Billion Dollars for the Technion

Mimi alerts me to the new level that has been set for a Jewish fundraising goal. This is money that really and truly will help insure the Jewish future:


The Technion Campus

A recent string of major gifts have helped the American Technion Society (ATS) eclipse its campaign goal for the 1996-2006 "Shaping Israel's Future" campaign to raise $750 million for the Technion. Fueled by this momentum, the ATS -- the leading organization raising funds for education in Israel -- has announced an ambitious plan to raise an additional $250 million over the next three years, transforming the campaign into an historic quest for $1 billion.

The newly announced campaign places the ATS in the rarified company of the 27 major U.S. universities with current campaigns of $1 billion or more (31 universities have completed such campaigns).

"We're delighted to have contributed so much toward the growth and excellence of the Technion," said Joan Seidel, ATS president." But we can't stop now. Israel's future is linked with the Technion. We're committed to ensuring that the Technion reaches even greater achievements."

Prof. Rafi Semiat and student conduct research at the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute

The announcement of the new campaign is especially welcome news to the Technion -- Israel's leading science and technology university. The Technion, like all Israeli universities, faces continuing and severe budget cuts from the government. But because educating students in science and technology is more costly than educating them in liberal arts, the impact of these cuts -- and the subsequent need for additional funding - is greater for the Technion.

"Maintaining a global edge in scientific education and research demands significant investment in recruiting top faculty, attracting the best students, increasing the size of the graduate school, and building sophisticated facilities," said Technion President Prof. Yitzhak Apeloig. "The support of the ATS is crucial to shaping the Technion and Israel into what they are today."

Since the campaign's launch 10 years ago, transforming gifts toward priority projects such as the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute, the Louis and Bessie Stein Food Engineering Complex, the 800-bed Eastern Village Dormitory Complex and the Institute of Catalysis Science and Technology have propelled Israel toward ever-greater scientific achievements -- including the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Over the past six months, notable gifts to the ATS have included:

$30 million to establish the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Graduate School at the Technion. The gift will mean more -- and larger -- fellowships for retaining and teaching graduate students; new multi-disciplinary research programs; and programs for identifying and nurturing outstanding candidates for Ph.D. studies.

Kinneret Keren was a graduate student when she contributed to the Technion's groundbreaking nanotechnology research at the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute.

$25 million to establish the Lorry I. Lokey Technion Life Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Research Center, which will make possible the development of new drugs, medical applications and technologies. Prof. Aaron Ciechanover -- one of two Technion professors who received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry -- will direct the center.

An agreement signed by biomedical entrepreneur and philanthropist Alfred E. Mann towards the establishment of an endowed $100 million life sciences/biomedical engineering research institute at the Technion.

"The ATS offers the best way to support 21st Century Israel through partnership in the Technion's world-class excellence, by being part of the thrilling progress in science and technology," said Melvyn H. Bloom, executive vice president of the organization. "It's an exciting opportunity to build an institution and the brainpower that builds the nation. With the unwavering efforts of our dedicated supporters around the country, we will continue to ensure that the Technion fulfills its vital role in Israel's future."

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