With the goals of fostering technological innovation and boosting bilateral academic research and exchange opportunities, the presidents of top U.S. universities and colleges are visiting Israel this week with AJC Project Interchange.

Meeting with their Israeli counterparts, the delegation will exchange ideas on innovation and learning and explore opportunities for bilateral academic collaboration. Past PI seminars for U.S. university presidents have contributed to innovative academic partnerships, including the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, the University of California and Israel Innovation Authority Partnership, and the Miami-Dade College-Tel Aviv University MOU.

Campuses represented on the delegation include California State University Northridge (CSUN), Georgia State University, Hunter College, New College of Florida, San José State University, and Wake Forest University.

"The world-class research and educational facilities at Israeli universities and colleges, a number of which this delegation will visit, provide a fitting setting for great minds to share best practices, discuss potential research collaboration and partnerships, and explore opportunities for mutually-beneficial cooperation and innovation,” said AJC Project Interchange Executive Director Robin Levenston-Kudisch.

The university presidents will meet with leadership at Israel's Bar Ilan University; Ono Academic College; Shenkar College of Engineering, Design, and Art; the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the University of Haifa.

These higher education leaders will gain a first-hand understanding of Israel, its vibrant democracy, diverse society, and regional challenges. During their visit, the university presidents will engage a variety of perspectives from Israeli Jewish and Arab experts across the political and social spectrum.

Sessions with renowned experts and site visits throughout Israel will provide analysis of an array of complex issues facing Israel and the region. Discussions with academic and civil society leaders will focus on Israel’s high-tech and entrepreneurial landscape, security challenges, diversity in Israeli society, and Israel’s approach to global humanitarian aid.

The delegation also will travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian experts on society, higher education, and entrepreneurship in the Palestinian Authority.

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