Experts and thought leaders from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) regaled a packed house at the Four Seasons Resort on Sunday, January 20th, during the Annual Leadership Education Forum (ALEF) hosted by American Friends of the Hebrew University. The daylong conference highlighted health, agriculture, nanotechnology, the humanities, the environment, and life sciences through lectures from top minds in their fields.
The event showcased groundbreaking research and practical applications emerging from the Hebrew University. Professors Howard Cedar and Hermona Soreq led one of the sessions titled “Innovation, Insight, and Integration: The Future of Modern Medicine.” Professor Cedar is credited with developing a simple blood test that helps diagnose diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), as well as early signs of cancer. Professor Soreq’s revolutionary research has led to a greater understanding of neurogenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Professor Shmuel Peleg, the inventor of BriefCam, and his colleague Lieutenant Johnmichael O’Hare, spoke to the audience about how their product can transform hours of unwatched surveillance footage into reviewable, searchable, and analytical data. BriefCam allows the user to search for particulars such as gender, car color, or even consumer behavior to be reviewed in minutes, identifying and preventing security threats and breaches while increasing safety. The program can optimize pedestrian and traffic patterns, protect travelers, and even prevent retail loss.
Other guest speakers included keynote presenter Professor Eugene Kandel, the Emil Spyer Professor of Economics and Finance at the Hebrew University and CEO of the Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem by connecting global business, government, and NGO leaders to the people and technologies in Israel that can help solve the world’s most pressing problems; and keynote speaker Dr. Yaron Daniely, CEO and President of Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University.
Professor Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University and Ambassador Yossi Gal, Hebrew University’s Vice President for Advancement and External Relations and Israel’s former Ambassador to France and Monaco, made a special appearance.
The event was interactive as audience members got a chance to ask direct questions of the speakers after each session.
Jane and Dr. Peter Feinstein were chairpersons for the event. “ALEF shines a light on innovations and trailblazing work conducted by the Hebrew University faculty across diverse fields,” said Dr. Peter Feinstein. “Our goal is to keep building awareness of the Hebrew University’s capabilities and its fresh approach to problem-solving, whether in combating disease or developing and utilizing the latest technologies to help economies grow and keep people safe. My wife and I are grateful to our fellow supporters who value this conference each year and are devoted to the continuing success of the Hebrew University.”
Event sponsors include Barbara and Morton Mandel, Barbara and Clive Kabatznik, Renee and Robert Belfer, Stuart and Beverly Halpert, Gail and Lewis Rubin, Annette Pakula, BNYMellon Wealth Management, Ginsburg Shulman LLP, and Greenspoon Marder LLP.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s leading academic and research institution. Serving 23,000 students from 90 countries, it produces a third of Israel’s civilian research and is ranked 12th worldwide in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development. Faculty and alumni of the Hebrew University have won eight Nobel Prizes, seven of which were awarded since 2000.