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President of Hadassah College Jerusalem to Light Torch

One of Two Hadassah Representatives to Be Given Honor at Annual Ceremony on Mt. Herzl
Genever McBain

PRESIDENT OF HADASSAH COLLEGE JERUSALEM TO LIGHT TORCH
One of Two Hadassah Representatives to Be Given Honor at Annual Ceremony on Mt. Herzl

(New York, NY -- April 16, 2007) -- Prof. Nava Ben-Zvi, President of Hadassah College Jerusalem, will be among those honored by the State of Israel to light a torch at the annual Memorial Day/Independence Day observances on Mt. Herzl, Monday evening, April 23. Ben-Zvi's participation in the national ceremony, which this year honors the fortieth anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, is not only an affirmation of a life devoted to bringing higher education to Israelis, but a rare endorsement of technology-based higher education in which she has played a leading role.

Others who will be honored this year by lighting a torch are Prof. Yosef Shenkar, longtime former head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Hadassah Medical Organization; former President of Israel Yitzhak Navon; and Ruth Cheshin, International President of the Jerusalem Foundation.

According to Hadassah National President June Walker: “We are extremely proud that Hadassah is represented by two of this year’s torch lighters. Prof. Shenkar, an eminent medical professional, is known to so many families in the Jerusalem area because he brought them and their children into this world.

“The creativity and innovation Prof. Ben-Zvi has brought to Hadassah College Jerusalem is parallel to none. She is a brilliant scientist, who did not stay in the ivory tower, but has been searching for practical ways to improve Israel’s technology education. It is befitting that such an expert be given such an honor. It is our shared goal that the education available to our students at Hadassah College Jerusalem meets the needs of the country and this vital industry.”

A pioneer in higher education nationally and globally, Ben-Zvi, who has a Ph.D in chemistry, was an early proponent of bringing information technology to education. As one of the founders of the Open University in the mid-1970s, she established Snunit, the first Hebrew-language, Web-based, distance learning and teaching site for science in Israel. As a chemistry professor at the Hebrew University, she produced education programs in chemistry that were translated into twenty languages and established the University Center for Multimedia.

Since becoming President of Hadassah College Jerusalem in late 1999, she has turned it into one of the leading educational institutions in Israel. She has expanded the college’s offerings and its growth every year.

“In 1999 there were 700 students enrolled, and today there are about 2000,” she said. “It is important to connect IT to education. Only through linkage of technology and education can we achieve significant and practical results.”

In recent years, Prof. Ben-Zvi has been concerned with the level of technology education in Israel. “Twelve years ago, I conducted research with Dr. Uzi Tzuk at the Hebrew University to examine technology education in Israel, which years ago started out as a discipline suitable only for the lowest level students in the system. Only since the 1990’s has technology education become a legitimate alternative for academic education. In our research, we looked closely at who led the students into technology education and we discovered that the difficulty seemed to be with the school counselors. They had completely misunderstood the nature and value of technology education and therefore devalued it. We must find a way to direct our best students into technology and, once we do, we will be in the position of improving the entire educational system and contributing to Israel’s further advancement in technology.”

Ben-Zvi has not only been recognized in Israel for her excellence as an educator. Recently, she was awarded the President’s Global Leadership Award from the University of South Florida, “on behalf of her exceptional service to the public and her extraordinary contribution to the advancement of higher education.”

 

Date: 4/16/2007 12:00:00 AM

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