. DROR FIXLER of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering and Director of the Institute of Nanotechnolgy and Advanced Materials for being selected as the 2021 SPIE Community Champion. DR. ARIEL KOPILOVITZ of the Zalman Shamir Bible Department for winning the Alon Scholarship. PROF. SARIT KRAUS of the Department of Computer Science for being selected as a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. PROF. (EMERITA) ROSELYNE KOREN of the Department of French Culture for winning the Chaim Perelman Foundation Award of theUniversite Libre de Bruxelles for her book Rhetoric and Ethics: On Value Judgments (Editions Classiques Garnier, 2019) [French]. PROF. JONATHAN RABINOWITZ of the Louis and Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work for being selected as a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PROF. NOA VILCHINSKY of the Department of Psychology for being selected as a fellow at the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS). DR. LIOR LOBEL of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences for winning the Zuckerman Leading Young STEM Scholar Prize. PROF. SHULAMIT MICHAELI, Vice President of Research and professor in the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, for being selected as chair of the postdoctoral selection committee of the Azrieli Foundation. PROF. MOTTI NEIGER of the School of Communication for his appointment as a member of the editorial board of the journal Memory, Mind & Media. DR. LILACHNETHANEL of the Joseph and Norman Berman Department of Literature of the Jewish People and DR. OMRI ASSCHER of the Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies for being selected to join the Young Scholars Forum in the Humanities and Social Sciences for 2021-2022. PROF. ESHKOL RAFAELI of the Department of Psychology for being selected as one of the 2021 fellows of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. PROF. YAAKOV BORENSTEIN of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine for being selected as editor-in-chief of Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease. PROF. ELISE S. BREZIS of the Department of Economics for her selection as a member of the advisory board on national accounts of the Public Council of Statistics. PROF. ARIE-LEVGRUZMAN of the DepartmentofChemistry for his selection as the Israeli representative to the committee for chemistry and health of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). DR. ANNADORFMAN of the Department of Psychology for winning the Young Scholars Prize at the International Wisdom Summit, sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Center for Practical Wisdom. PROF. DVORAHACOHEN of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology for winning the 2021 National Jewish Book Award for To Repair a Broken World: The Life of Henrietta Szold (Harvard, 2021). PROF. UDI LEBEL of the School of Communication for his appointment as a member of the advisory board pursuant to the Knesset Museum Law, 2010. PROF. DANIEL LEVY of the Department of Economics for being selected as a senior research fellow of the Research Center for Economic Analysis.
10 We are also pleased to congratulate our students who were recognized for their achievements: TAMAR BAR-ON of the Department of Mathematics, for winning the Schmidt Postdoctoral Award for Women in Mathematical and Computing Sciences. YANAI ELAZAR of the Department of Computer Science, TAMAR BAR-ON of the Department of Mathematics, and DR. HILLEL HAGAI DIAMANDI of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering for winning the 2022-2023 Rothschild Scholarship. SHILAT CHAIM-NACHUM of the Faculty of Education for winning the Haruv Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship. SARAMEIR of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering for winning the 2021-2022 Fellowship for Outstanding Female Masters Students in Hi-Tech. ARIEL DADUSH of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and EMUNAH SEGAL and SARA (SARI) ROSENBERG of the Department of Psychology for winning the Israel Council for Higher Education’s 2021-2022 Masters Scholarship for Outstanding Haredi Graduate Students. FATIMAAWAD of the Mina andEverardGoodmanFacultyof Life Sciences, AMIRYASSIN of the Department of Chemistry, HANA’ASHALAN of the Azrieli FacultyofMedicine, and HALIL SAROJI of the LeslieandSusanGondaMultidisciplinaryBrain Research Center for winning the Master’s Scholarship for Outstanding Arab Graduate Students. ORTAL AYALA of the Department of Criminology and HELEN TEKE and PIKRA PENTHON of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences for winning the Israel Council for Higher Education’s Master’s Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Students from Ethiopia. EFRAT ORBACH of the Department of Music and YUVAL FRANKEL of the JosephandNormanBermanDepartment of Literature of the Jewish People for winning the Rotenstreich Scholarship for Outstanding PhD Students in the Humanities for 2021-2024. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Prizes & Awards
