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ATS Mission Highlights High-Tech Nation
Some 60 ATS supports from across the nation participated in the annual American Technion Society (ATS) Mission, which traveled this year to St. Petersburg, Russia and Israel. The 10-day Mission, "Old World Splendors New World Solutions: Technion Journey of a Lifetime," (May 29 June 8), raised more than $6.2 million for the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel's leading science and technology university. The trip was led by Chicagoans Joel S. Rothman, the National ATS President, and his wife Jeri, along with Leonard H. Sherman, who served as Honorary Chair.
The Mission began in St. Petersburg, the “Venice of the North,” whose waterways and gilded Baroque palaces have made its reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Participants visited the opulent institutions of Czarist Russia including The State Hermitage Museum and the Peterhof, and took in a concert at the Mariinsky Theater. Having exclusive access to St. Petersburg’s Jewish community, Mission-goers met the city’s Chief Rabbi, and visited the newly built Jewish Community Center.
True to the Mission’s title, traveling from St. Petersburg to Israel and the Technion was akin to time travel into the future. The group was treated to demonstrations of the Technion’s most current research in nanotechnology, alternative energy and robotic systems at the Technion Science Fair. They visited the Alfred Mann Institute (AMIT), located on campus, which has helped promising research develop into medical devices and products. Off campus, they visited some of the high-tech companies started by Technion graduates that have helped transform Israel into the “Start-Up Nation,” such as Better Place, a world leader in the electric car industry.
“The Technion has had an exceptionally special year -- with winning a Nobel Prize and the chance to build a high-tech institution in New York City -- and we've all celebrated from afar. But nothing beats being there in person. Our excitement and joy in celebrating the Technion's recent achievements along with its Cornerstone Centennial, was unsurpassed,” said Mr. Rothman.
Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman, the 2011 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, addressed the supporters, and Technion President Peretz Lavie participated in two moving dedication ceremonies. Jeffrey Cosiol, the immediate past-president of the ATS Philadelphia Chapter, dedicated the Jaime Cosiol Memorial Childrens Playground in the Technion’s Stanley Shalom Zielony Graduate Student Village. Also dedicated during the mission was the Morton and Beverley Rechler Family Foundation Dormitory. Bennett and Bonnie Rechler of Great Neck, and David and Hannah Rechler Rabinowitz of Manhattan (who were not Mission participants but were in Israel while the Mission was taking place), dedicated the dormitory in honor of their parents.
Honors at the Board Of Governors
Following the Mission, the ATS International Board of Governors convened for a three-day gathering of awards ceremonies, presentations that included a talk by renowned economist Abby Joseph Cohen on economic growth and innovation, and festivities to celebrate the Technion Cornerstone Centennial.
A number of prizes were bestowed to Technion professors, researchers and students during the festivities, including the Norman and Barbara Seiden Family Prizes for Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Student Projects in Optoelectronics, Microelectronics and Nanosciences; the Russell Berrie Scholarships & Prizes for Excellence in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology; the Horev and Landau Fellows of the Taub Foundation Leaders in Science & Technology Program; the Hershel and Hilda Rich Technion Innovation Awards; and the Henry Taub Prizes for Academic Excellence.
ATS Chairman of the Board Joan Seidel, the former treasurer of Beverly Hills, CA and a prominent stockbroker; and Technion alumnus and computer pioneer Moshe Yanai of Brookline, MA were each awarded an Honorary Doctorate – the highest honor conveyed by the Technion. Technion Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Jeff Cosiol of Margate, NJ; Technion alumnus Raphael Mishan of Matawan, NJ; former Florida State Senator Paul B. Steinberg of Miami Beach and Ruth Flinkman-Marandy of Los Angeles. Mr. Mishan and his wife Miriam also dedicated the Miriam and Raphael Mishan in vivo fMRI Research Facility.