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April 2017

It's all in the family with palm beach's newest guardians

(l to r) Grandson Will Davison, Technion President Peretz Lavie, Richard Davison and his son, John Davison.
(l to r) Grandson Will Davison, Technion President Peretz Lavie, Dick Davison and his son, John Davison

Rosalee and Dick Davison are proud carriers of the Technion mantle. As heads of a family that has been involved for decades in helping build the Technion into an internationally acclaimed university, the Davisons represent philanthropy at its finest: a commitment of both their treasure and their time.

When Herman Cohen, Rosalee’s uncle, established the Baltimore Chapter of the American Technion Society in the 1960’s, he envisioned how important the Technion would be for Israel’s security and economic well-being, but perhaps not how his legacy would include generations of his family’s work to advance its mission. Following Herman’s presidency, Dick Davison enthusiastically assumed leadership of the Chapter, where he was instrumental in the early adoption of efforts to fund an aerospace program at the Technion, today the only such program in Israel. Rosalee and Dick’s son, John, is the current president of the Baltimore Chapter. A fourth-generation supporter of the Technion, grandson Will Davison, is also active in Technion activities.

(l to r) Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie with Rosalee and Richard Davison
(l to r) Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie with Rosalee and Richard Davison

The Davisons share their passion for the Technion in their winter home of Palm Beach, as well as in Baltimore. This past March, they hosted a luncheon at the Palm Beach Country Club, where Technion President Peretz Lavie gave an exclusive briefing on the university’s global activities. President Lavie also surprised the Davisons by presenting them with a gift of beautifully designed pins, in recognition of their having achieved the status of Guardian—a designation reserved for those who support the Technion at the highest level.

Over the years, the Davisons have funded scholarships, built dormitories and helped raise money for various areas of scientific research. Last year, the newly created Davison Fund for Female Faculty at the Technion enabled the university to recruit a new faculty member, Adi Radian, to continue her research on sustainable clean-up technologies. Advancing high-level women scientists at the Technion will be impacted for years to come because the Davisons also made a bequest to support this crucial pursuit…and they have prepared the next generations to make contributions to humanity.

Back by Popular Demand!

Technion alumna and CEO of Women4Solar Raina Russo
Prof. Steven Frankel and his supercomputer at the Technion Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

We were so taken with Technion Professor Steven Frankel and his supercomputer during his visit last year, we invited him back for an encore. Palm Beach Chapter Co-Presidents Sharon and Rubin Pikus hosted Prof. Frankel at their BallenIsles home on January 16 for “Dessert and Discussion.” Prof. Frankel spoke of his work as head of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, which involves developing and applying complex computational simulations of fluid flows, hence the need for a supercomputer with more than 1,000 processors, making it the fastest in Israel. His work has implications for many different fields, ranging from aerodynamics to blood flow.

Prof. Frankel also discussed his unlikely journey to the Technion. Moving to Israel was not on his bucket list. But after attending a conference at the Dead Sea in 2012, he left a long-time position at Purdue University in Indiana to join the faculty at the Technion, and moved to Israel with his wife and four young children.

The evening’s program helped raise awareness among the uninitiated for the Technion, as the Pikuses invited many of their neighbors in the BallenIsles community. Sharon Pikus noted: “The Technion represents everything that is good about Israel, so we are always pleased to introduce people to its important work. Steve is a wonderful example of the Technion’s priority to recruit and maintain top-notch faculty. His research is so fascinating—who would think one person could invent an artificial pediatric heart pump and work on the next generation of helicopters?! Technion Professors like Steve give so much to humanity.”


The Technion is contributing to Israel and the global good in unprecedented ways. Help us ensure its continued advancement as a world-class institution of higher education.


#TechnionFuture: Our Student Innovators

(l to r) Technion undergraduate Omer Amit, Palm Beach and Detroit Chapter supporters Lorraine and Alden Leib, and medical student Eliana Fischer.
(l to r) Technion undergraduate Omer Amit, Palm Beach and Detroit Chapter supporters Lorraine and Alden Leib, and medical student Eliana Fischer
(l to r) Palm Beach Chapter supporters Ellis “Jay” and Nancy Parker, and Ed Slotnick

In February, we were thrilled to host two bright young Technion stars: medical student Eliana Fischer and undergraduate Omer Amit.

Eliana and Omer visited with some 25 friends and supporters at The Chesterfield Palm Beach. Eliana, who made aliyah with her family when she was 7 years old, talked about her military service in the Israeli Medical Corps. Before enrolling at the Technion, she served as a medic instructor, training reserve duty doctors for multi-casualty events. Eliana hopes to continue serving her country by helping shape the future of medicine in Israel.

Omer studies industrial engineering and management, specializing in business information systems. Capitalizing on the Technion’s ties with industry, he landed a coveted internship at Mellanox Technologies, a semiconductor company founded by a Technion graduate. In February, Mellanox made headlines for helping Disney’s “The Jungle Book” win the Best Visual Effects Oscar. Omer served in a special reconnaissance unit for the Israel Defense Forces and is still a captain in the reserves.

Palm Beach Chapter Co-President Sharon Pikus helped facilitate a discussion and the subsequent Q and A session.

New Threory for how Parkinson's Develops

Neurons like the ones pictured above can be destroyed by Parkinson’s disease.
Neurons like the ones pictured above can be destroyed by Parkinson’s disease

The Palm Beach Chapter of the ATS is proud to have adopted the Prince Center for Neurodegenerative Disorders of the Brain as a community project. We were thrilled to learn that one of the Prince Center's principal researchers, Technion Associate Professor Simone Englender, and a research partner at Harvard Medical School, have suggested a new hypothesis for the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson's affects more than 10 million people worldwide. The most commonly-held theory is that Parkinson’s patients get progressively worse as clumps of a toxic protein, called alpha-synuclein, spread like a virus from one neuron to the next. In their “threshold theory,” the researchers postulate that α-synuclein spreads simultaneously throughout the nervous system, overwhelming areas first that have a lower threshold of tolerance to the protein. This would explain why places like the gastrointestinal tract show the earliest signs of the disease.

If validated, their discovery could impact treatment, rendering unnecessary invasive procedures such as severing part of the vagus nerve, and serve as the basis for new drug development, seeking to mitigate the death of neurons.


Experience Technion in NYC at the New Cornell Tech Campus

Rendering of the Cornell Tech campus, home of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.
Rendering of the Cornell Tech campus, home of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute

We invite you to join other friends of the Technion for the Technion World Tour NYC this fall, and to be among the first to visit the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island.

Participants will spend time on the new campus, meeting students and faculty, and visiting startups. Other programs include a visit to the Nasdaq exchange in Times Square featuring Technion alumni whose companies are listed there.

Join us for this exclusive trip (October 25-28, 2017), which will provide a look inside the City’s booming tech scene and Technion’s growing impact here. For more information contact Caren Copening, Director, Palm Beach Chapter at 561-832-5401 or



The second of three trips will visit New York City, home of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, in 2017. The third trip will visit China in 2018.

American Technion Society
7280 West Palmetto Park Road, Suite 306-N
Boca Raton, Florida 33433
Tel: (561) 395-7206
Fax: (561) 395-7246
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