11 ESTHERBARUCH of the Mina andEverardGoodmanFaculty of Life Sciences and YITZCHAKDASSA of the Faculty of Law for winning the 2020-2021 Israel Council for Higher Education’s Fellowship for Outstanding Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Students from Ethiopia. SHIRI HODESMAN of the Department of Physics for winning the 2021-2022 Nehemia Levtzion Scholarship for Outstanding Doctoral Students from the Periphery. ODEMHAREL and INBAL STENGER of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering and TZUF PAZ-ARGAMAN of the Department of Computer Science for winning the 2021-2022 Fellowship for Outstanding Female PhD Students in Hi-Tech. EYAL WEISS of the Department of Computer Science for winning the 2021-2022 ADAMS Academy Fellowship. MORANPERELHARPAZ of the Department of Comparative Literature for winning the 2020-2021 Incentive Scholarship from the Yad Vashem Foundation. ARIEL ASHKENAZI of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering for winning the Israel Council for Higher Education’s Scholarship for Outstanding PhD students in Quantum Science and Technology for 2022-2024. IDAN ACHITUVE of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering, RONI COHEN-FULTHEIM of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and AVI KACHULARO of the Department of Computer Science for winning the Israel Council for Higher Education’s Scholarship for Outstanding PhD students in Data Science for 2022-2024. DR. URI YAAKOV of the Department of Music for winning the Mitacs Globalink Scholarship.
12 An International University Thanks to two joint master’s programs launched this past year, students can now study chemistry and brain science at Bar-Ilan—while in Strasbourg, France, or in Milan, Italy. Spearheaded by the International School, under the leadership of Deputy President Prof. Moshe Lewenstein, the degrees allow graduate students accepted to Bar-Ilan to spend part of their two-year course of study at an overseas university. In turn, they gain exposure to new ideas, methodologies, and research cultures, and bring knowledge back home to the BarIlan community. The program in chemoinformatics, which combines physicalchemistry theory with computer- and information-science techniques, is part of a consortium that includes institutions in France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Portugal, and is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus Program for supporting student mobility. The program in brain sciences, which focuses on combining neuroscience and data science, is a partnership with the Lisbon Institute of Technology. 2 new international master's programs, and 2 new indexes for shaping policy Prof. Moshe Lewenstein The International School, BESA & The Lookstein Center
13 Data for Decision-Making Since the establishment of The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) in 1991, its fellows have offered Israel’s military and civilian leaders policy-relevant research on matters of security and foreign policy. This year, BESA began work on a new, proposed method for influencing decisions: two one-of-a-kind indexes. The BESA National Security Index will offer objective and quantifiable measures for determining Israel’s resilience in the face of diverse scenarios, from cyber-attacks and earthquakes to waning trust in authority. The data will help policymakers identify and address trends that threaten Israel’s well-being from without and within. The National Energy Security Index will quantify the ongoing status of Israel’s energy projects and the future energy needs of the state. By identifying bottlenecks and opportunities, the Index will help policymakers formulate an overarching strategy to help Israel reach its ambitious energy goals for 2030. Emphasis will be placed on ensuring the resilience of Israel’s electricity grid, maximizing the economic and geopolitical benefits of its natural-gas discoveries, and providing data-driven recommendations for accelerating promising new energy technologies. …PLUS 22 NEW ORGANIZATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE LOOKSTEIN CENTER FOR JEWISH EDUCATION In light of the worrying rise in antisemitic incidents in countries around theworld this year, the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education at Bar-Ilan increased its efforts to help Jewish educators respond in effective ways. These included publishing a special issue of its educational journal dedicated to the subject and running free