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June 25, 2012

ATS MIssion: An All-Around Success

St Pete Museum revised.jpgMission participants look at priceless art while at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

Participants on the much-anticipated Mission to St. Petersburg and Israel returned last week, a bit travel-weary, but enthusiastic about their adventures. Some 60 ATS supporters from across the country participated in the 10-day Mission, “Old World Splendors – New World Solutions: Technion Journey of a Lifetime,” which raised more than $6.2 million and counting for the Technion.

A trio of Chicago residents – Mission co-chairs Joel S. Rothman, National ATS President, and his wife Jeri, along with Leonard H. Sherman, who served as the Honorary Chair – led this extraordinary journey. “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,” said Joel. “Our excitement and joy in celebrating the Technion’s recent achievements along with its cornerstone centennial was unsurpassed.”

Better Place.jpg
Mission Co-Chairs Joel and Jeri Rothman at Better Place in Israel.

True to the Mission’s title, St. Petersburg’s tree lined promenades and opulent palaces, brimming with gilded interiors and masterful art, evoked the long-past grandiose era of Czarist Russia. And true to ATS Missions, participants received exclusive access to dignitaries and sites. The group received an exclusive viewing of the Czar’s jewel collection at The Hermitage, and a private tour of the Russian Ethnography Museum by a scholar at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy. They also met the city’s Chief Rabbi.

But the highlight of the trip was the time spent at the Technion, where they saw first-hand how Technion students and faculty are working to create the technology of the future. “Being on the Technion campus with fellow ATS supporters was a powerful experience,” said Joel. “The vision we share for the Technion materialized before our eyes as we passed the many state-of-the art laboratories, dormitories and other facilities that our support has created.”

Jeffrey Cosiol with his Mother, Tobel, and Technion
President Peretz Lavie.

Technion President Peretz Lavie presided over a moving ceremony in which Jeffrey Cosiol, the immediate past president of the ATS Philadelphia Chapter, dedicated the Jaime Cosiol Memorial Children’s Playground in the Technion’s Stanley Shalom Zielony Graduate Student Village. Bennett and Bonnie Rechler of Great Neck, N.Y. with David Rabinowitz and Hannah Rechler Rabinowitz of Manhattan, (who were at the Technion at the same time as the Mission), dedicated the Morton and Beverley Rechler Family Foundation Dormitory in honor of their parents.

Off campus, Mission-goers visited Better Place, a global leader in the electric car industry, and other high-tech companies that were founded by Technion graduates and have helped transform Israel into the “Start-Up Nation.”

The ATS International Board of Governors Meeting, which directly followed the Mission, was particularly festive this year. The three-day gathering consisted of awards ceremonies, a book launch, and celebrations for the Technion cornerstone centennial that included a concert by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. Renowned economist Abby Joseph Cohen spoke to attendees on economic growth and innovation.

From left to right: Larry Jackier, Chair of
International Board of Governors; Arnold and
Joan Seidel

ATS Chairman of the Board Joan Seidel, an admired ATS leader and prominent member of Los Angeles’ financial community; and Technion alumnus and computer pioneer Moshe Yanai of Brookline, Mass. were each awarded an Honorary Doctorate. Technion Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Jeffrey Cosiol of Margate, N.J.; Ruth Flinkman-Marandy of Los Angeles; Technion alumnus Raphael Mishan of Matawan, N.J.; and former Florida State Senator Paul B. Steinberg of Miami Beach. Raphael and his wife Miriam also dedicated the Miriam and Raphael Mishan in vivo fMRI Research Facility.

A number of prizes were bestowed upon 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 Hershel and Hilda Rich Technion Innovation Awards; the Henry Taub Prizes for Academic Excellence; and the Leonard & Diane Sherman Interdisciplinary Graduate School Fellowships.

To view photos from the St. Petersburg portion of the Mission, please click here.

To view photos from the Israel portion of the Mission, please click here.

To view photos from the Board of Governors Meeting, please click here.

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American Technion Society
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