By Rochelle Maruch Miller

American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) cordially invites you for a spectacular mission with entrée to the people and places on your wish list. Which is precisely why the Second Annual “Discover TAU: Campus and Beyond” has been generating such excitement and enthusiasm long before its scheduled date. The trip, which is scheduled to take place from Sunday, October 20, to Friday, October 25, 2013, will afford an intimate group of travelers from across America rare access to Israel’s true “superstars”–its leaders and decision-makers. The highly anticipated trip will bring TAU to life with private visits to insiders in academia, politics, business, and much more.

Conceived by AFTAU chairman Jon Gurkoff and board member Richard Sincere, members of the university’s board of governors, the trip is designed to show the myriad ways TAU, Israel’s top research institution, is inextricably woven into the fabric of the country. Among the many highlights on the itinerary are a private visit to Israel’s Supreme Court and special access to the country’s largest IDF base, as well as exclusive meetings with top government officials, business leaders, and TAU’s world-renown researchers. Truly, this trip is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience the innovation nation as few visitors have seen it.

Participants will explore the City of David excavation–one of history’s most thrilling landmarks–with internationally acclaimed archaeologist Professor Israel Finkelstein. Helicopter over the Golan Heights, one of Israel’s most beautiful and controversial regions, and get a strategic understanding of Israel’s shared border with Syria. Enjoy breakfast with America’s Ambassador to Israel, the Hon. Daniel B. Shapiro. Gain access behind the security curtain with an exclusive briefing and a backstage tour of the IDF’s Hatzerim Air Force Base. TAU has unlimited access throughout Israel, making this a no-holds-barred trip where you can expect to feel and be treated as an A-lister. You will share the boardroom with top Israeli high-tech execs, including the CEO of Google Tel Aviv and dine with Giora Yaron, a founding father of the Israeli tech industry. During your visit to Israel’s Supreme Court, you will have a discussion with Justice Daphne Barak-Erez, former dean of TAU’s faculty of law.

You will gain a different perspective on the exploding challenge of cyber-warfare from experts, including Professor Israel Ben-Jacob, one of the country’s foremost authorities on tech- and cyber-security.

Savor the experience of being a student again, devoid of any pressure. Spend an enlightening, enjoyable day on campus, learning all about the latest breakthroughs in research and scholarship from TAU’s all-stars! The mission will offer valuable insight into TAU’s connection to the country outside the campus gates. This extraordinary experience has been planned with meticulous attention to every detail to emphasize the richness of Israel’s history as an incubator for its leap to the forefront of innovation in the modern world. Participants in last year’s highly successful inaugural mission burrowed deep into history as they descended into the tunnels beneath the Kotel. And the power of Yad Vashem, the world’s leading museum of the Holocaust, stands in dramatic contrast to the country’s most advanced drones.

Participants in last year’s “Discover: Campus and Beyond” saw Israel from the chambers of Judge Barak-Erez, Israel’s newest Supreme Court justice and former dean of the TAU Law School. They explored the ruins of Tel Megiddo with Professor Finkelstein. And they experienced the birdwatchers’ paradise of the Agaman Hula Lake Nature Reserve as seen through the eyes of the “Bird Man,” Professor Yossi Leshem. From access to experts like these, participants gained, as they will throughout the upcoming stellar mission, an understanding that the university and its researchers are “inextricably intertwined with the country–as guardians of its past, protectors of the present, and champions of its future,” Jon Gurkoff said.

For further information regarding the Second Annual Discover TAU: The Campus and Beyond, please refer to the AFTAU ad on page 92 of this week’s issue. Early reservations are highly recommended. v


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