training programs for teachers, administrators, and community leaders. Moreover, as theCOVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt learning worldwide, the Lookstein Center leveraged its global network of partnerships to disseminate engaging content to educators and parents. From full digital courses to short films and instructional games, Looksteinmaterials were used by thousands of children on six different continents to deepen their knowledge of Jewish history, values, and identity. Finally, the center continued its efforts to empower Jewish studies teachers to grow professionally and acquire new pedagogic tools. Along with training programs attended by nearly 1,000 educators, the center launched a new, Russian-language certificate program for building pedagogical skills and deepening Jewish knowledge, attended weekly by participants fromBelarus, Kyrgizstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine. The Lookstein List 32 countries in which the center runs programs 400+ partnerships with Jewish schools 26 training programs for teachers 939 teachers trained and 3 journals published in 2021 15,386 readers of Lookstein journals 9,981 students enrolled in Lookstein programs
14 3 newways that Bar-Ilan is expanding its engineering faculty CB4, a predictive-technology company founded by Bar-Ilan engineer Dr. Gonen Singer, is proof that AI andmachine learning combined with systems optimization is the future of retail. The startup, whose software identifies issues that hold back sales in stores, gas stations, and even cellular companies and cafes, was acquired by theAmerican retail giant Gap Inc. this past year. And while that might be bad news for our wallets, it could be very good for our health: Bar-Ilan engineer Dr. Izack Cohen is using the same science to prevent “bed blocking” in hospitals, a situation in which patients who are ready to be discharged must remain until an opening at a geriatric institution can be found. Through modeling, process management, and systems optimization, Cohen’s software can help the healthcare system work more efficiently—and provide better care for everyone. Singer and Cohen are both researchers in Bar-Ilan’s new Industrial Engineering and Information Systems (IEIS) Program, whichopened in theAlexander KofkinFaculty of Engineering this past year. Featuring courses frommathematics, programming, data science, and machine learning to behavioral science and financial management, the program—the only one in the country to combine both specialties—“will train engineers who can bring together various fields when planning or optimizing processes,” explains Cohen, who serves as IEIS’s head. Aswell as carrying out cutting-edge research, these engineers “canoccupy key positions in Israel’s high-tech sector.” Indeed, the program’s faculty includes researchers with significant experience in the industry. The IEIS program is just one of a number of ways that Bar-Ilan’s Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering is expanding—and just one of the reasons that it was recently ranked the country’s leading such faculty.* This year, it also gained three new study tracks, including one in computer hardware and chip design, an area “essential to Israel’s security,” says Dean of the Faculty Prof. Zeev Zalevksy. Explaining that the country that controls this manufacturing—which is currently China—can choke the economic andmilitary powers of other countries, Zalevsky says that the decision to invest in this area of engineering reflects the faculty’s commitment to advancing the national interest on the one hand, and to growing expertise in areas likely to become critical down the road. Like predictive technology for academia? Zalevsky, an electrooptics engineer by training, says that Singer and Cohen might take issuewith the term. “But,” he smiles, “it’s not a bad analogy.” *According to the 2019 TimesHigher EducationWorldUniversity Rankings. What would you say are the chances you’ll buy that shirt you like at themall?Or that you’ll choose to fill up at that particular station—or order a coffeewhile youwait? Youmake think they’re low, but predictive technology may surprise you. And chances are, that technology is right. The Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering
