American Technion Society - Chicago
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June 2016


Chicago Supporter Dedicates Cutting-Edge Medical Lab

(l to r) Dr. Ruth Hershberg, Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie, Avi Shaked, Avi’s sister Bracha Marom and Dr. Eliezer Shalev.

On November 10, 2015, Mr. Avi Shaked — accompanied by Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie, Dean of the Technion Faculty of Medicine Dr. Eliezer Shalev, and some 35 friends, family and Technion Medical School facultydedicated an innovative genetics laboratory in memory of his parents, Rachel and Menachem Mendelovitch (z”l). The dedication took place on the Technion campus at the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine.

The Rachel and Menachem Mendelovitch Evolutionary Processes of Mutation and Natural Selection Research Laboratory, funded by a gift from Avi and his wife, Dr. Babs Waldman, is under the direction of Dr. Ruth Hershberg. Upon completing her postdoctoral work at Stanford University, Dr. Hershberg joined the Technion, where she established an interdisciplinary lab that combines evolutionary theory, bioinformatics, computational and experimental genomics, and microbiology. Her work strives to understand how genetic variation contributes to important evolutionary processes such as the emergence of antibiotic resistance and cancer initiation.

“My parents were simple farmers but had an abundance of generosity – always looking to help people that had less than them,” said Avi. “Therefore, this advanced research lab is a perfect honor for them, as the scientists strive to help others on a larger scale by achieving breakthrough discoveries that will improve and save human lives.”

Dr. Hershberg spoke at the ceremony, along with President Lavie and Dr. Shalev. It is indeed a small world; Avi and President Lavie attended the same grade school and high school one year apart, and three of President Lavie’s cousins were in Avi’s class. This past connection and President Lavie’s personality inspired Avi to make this generous gift.

Avi is CEO of Onward Technologies, a Chicago-based computer firm that provides IT infrastructure services to Corporate America nationwide. He and his wife, an internist, live in Evanston.


New Cancer Center Brings a "Bench to Bedside" Approach

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Associate Professor Amir Orian, a key member of the new Technion Integrated Cancer Center.

The Technion is taking the fight against cancer to a new level with the establishment of the Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC). Chicago supporters recently had the chance to hear about the innovative multidisciplinary program from Technion Associate Professor Amir Orian, a key TICC member.

Some 40 supporters attended a luncheon event on May 23, hosted by Chicago Board Member Jerold A. Jacover and his law firm, Foley & Lardner LLP. In his presentation, “Cancer Research the Israeli Way: How Technion is Leading the Fight,” Prof. Orian talked about the TICC, which combines faculty from the basic sciences and engineering with scientists at the Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and at Rambam Hospital. The interaction of researchers and clinicians will help translate basic discoveries into medical applications, culminating in clinical trials — a “bench to bedside” approach. 

Prof. Orian was one of a small group of cancer researchers whose discussions helped launch the TICC.  His research focuses on identifying specific genes that possess enzymatic activities, which could serve as targets for early cancer detection. Currently, he is studying how the improper regulation of a particular network of genes is linked to colon cancer and aging. Early in his career, Prof. Orian was mentored by Nobel Laureate Distinguished Professor Aaron Ciechanover, head of the TICC.


Watch Video featuring Prof. Amir Orian’s Research >


#TechnionFuture: Our Innovators and CEOs of Tomorrow

(l to r) Professor Alon Gany, graduate student Shani Elitzur, and undergraduate student Nimrod Harani toured Chicago while visiting the ATS

It is rocket science! — This is the case for two members of the Technion student-faculty delegation who visited Chicago earlier this year. Aerospace Engineering Professor Emeritus Alon Gany and his doctoral student Shani Elitzur, along with undergraduate Nimrod Harani, shared their inspirational stories at an early evening Young Professional Networking Event on February 25.

More than 20 young professionals gathered at Ciao! Café & Wine Lounge in Chicago to hear the delegation talk about their brilliant research. As has been true in the past, the visit was a highlight of the chapter’s winter calendar, and also provided ample opportunity to mix and mingle. The event was co-chaired by ATS Chicago Board Members Robert Polak and Seth Jackier.

