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Looking to the Future

By January 30, 2015 March 23rd, 2016 Interviews-Leeds

Life’s Kirsty Plowman speaks to Dr Merav Galili, director of Global Resource Development Operations at Bar-Ilan University, about the university’s achievements and her forthcoming visit to Leeds.


What does your role as Director of Global Resource Development Operations at Bar-Ilan University involve?

I prioritise and set fundraising goals and campaigns for the university as well as its global friends’ offices and monitor fundraising challenges in each of our regions. I cultivate and maintain a donor base and donor portfolios.


I also recruit and train fundraising and back office staff and manage the global resource team. I coordinate joint ventures between the Board of Trustees, the university administration and the global fundraising offices and their individual boards.


How did you become involved with the Bar-Ilan University?

I am an alumnus of Bar-Ilan University where I earned my BA in Psychology and Education. I then entered the accelerated track straight to a PhD at Hebrew University from where I earned my doctorate in Psychology.


Before coming to work at Bar-Ilan, I established the Resource Development Unit of Aliyah and Absorption Department of the Jewish Agency for Israel and worked for almost a decade at the American Joint Distribution Committee, where I advanced fundraising from federations, private donors and foundations in Israel and around the world.


At the request of the then president of the university, I came to Bar-Ilan University to head the Global Resource department and spearhead the fundraising efforts for the university’s most ambitious project – the establishment of Israel’s newest medical school, which is the first medical school to be opened in Israel in nearly 40 years.


Now celebrating its 60th milestone anniversary, the university has become one of Israel’s fastest growing institutions of higher education. It’s good to be back home!


How has the university shaped communities in Israel?

Bar-Ilan graduates can be found in virtually every field of Israeli society.


Our researchers have patented devices that are used in the army and worldwide security systems; our medical school is changing and upgrading the face of health care in the north and in the periphery.


Bar-Ilan has made a deep and sincere commitment to giving back to the community through established programmes including free legal, social work and psychology clinics.


Can you highlight some of the university’s greatest achievements?

Our ‘four pronged’ interdisciplinary, advanced research and applied science flagship programmes are great achievements: The Bar-Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology (BINA), The School of Engineering, The Susan and Leslie Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center and The School of Medicine in the Galilee.


Bar-Ilan University also pioneered the national returning scientist programme aimed at stopping ‘brain drain’ by bringing top-rated Israeli scientists home to Israel after they have completed post-docs at the world’s foremost institutions.


How will Bar-Ilan continue to support the country’s citizens and Jewish people across the world?

Our international study programmes are aimed at bringing students to Israel from various Jewish communities across the globe, strengthening their Jewish identity and advancing their academic career. In light of recent events in Europe, this has gained even more credence and urgency.


Departments such as our School of Communication and the BESA strategic studies ‘think thank’ provide much-needed analysis and PR about our country, our nation, our security and our survival. Additionally, our innovative technological discoveries will be used for cyber and physical security.


Our leadership geared programming such as the Israel Defense Force command programme, the Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women, the gender studies programme, the community Rabbi programme, and the Empowerment programme for disabled individuals will continue to support Jewish people.


What draws you to speak to the Leeds Jewish community?

Bar-Ilan University has enjoyed a long standing relationship with British Jewry. Many projects on campus exist due to the friendship and commitment of the UK Jewish community. However, many of these associations have been with the London community. I would like to take this opportunity to further acquaint the Leeds community with the university and its many accomplishments and developments.


What do you hope your visit will accomplish?

I hope to learn more about the Jewish community in Leeds and likewise introduce them to Bar-Ilan University and to the state of Israel. We welcome the people of Leeds to become part of the Bar-Ilan family and to share in our Zionistic and academic vision.


Merav is coming to Leeds on 18th March to attend the UK Israel Business Breakfast meeting, the UK Trade & Investment event and the UJIA Ladies Lunch. Anyone interested in attending any of these events, a private meeting or for further details, contact Jane Clynes on 07703 271 238 or jane.clynes@ukisraelbusiness.co.uk