15 3 TYPES OFEXPANSIONINTHE ALEXANDER KOFKIN FACULTY OF ENGINEERING NEWPROGRAM INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING and INFORMATION SYSTEMS Using computerized information about business and organizational processes as a vehicle for efficiency and growth. NEWSTUDY TRACK NEURO-ENGINEERING Using engineering techniques to understand, repair, replace, or enhance brain function. NEWSTUDY TRACK QUANTUM ENGINEERING Using quantum mechanics for the development of quantum technologies, such as quantum sensors and quantum computers. NEWSTUDY TRACK COMPUTER HARDWARE and CHIP DESIGN Designing, developing, and testing computer systemsandcomponents, and using logicandcircuit-designtechniques to develop integrated circuits. APPROVED PROGRAM DATA ENGINEERING Developing, testing, and maintaining data pipelines and architectures for use in data analysis. APPROVED PROGRAM MATERIALS ENGINEERING Developing, processing, and testing materials for use in a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft to biomedical devices. APPROVED PROGRAM SOFTWARE ENGINEERING Designing, developing, maintaining, and evaluating applications that meet advanced user requirements. Metzuyanut L’Mada, theUniversityCenter forYouth’snewestprogram, isactuallyaplayonwords: Itmeansboth“excellence inscience” and “outstanding females for sciencecareers.”Designed topromoteoutstanding junior-highschool girls’ interest in physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science, the program combines lectures, experiential learning, and laboratoryvisits for an intensiveyet inspiringone-year experience. RunbyBar-Ilan’sUniversityCenter for Youthand funded by the Center for Future Scientists and theMinistry of Education, Metzuyanut L’Mada receivedmore than 200 applicants, fromwhich it selected 50 outstanding students for its first class. Prof. Zeev Zalevsky Tomorrow’s Female Engineers
16 Bar-Ilan scientists are charged with working toward solutions for society’s challenges. They’re also encouraged to collaboratewith industry. That makes for a winning combination—and a victory for startups based on their technologies. 4 exits for Bar-Ilan startups The Unbound Team Technology Transfer
17 INFORMATION SECURITY Unbound Security Prof. Yehuda Lindell Don’t buy the argument that cryptocurrency’s the new gold? That’s alright: Coinbase bought it for you instead. In December, the American cryptocurrency-exchange platform bought Unbound Security, founded by Prof. Yehuda Lindell of Bar-Ilan’s Department of Computer Science and his partners. Unbound developed a unique infrastructure for managing and protecting cryptographic keys, vital to financial corporations and other institutions’ ability to store their digital currencies. Unbound’s technology is user friendly without compromising on high security, a feature that will come in handy as more people become crypto owners. Maybe even the skeptics, too? CLEAN ENERGY Phinergy Bar-Ilan President Prof. Arie Zaban What do you get when you combine aluminum with water and oxygen? If you’re Phinergy, the clean-energy startup founded by electrochemist Prof. Arie Zaban’s technology, you get a long-lasting, cost-effective electric-car battery. Zaban developed a means of using the energy within aluminum—an abundant and inexpensivemetal—efficiently, and after raising more than 200million NIS in its first IPO in February, Phinergy is set to use the resulting “metal-air” technology to take off— without any greenhouse-gas emissions at all. ROBOTICS BladeRanger Prof. Gal Kaminka In what’s certainly a case of cosmic irony, the parts of the world most ripe for solar power are the ones most full of dust—read: lost energy. Thanks to Prof. Gal Kaminka, head of the Department of Computer Science, however, you won’t need to climb up to your rooftops anytime soon: His AI-based technology for the autonomous cleaning and inspection of photovoltaic solar panels enables a battery-operated robot to do it—without water—instead. And now that his company, BladeRunner, is trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, his robots can map out panels, provide output on cleaning progress, and even serve as an IoT platform for improving solar-installation maintenance, all on a rooftop near you. HEALTH A.L. Group and Sonovia Prof. (Emeritus) Aharon Gedanken and Dr. Ilana Perelshtein We all knowwe should be washing our bed linens every week. But who has the energy to put that fitted sheet back on? Today, thanks to Prof. (Emeritus) Aharon Gedankin and Dr. Ilana Perelshtein’s pioneering work in sonochemistry, even the procrastinators among us can sleep easy—andmore important, clean: Sonovia, the company founded on Gedanken and Perelshtein’s technology for coating textiles with antimicrobial nanoparticles, manufactures of anti-bacterial fabrics for bed sheets, seat covers, and face masks that keeps them clean and hygienic even without frequent (or infrequent) washings. In addition, Gedanken and Perelshtein’s sonochemical coating provided the basis for an air-filtration system used in vehicles manufactured by Israel’s A.L. Group and licensed by BIRAD, BarIlan’s tech-transfer company. The air filters—already in use in all Magen David Adom ambulances—are designed to completely clear the atmosphere inside the vehicles of viruses and bacteria.
