Nearly 200 Technion friends and supporters from around the world convened in Haifa June 9-13 for the 2023 Technion Board of Governors (BOG) meeting — celebrating the University’s achievements and the role played by so many in its success. “The campus was filled with students, visitors, classes, and events,” said American Technion Society (ATS) CEO Michael Waxman-Lenz. “I don’t recall this level of energy and enthusiasm since pre-COVID times.”

Technion Alumni Medal recipients Johny Srouji ’88, M.S. ’83, (L), senior vp of Hardware Technologies at Apple and Aharon Aharon ’81, M.S. ’83, founder of C-perto and former CEO of the Israeli Innovation Authority, with Technion President Uri Sivan.

The theme of this year’s meeting, “Exchange for Change, highlighted the Technion’s close ties to industry and the impact those collaborations have on Israel and the world. An especially poignant illustration of this point occurred when Technion President Uri Sivan awarded the Technion Alumni Medal to esteemed graduates Johny Srouji ’88, M.S. ’90, senior vice president of Hardware Technologies at Apple, and Aharon Aharon ’81, M.S. ’83, founder of the consulting company C-perto, first GM of Apple Israel, and former CEO of the Israeli Innovation Authority.

“These two alumni embody the true spirit of the Technion, encompassing innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, technological excellence, and social awareness,” said President Sivan. The Medal honors exemplary achievements that have strengthened industry and academia in Israel and worldwide.

After earning his Technion degree in computer science, Mr. Srouji encouraged Apple to open an R&D center in Israel and helped build its innovative teams of technology engineers. “Growing up, the Technion was near enough to be real, but prestigious enough to be a dream. I’m proud to work for a company committed to leaving the world better than we found it, and that the Technion is instilling that ideal in the next generation — and generations to come.”

Mr. Aharon, whose experience extends from government to industry and academia, shared a similar sentiment. “My love story with the Technion began a long time ago, when I entered my first class here.” He went on to train generations of Israeli engineers and scientists, and to teach in the Technion for 18 years.

In a separate session devoted to strengthening the bridge between academic research and industrial development, former Technion President Peretz Lavie moderated a discussion with panelists Eric Gertler, Technion supporter, BOG member, and Executive Chairman and CEO of U.S. News & World Report; Koby Rubinstein, Technion EVP of Research; and executives from Israel Aerospace Industries, IBM, and Rafael

The 2023 BOG also officially confirmed the Technion Council’s selection of incumbent Technion President, Professor Uri Sivan, to an additional four-year term. The start of Prof. Sivan’s new term coincides with the Technion’s 100th anniversary and will be dedicated to cementing the Technion’s reputation as a leading international research university. “One hundred years after the first classroom was inaugurated, we look back on the past with pride … and we look forward with a deep commitment and belief in the Technion’s ability to continue enabling society and the State of Israel to flourish and prosper,” said President Sivan.

In keeping with the Centennial flavor, BOG attendees visited the Technion’s original building in Hadar, now home to MadaTech, the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space. They were treated to a preview of the new Noble Laureate exhibition, where Distinguished Professor Aaron Ciechanover spoke about the academic journey that led him to the Technion and his winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004 along with Distinguished Professor Avram Hershko.

At other points during the four days, attendees had the opportunity to visit labs and talk with researchers investigating a range of fields including: alternative energy in the Nancy and Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program, foodtech and sustainable protein projects, advanced physics and quantum science, and aerospace and jet propulsion. But no BOG would be complete without a mix of education and award celebrations to thank the Technion’s many important supporters.

A group of committed Technion supporters were awarded the Technion Honorary Fellowship during the Board of Governors meeting (June 9-13) in Haifa including American Technion Society donors Avraham Ashkenazi ’66, M.S. ’71 (far left), Cathy and James Deutchman (third and fourth from left), and Janet Shatz Snyder (far right).

Honoring ATS Leaders

Professor Wayne Kaplan, vice president for external relations and resource development, emceed the Honorary Fellowship Conferment Ceremony, followed by a dinner and music performance. Included among the award recipients were ATS supporters:

  • Avraham Ashkenazi ’66, M.S. ’71: a Technion alumnus with a life-long connection to his alma mater, Israel, and the ATS. After making Aliyah in 1948, Mr. Ashkenazi’s dream was to study industrial engineering at the Technion, help build the nascent nation —then give back. He has been active on the local, national, and international levels of the organization, and as a Technion Guardian, has directed gifts to benefit students and to Israel’s security.
  • Cathy and James Deutchman: longtime supporters of Israel and the Technion, where Mrs. Deutchman is a third-generation supporter. The couple have both been presidents of their local Detroit chapter and have served on the ATS National Board and the Technion Board of Governors. Mrs. Deutchman also co-led the 2022 Women of ATS Mission. As Technion Guardians, they have generously supported many projects to upgrade campus facilities, support students, and more.
  • Janet Shatz Snyder: a second-generation ATS leader and Guardian. Ms. Shatz Snyder is the immediate past president of the ATS–Washington D.C. Leadership Council, was active in recruiting high school students for the Technion’s SciTech summer program, and helped create Technion 101, a comprehensive introduction to the Technion for newcomers. She also serves on the ATS National Board and the Technion Board of Governors. 

Outstanding Technion supporters were awarded the Technion Honorary Doctorate at the recent Board of Governors meeting including American Technion Society supporters Stephen B. Klein (third from right) and Mrs. Grace and Dr. Martin Rosman (far right).

Professor Noam Adir, Dean of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, presided over the special dinner reception and Honorary Doctorate Conferment Ceremony. The ATS supporters in this group included:

  • Stephen B. Klein: an enthusiastic second-generation ATS supporter and a champion of many Jewish, civic, and humanitarian causes in the U.S. and Israel. Mr. Klein served as past president of ATS-Philadelphia and has been active on the ATS National Board and the Technion Board of Governors. A Technion Guardian who is passionate about Israel’s security, he has generously supported projects in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.
  • Martin and Grace Rosman: advocates of Israel, the Technion, and the ATS, focused on creating student opportunities. Their Rosman-Atidim Program, which gives disadvantaged youth the chance to attend the Technion, has impacted more than 1,000 students. As Technion Guardians, they have supported numerous projects, including most recently the Martin and Grace Druan Rosman High Performance Computer Data Center.

In other proud and heartwarming moments, attendees witnessed the cornerstone laying of the Martin and Grace Druan Rosman High Performance Computer Data Center. The Rosmans were present to witness what they hope will become an indispensable facility providing state-of-the-art-supercomputer hardware to faculty and students.

While on campus, BOG participants viewed several exhibits about campus life, including one called “My Technion,” and another featuring the artwork students have on their dorm room walls. Other moments included a tour of Isrough Technologies, a laboratory diamond producer founded and operated by Technion alumni, and lunch at the Kitron Winery in the Jezreel Valley.

The 2023 BOG welcomed an unusually large and enthusiastic crowd of supporters eager to come out of post-Covid hibernation to celebrate the Technion. The caliber of the attendees, panelists, and honorees reflect the incredible impact the Technion continues to have on Israel and the world at large — moving the needle towards making the world a better place.