Professor Manuel Trajtenberg on Enhancing Access to Higher E...

Professor Manuel Trajtenberg on Enhancing Access to Higher Education for Arab Citizens of Israel

Feb 5, 2013 1:00pm - 3:00pm

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues and UJA-Federation of New York are pleased to invite you to a special luncheon with Professor Manuel Trajtenberg, Chairman of the Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee, on: Enhancing Access to Higher Education for Arab Citizens of Israel: Realities, Challenges and New Opportunities Opening remarks by: John Ruskay, Executive Vice President & CEO of UJA-Federation of New York Alan Gill, Incoming CEO of JDC and Co-chair of the Task Force Professor Manuel Trajtenberg has defined enhancing access to higher education for Arab citizens of Israel as one of Israel's strategic priorities in terms of economic and social development. Professor Trajtenberg will speak about the challenges young Arabs currently face on their academic path and actions the Israeli government is taking to improve Arab participation in -- and successful completion of -- higher academic studies. In 2010, under Trajtenberg's leadership, the Planning and Budgeting Committee signed a multiyear agreement with the Ministry of Finance, allocating NIS 305 million towards the development and implementation of a strategic, long-term approach to enhancing accessibility of higher education for the Arab community. This approach was formalized into a Six-Year Plan that was implemented as a pilot over the last two years and is expanding to national scale this academic year. To attend, please contact Michal Cohen at [email protected] or (212) 885-0825. Speaker Bios Professor Manuel Trajtenberg -- Professor Trajtenberg has served as Chairman of the Budgeting and Planning Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel since September 2009, after having served as (first) Head of the National Economic Council at the Prime Minister's Office, and chief economic advisor to the Prime Minister during 2006-2009. In August 2011 he was appointed Head of the Government Committee for Social and Economic Change (Trajtenberg Committee), following the mass protests of the summer of 2011. He has been a Professor of Economics at Tel Aviv University since 1984, obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard University, held visiting positions at Harvard and Stanford University, is a Research Associate of the NBER in Cambridge, MA, and of the CEPR in London, UK, and was a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. Prof. Trajtenberg served as Head of the Science, Technology and the Economy (STE) Program at the Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies, Technion, and as a consultant for the World Bank on R&D and Innovation Policies for Development. Prof. Trajtenberg has published books and numerous articles in leading scientific journals, and is regarded as one of the world leading experts in the field of R&D and Innovation. He has contributed widely to the formulation of economic policy in Israel, particularly in shaping R&D policy, and served as advisor to various ministers and to chief scientists at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. John S. Ruskay, Ph.D. -- Dr. Ruskay came to UJA-Federation in 1993 and served in several positions before being appointed executive vice president and CEO in October 1999. Dr. Ruskay earned his doctorate in political science at Columbia University and served as educational director of the 92nd Street Y from 1980 to 1985, and vice chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1985 to 1993. Dr. Ruskay has written extensively and speaks nationally on how the American Jewish community can most effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities of living in an open society, the critical role of Jewish philanthropy, and the central role of community. Dr. Ruskay has received many honors, including the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence from Brandeis University's Hornstein Program, the Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award from the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters awarded by the Jewish Theological Seminary. Alan Gill -- Alan Gill, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's incoming CEO, is a 20-year veteran of JDC and has been a leader in JDC landmark programs including: Ashalim, a unique public and private/non-profit partnership to address the needs of Israel's children at risk;The Hunger Relief Campaign for impoverished elderly Jews and development of Jewish community centers in post-Soviet countries; and PACT -- Parents and Children Together -- an internationally recognized program for the education and cultural integration of Ethiopian- Israeli preschool children and their parents. Gill also served as special advisor to the organization's Former Soviet Union operations and was a member of JDC's emergency relief team during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. During his tenure as the organization's Executive Director of International Relations, JDC's annual, direct philanthropic revenue increased tenfold enabling JDC to expand critically needed humanitarian assistance and Jewish community development in post-communist countries and address growing social gaps in Israel. Previously Gill served as CEO of the Jewish Federation of Columbus, Ohio, was founder of Ohio State University's graduate training program for Jewish Communal Service, and served as part-time professor at Ohio State's College of Social Work. Gill holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Ohio University, and a master's degree in social work from Ohio State. Gill and his wife, Rhona, currently residents of Israel, will move to New York in advance of his taking the reins as CEO on January 31. They have three adult children, all living in Israel.