18 5 pilot cities in an ambitious initiative for diabetes Spearheaded by a lead gift from The Russell Berrie Foundation, and created in partnership with national health-management organizations, regional hospitals, and local municipalities, SPHERE: The Social andPrecision-MedicineHealth EquityResearchEndeavor is a pioneering initiative by the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine to lower the Galilee’s alarming rate of diabetes morbidity. Recognizing that themultiple and complex factors contributing to diabetes require a comprehensive, collaborative strategy, SPHERE rests on four pillars—prevent, control, care, and cure— that together capture the entire pathway of the disease. Launched in its first phase infive northern cities in the fall of 2021, SPHERE aims in the coming years to reach nearly 60 percent of the Galilee. In this way, SPHERE will not only reduce diabetes disparities between patients in the North and the rest of Israel, but will also generate neweducational, clinical, and community best practices that can improve the health of patients in geographic and socio-economic peripheries everywhere. The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE
19 Arie Zaban, The Russell Berrie Foundation President AngelicaBerrie, Bar-IlanChairmanof the Permanent CommitteeShlomoZohar, Azrieli FacultyofMedicine DeanProf. Karl Skorecki, SPHEREDirector Prof. Naim Shehadeh, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, and former head of the Knesset’s Health Committee Idit Silman. In the ensuing six months, progress on all four pillars has exceeded expectations and garnered the support of additional philanthropic, nonprofit, and government agencies. OnNovember 18th, in the presence of TheRussell Berrie Foundation President Angelica Berrie and the entire foundation and SPHERE leadership teams, The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE initiativewas officially launched at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine’s campus in Safed. The ceremony’s highlight was the presentation of a declarationof intent to change the face of diabetes in Israel’s North through collaboration, excellence in research and education, and cultural sensitivity. The declaration was signed by Bar-Ilan President Prof. The SPHERE is Launched
20 Dean of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine Prof. Karl Skorecki is a renowned expert in nephrology, molecular genetics, and population health. While his research has provided the basis for a new approach to personalized kidney and cardiovascular health in at-risk individuals and populations, in his role as dean, Skorecki emphasizes expanding the concept ofmedical practice from treating a single patient to advancing communities. Deputy director of SPHERE, Dr. Sivan Spitzer heads the Population-Health Education and Health Equity Advancement Lab at the Azrieli Faculty. She previously directed the faculty’s COVID-19 bio-psycho-social health response platform, through which medical students helped primary-care teams in clinics across the Galilee address the indirect effects of the pandemic on the care of chronic patients and raise awareness of COVID-19 preventive behavior among elderly Israeli Arabs. Prof. Karl Skorecki Dr. Sivan Spitzer
21 Prof. NaimShehadeh is the director of the Institute of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus, the president of the Israel Diabetes Association, and the director of SPHERE. Previously, he led a communityintervention program in the Galilean town of Nazareth that harnessed the combined efforts of local health clinics, municipalities, schools, and churches to address the cultural, and environmental determinants responsible for diabetes. The knowledge gleaned from that program will help guide the prevention pillar of SPHERE. A FOUR-PRONGED PLANOF ATTACK SPHERE’s innovative model integrates all available resources to strengthen and extend their efficacy. PREVENT By integrating information from the North’s healthcare, education, and social-welfare sectors, SPHEREwill facilitate data-driven interventions that encourage healthy lifestyle choices and prevent the development of diabetes. Specific projects include a 160-indicator digital Municipal Health Dashboard for tracking the overall health and particular health behaviors of community residents and informing city leaders’ urban planning policies. CONTROL SPHERE will help patients and their physicians obtain optimal treatment targets and avoid dangerous complications by addressing specific obstacles to diabetes management. Projects include a one-stop, mobile diabetes-testing clinic that eliminates the need formultiple and lengthy trips by bus to hospitals and health clinics and a health app forwomenwith gestational diabetes. The app allows patients doctors to monitor their health remotely andoffers culturally tailored prescriptions for healthier food choices and low-cost health services. CARE SPHERE will break down the healthcare silos between primary-care practices, emergency units, and social welfare organizations by means of an integrated, crosssector database. In turn, patients’ physicians can make data-driven decisions for better results. CURE Harnessing the potential of large-scale genomic and digital health data to understand and predict the occurrence of diabetes, SPHERE will conduct cutting-edge research to investigate the disease’s mechanisms and biology. New researchers will join existing faculty in their quest to develop more targeted drugs and match patients with personalized treatments for maximum efficacy. 10K NIS A Story in Stats 6-8% 600K Israelis are diabetic of Israel’s one million “pre-diabetic” patients develop full-blown diabetes each year the average annual amount saved by the Israeli healthcare system for every pre-diabetic patient who does not convert to type-2 diabetes Prof. Naim Shehadeh
