|From the President
|(l-r) Prof. Moshe Shoham, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and Technion President
The last few months have repeatedly demonstrated how closely intertwined Technion is with the development and progress of Israel as a sovereign state.
Prof. Peretz Lavie
In March, my wife, Dr Lena Lavie, and I accompanied the Technion student delegation to the Death Camps in Poland. It was a very emotional experience. My family wasn’t affected by the Holocaust as they came here from Europe in the mid-19th century. Lena’s father came from Salonika; of his family, only he and his sister were spared Auschwitz.
Our physical presence in Poland, listening to the survivors’ testimonials, evoked an overwhelming awareness that one must have a state of one’s own and control one’s own destiny. Israel, with its thriving economy, scientific excellence, and technological prowess, should not be taken for granted. Our harrowing encounter with the horrors of the Final Solution gave us a clear sense of priorities as Israelis. It is essential for our survival to take responsibility for our lives and our future.
Also in March, we were graced with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to our campus. Here, we presented several biomedical research projects and some of our top facilities. The PM noted how impressed he was with the cutting-edge technologies on exhibit, and stated that Technion is a powerhouse of innovation, creativity, and science.
April 11 marked the 100th anniversary of our cornerstone, laid in pre-State Israel. The centennial fell this year during the week of Passover, the holiday of freedom that signifies our people’s release from slavery and our deliverance to the Land of Israel. In 1925, in his key address at Technion’s official opening ceremony, the prominent Zionist Menachem Ussishkin predicted that technology is essential for building the nation state.
Israel’s 64th Independence Day celebrations commenced on April 25 with the traditional beacon-lighting ceremony; this year’s theme was Water: The Source of Life. We were especially honored that Prof. Emeritus Menahem Rebhun - an expert on water quality and treatment and wastewater reclamation - was one of the 13 select torchbearers. Three Technion alumni also carried the flame: Moshe Cohen, KKL-JNF’s Director of Development Projects; Giora Shaham, a water systems analyst; and Alex Wiznitzer, Chairman of the Board of Mekorot Water Company Ltd.
These four representatives underscore Technion’s centrality as the premier educator of the engineers and scientists who built and maintain this country’s infrastructure and continue to strategize its natural resources.