Prof. Gany, a Technion alumnus and former head of the Sylvia and David I.A. Fine Rocket Propulsion Center, focuses his research on propulsion and clean energy. He and Shani are developing a novel method for hydrogen storage and production, which could have applications for eco-friendly automotive and marine fuel. Shani has served as an officer in Aeronautical Design for the Israeli Air Force’s Aircraft Engineering Department, taking part in projects to improve aircraft capability and performance.

Nimrod is undertaking a double major in materials science and engineering plus chemistry. He has served as a combat engineer in Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defense and Operation Protective Edge.

Read ATS EVP Jeff Richard’s Q & A Panel with Our Student Delegation >

Check Out Photos & More From Their Trip Across the U.S. via #TechnionFuture >


Everything You Wanted to Know About Estate Giving

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(l to r) ATS Planned Giving Member Marc Pershan, Regional Head of Private Banking at Leumi; ATS Planned Giving Committee Co-Chairs Neil H. Weinberg, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, and Kenneth M. Bloom, a partner at Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC; guest speaker Russ Sullivan of McGuireWoods; Mark Winick, principal of Prometheus Fund LLC and Planned Giving Committee Co-Chair; Mark Gaines, a partner at RSM US LLP and a past president of the ATS Chicago Chapter; Mason Salit, head of U.S. Private Banking at Leumi

Planned giving comes in a host of programs, varying by organization type, donor population, budget and many other factors. Who better to give us the lay of the land than a one-time Capitol Hill finance chief?

Russ Sullivan, a former staff director for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee who is currently a partner at the law firm McGuireWoods LLP, was the key speaker at the 2015 Annual Tax and Estate Planning Seminar on November 5, 2015. More than 100 professionals attended the breakfast event, held at The Standard Club and sponsored by Leumi.

In a presentation titled: “What You Need to Know About the Estate Tax,” Mr. Sullivan provided his views on current topics related to tax legislation, tax policy, health care and trade. The seminar is hosted yearly by the Chicago Chapter’s Planned Giving Committee to provide an opportunity for professionals in this field to network and learn from industry leaders about current topics relevant to their work.

Mr. Sullivan began working on Capitol Hill in 1995 and joined the Senate Finance Committee in 1999. He served as its staff director from 2004 until his retirement from the Senate in 2013.

Learn More About Planned Giving Options to Support The Technion >


We Will Miss You, Ben!

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Ben Z. Sosewitz

The officers, board and staff of the American Technion Society express deep regret at the loss of Ben Z. Sosewitz of Chicago, a stalwart statesman of our organization who inspired and energized us for decades.

Together with his beloved late wife, Shelley, he was a Technion Guardian, a designation reserved for those who have reached the highest level of support.

Mr. Sosewitz devoted decades to the various key offices he held in the ATS, from National President to Chair of the Nominating Committee and Campaign Cabinet. He was a member of the Technion International Board of Governors, where he was honored in 2008 with the Technion Medal — the institution’s highest honor. He also received an Honorary Doctorate in 1999, and an Honorary Fellowship in 1990. In 1998, he co-founded the ATS 21st Century Leadership Development Program, which continues to this day.

An indefatigable champion who loved Israel and the Technion, and always challenged us to reach for excellence and greater achievements, Mr. Sosewitz leaves a great void. We offer our condolences to his daughters, Leah Sosewitz, Arna Yastrow and Miriam Sosewitz Clarke, his eight adoring grandchildren and great-granddaughter, his companion, Phyllis del Gatto Caplin, and the entire Sosewitz family.

Click Here to Visit Our 75th Anniversary Page and Learn More About Ben Z. Sosewitz and Others >

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Advancing Innovation for Israel and the World

American Technion Society
111 W. Washington Street, Ste. 1220 | Chicago, IL 60602
Tel: (312) 553-2222 | Fax: (312) 553-2223




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