22 On November 25, 2021, the eve of the International Day on Combatting Violence Against Women, Minister of Justice Gideon Sa’ar announced Israel’s intentiontoseekaformal invitationfromtheCouncil of Europe to join the Istanbul Convention (IC). The first European instrument to seek the prevention of gender-based violence, the protection of its victims, and the punishment of its perpetrators through legal means, the Convention sets out the standards that countries wishing to join must achieve. Even before the invitation is extended, however, Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, founding academic director of the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for ending gender discrimination at the Bar-Ilan Faculty of Law, hails the development as a major victory. Like many countries, Israel has struggled to address violence against women, but often with little success. For example, although a special law on the prevention of domestic violence has been in place for three decades, a lack of legal and operational enforcement has rendered it largely meaningless. And while a National Action Plan for implementation was adopted in 2017, less than half the necessary budget has been allocated in the intervening years. Seeing in the IC an opportunity to break the impasse, the Rackman Center joined Israel’s Ministry of Justice six years ago in a multi-faceted, political and social campaign. “Membership in the Convention would be a game-changer for Israel. For the first time, the country would be part of a mechanism that requires real accountability,” says HalperinKaddari, who explains that the very process of joining the IC requires a demonstrated commitment tomeeting international standards—or in this case, “the gold standard for addressing violence against women by every means.” And indeed, in the months prior to Sa’ar’s announcement, the process of assessing 6 years of dedicatedwork to include Israel in the Istanbul Convention The Ruth & Emanuel Rackman Center
23 Israel’s ability to join has led to heightened awareness and internal scrutiny in nearly every government ministry. It has even, at long last, led to a process of legal reforms—including a critical definition of domestic abuse—thanks to a bill prepared by the Rackman Center on the basis of best practices from the IC. Alongwith advancing needed steps to combat violence against women in Israeli society, Prof. Halperin-Kaddari believes that ICmembership will also help Israel in the international sphere. “Israel has an interest in showing the global community that it strives to do the right thing with regard to human rights issues,” Halperin-Kaddari explains. While she concedes that serious hurdles remain to Israel’s ability to reach IC goals, most notably the exclusive control of religious lawover marriage and divorce, she is confident that the state will find a way. “The Minister of Justice Gideon Sa’ar, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid, Minister of Welfare and Social Affairs Meir Cohen, and Head of the Knesset Committee on Gender Equality MK Aida Tuma-Sliman are all passionate champions of this initiative, andwith their support, I believe our request for ICmembership will succeed,” Halperin-Kaddari says. “For the sake of all women in Israel, we can’t afford anything less.” Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari
24 The Center for Energy and Sustainability (CES), an interdisciplinary research and development enterprise launched this past year, is Bar-Ilan’s ambitious answer to the complexity and interconnectedness of the world’s environmental challenges. Withmore than 50 research groups drawn fromBar-Ilan’s exact, life, medical, law, engineering, and social-sciences faculties, CES harnesses the strengths of the entire University into integrated and effective solutions for the range of problems caused by climate change. Alongside facilitating collaborative research across academic disciplines, CES will serve as an authoritative source of knowledge for lawmakers tasked with setting sustainability policies. In addition, CES will encourage partnerships with industry, nonprofits, and governmental agencies to actualize research findings and commercialize technologies. Finally, CES will work to grow the country’s fledgling cleantech industry, a key to ensuring Israel’s competitiveness on a global scale—and to helping the whole world go green. 7 pathways to a more sustainable world When Bar-Ilan prepared to launch a national sustainable-energy initiative in 2019, its primary mission was the fulfillment of David Ben-Gurion’s third and final criteria for Israel’s survival, after security and water: energy independence. Yet as the full scope of the world’s climate crisis became increasingly clear, Bar-Ilan began to identify a still greater need. And from needs, as they say, arise opportunities. Prof. Malachi Noked, Prof. (Emeritus) Doron Aurbach, and Prof. Lior Elbaz The Center for Energy and Sustainability
