American university heads visit Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A delegation of American university presidents visiting Israel met with their Israeli counterparts and discussed opportunities for academic collaboration.

The 13 presidents, including the heads of Cornell University, the University of Miami, California Polytechnic State University, the University of South Carolina, Oregon State University and San Jose State University, were in Israel July 5-11 under the auspices of Project Interchange, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee, July 5-11.

The university chiefs received in-depth briefings on state-of-the-art research initiatives, and they discussed opportunities for academic collaboration and exchange at the undergraduate, graduate and faculty levels. 

They also met with senior government officials, including Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham.

Aharon Barak, the former president of Israel’s Supreme Court, and Daniel Reisner, the ex-head of the International Law Department of the Israel Defense Forces, led discussions on various legal topics, including human rights and international law.

During a meeting Sunday at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the university presidents told Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon that they intend to enhance cooperation and promote projects that link universities in the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Ayalon’s office said.

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