Opening doors to new opportunities

President Lawrence and Al-Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh share a discussion at Al-Quds University's campus in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem.

Brandeis University has given me the privilege of many sublime moments, and few have been as awe-inspiring as the chance to address members of the Brandeis family in front of the panoramic walls of the Old City of Jerusalem under a full moon.

The alumni gathering in Jerusalem represented the culmination of a day full of significant events and meaningful progress for Brandeis in the Holy Land. After just a day and a half, our trip here has already opened a number of doors to new opportunities.

My day here began with a meeting with Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al-Quds University, with which Brandeis has had a partnership since 2003 and exchanges of faculty and staff since 2005. I traveled to Beit Hanina in the Jerusalem area, where one of Al-Quds University’s campuses is located, and President Nusseibeh and I discussed ways to continue our partnership, specifically how to promote the education of women in the sciences.

President Lawrence meets with Jerusalem YMCA CEO — and Brandeis alum and Slifka Scholar — Forsan Hussein '00 (left), as well as Ireland's Ambassador to Israel, a guest at the YMCA (center).

I shared lunch with the CEO of the Jerusalem YMCA — a Brandeis graduate and former Slifka Scholar, Forsan Hussein ’00. The lovely, traditional Jerusalemite building and tower house this remarkable institution, dedicated to creating a space for inter-faith and inter-group dialogue, just a few short blocks from the Old City walls.

Next, I met with Hebrew University President Menachem Ben-Sasson, on the Mount Scopus campus of this renowned institution. We had a wide-ranging discussion on many opportunities for collaboration, such as ways in which faculty members from both schools can work together to pursue shared interests.

The day concluded with an Alumni and Friends Event at the David Citadel Hotel, overlooking the centuries-old, Jerusalem-stone walls of the Old City, and the storied Tower of David. We hosted alumni from the Class of 1957 all the way through to newly-minted alumni of the Class of 2011, as well as several current students who are working in Israel for the summer. To give voice to the social justice mission and Jewish roots of Brandeis University, in the same place where Isaiah the prophet gave voice to his vision of social justice — the word “magical” does not even capture it. I felt profoundly thankful and blessed.



2 Responses to “Opening doors to new opportunities”

  • Thank you for an inspiring gathering last night in Jerusalem! You and your wife are not only amazing leaders (and lovely people!), but it was a joy to see how your lives and values truly resonate with Brandeis. I look forward to watching exciting new growth in the coming years.

  • I opened the blog post thinking I would be inspired for my business, but instead was inspired in a whole different way! I love your posts, very insightful.

    My daughter is in school currently studying the Science feild, I’ll be passing on the link to your blog to her.

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