25 NETWORKS Researchers in the Networks pathway will provide a scientific basis for the creation and optimization of networks for distributing materials, information, and energy. STRENGTHS Bar-Ilan is home to the leading network-science group in Israel, including pathway head Prof. Shlomo Havlin, winner of the 2018 Israel Prize for physics and one of the twomost-cited scientists in Israel. IMPACT • smart cities and smart transportation • cybersecurity • preparedness and response to public-health epidemics c-health epidemics REGULATION Researchers in the Regulation pathway will develop evidencebased regulatory solutions to national and international environmental challenges. STRENGTHS The Bar-Ilan Faculty of Law is the national leader in regulatory and environmental law and home to the country’s only graduate program to bring physical ecology, environmental economics, and law together under one roof. IMPACT • climate-change policies • policies for the transition to a hydrogen economy ENERGY Researchers in the Energy pathway will work to develop sustainable technologies for energy storage, conversion, and management, including hydrogen economy. STRENGTHS Bar-Ilan has the largest number of leading energy scientists in Israel, including Prof. (Emeritus) Doron Aurbach, the world renowned electrochemist, second-most cited scientist in Israel, and winner, among other prizes, of the Israel Chemical Society GoldMedal; Prof. Lior Elbaz, head of the Israeli Fuel Cell Consortium; and Bar-Ilan President Prof. Arie Zaban, acclaimed for his work on photovoltaic cells. IMPACT • advanced batteries and fuel cells for automotive vehicles, boats, and drones • solar cells • water desalination EARTH SCIENCES and ENVIRONMENT Researchers in the Earth Sciences and Environment pathway will use advanced physical and chemical modelling methodologies to characterize the extent and pattern of climate change, as well as to address the negative impact of both global warming and human activity. STRENGTHS Researchers in the Earth Sciences and Environment pathway specialize in terrestrial, aquatic, oceanographic, atmospheric, and climatological research. IMPACT • assessment of climate change severity and pattern • large-scale weather forecasting • prevention of desertification • seawater desalination and water-resource management SUSTAINABILITY Researchers in the Sustainability pathway will advance research and advocacy for the development all aspects of smart cities. STRENGTHS Researchers in Bar-Ilan’s Department of Geography and the Environment have ongoing collaborations with governmental ministries such as the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture; national nonprofits such as the Israeli Association for Ecology and the Environment and the Society for the Protection of Nature; and local municipalities. IMPACT • urban planning • smart transportation infrastructure • epidemiology ENGINEERING Researchers in the Engineering pathway will work to develop sustainable technologies, pioneer the use of sustainable materials, and optimize systems for energy efficiency. STRENGTHS Researchers in the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering have extensive experience in the design of prototypes and the commercialization of technologies. Pathway head Prof. Zeev Zalevsky, for example, received the Edison Award™ for his ultra-thin, high-resolution, single-use endoscope. IMPACT • photonic devices for energy storage, conversion, and transmission • recycling technologies • robotics for energy-efficient processes ECOLOGY Researchers in the Ecology pathway will work to understand and address the effects of anthropogenic stressors such as climate change on plant, animal, and marine ecosystems, as well as raise awareness of practices for mitigation at the national and international levels. STRENGTHS Researchers in the Ecology pathway will work to understand and address the effects of anthropogenic stressors such as climate change on plant, animal, and marine ecosystems. IMPACT • biofuel production • plant and crop resilience • coral-reef preservation
26 Together with the Faculties of Law, Medicine, Life and Social Sciences, and Humanities, the school will offer academic programs and study tracks at the intersection of the environmental, social, and economic spheres. The opportunity to pursue studies across numerous fields is expected to attract more talented students to Bar-Ilan, as well as to strengthen areas for which the University is already a national leader, including energy, environmental regulation, and marine biology. To respond to the pressing need for professionals and researchers capable of addressing the world’s environmental crises, Bar-Ilan plans to establish an Interdisciplinary School of Sustainability and the Environment in the coming year. In developing an interdisciplinary curriculum for school programs, Bar-Ilan drew upon the successful experience of its one-of-a-kind master’s in environmental regulation and governance. A joint program of the Faculty of Law and the Department of Geography and the Environment, the degree brings the fields of physical ecology, environmental economics, and law together to grant students both the scientific and theoretical knowledge and real-world tools required to address complex environmental issues. Among the 17 degrees the school will offer at the time of its establishment are a bachelor’s inmaterials chemistry, energy, and nanotechnology; amaster’s in geographywith a focus on sustainable innovation; and a master’s in environmental education. In the future, the school also plans to offer a bachelor’s in the environmental humanities, part of a growing field that explores human imagination, perception, and behaviors in relationship to the More Successful Together: The Interdisciplinary School of Sustainability and the Environment The School for Sustainability and Environmentwww.biu.ac.il