On September 30, I will complete my 12-year term as President of Beit Berl College, and will retire from my professional home of the last 35 years. Certainly, I did not imagine that I would be concluding my career at Beit Berl in the midst of a pandemic. Now, I look back over the last years with pride, as well as the sadness of farewell.
Beit Berl stands out as one of the few Israeli colleges of education that advanced to operate under the Planning and Budgeting framework of Israel's universities – a tribute to our high academic quality and rigorous standards. Our faculty conducts research with a broad network of international academic partners throughout Europe, as well as in Japan and Turkey; and scores of students participate in international exchanges. We initiated a bold plan for campus revitalization and growth, and are now in the midst of constructing and renovating four buildings on campus to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure.
I have overseen dynamic changes at the College, building it into a hub of excellence and innovation in education, and a driver of greater equality in Israeli society. I would like to thank you, our supporters, for your help in putting in place key cornerstones of this strategy of change:
Center for the Advancement of Shared Society is changing the way our teachers see Israeli society, and teach our children. Over the last 5 years, the Center has touched the lives of almost 10,000 Jewish and Arab students and faculty, as well as the children, teachers and parents of our surrounding communities.
STEAM Education Center will serve as the home for training hundreds of new teachers, and a regional R&D center for the instruction of STEAM-discipline studies (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math), inspiring the next generation of young women and men to be Israel's future mathematicians, scientists, engineers, designers and high-tech professionals.
Center for Haredi [Ultra-Orthodox] Educators prepares Haredi teachers and youth workers with professional knowledge and practice, allowing Haredi children to grow up with the skills necessary to engage more fully in Israeli society and economy.
Beit Berl College has become a catalyst for advancing arts education in the surrounding Arab communities, creating models for cross-cultural arts education in higher education, primary and secondary schools, as well as in Israel's museums.
In education, change is a long-term process, and I leave with many critical challenges still to be met. I take encouragement from the adage in Pirke Avoth [Ethics of the Fathers]: "It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it."
I wish great success to Professor Yuli Tamir, who will become the next President of Beit Berl College, and will continue meeting the challenges of advancing education for all populations in Israel.
With warm regards,