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U.S. Friends Celebrate Establishment of Sharett Institute at Tel Aviv U.

February 4, 1966
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“While Israel’s adversaries have the capacity to harass her growth and strain her resources, it is beyond their power or prospect to alter the essential reality of her integrity and independence, ” Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban, declared here tonight. He spoke at a dinner of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University at the New York Hilton Hotel.

The event celebrated the establishment of the Moshe Sharett Institute of Educational Science at Tel Aviv University. Mr. Eban paid tribute to the late Mr. Sharett, who was Israel’s first Foreign Minister and was also at one time the Prime Minister. “Mr. Sharett’s vision of an Israel securely planted in the family of nations has become closer to fulfillment than seemed possible two decades ago, ” Mr. Eban said. He also lauded Dr. George S. Wise, the president of the Tel Aviv University, for “having paid early and pious respect to the founding father of Israeli diplomacy.”

Prof. Yuval Ne’eman, vice-president of the university, described the growth of the university and the role of the late Mr. Sharett in fixing its spiritual profile. He especially lauded Dr. Wise for his achievements as president of the university. “With a dynamism the like of which has not often been seen on the Israeli scene, this man of action provided the university with the necessary impulse,” he told the assembled guests.

Designed further to improve the general educational standards of Israel, the Sharett Institute will train urgently needed teachers in specialized fields, principals, school superintendents, administrators, educational psychologists and social workers, and other specialists in the country’s expanding school system. Funds raised in the U.S. will supplement those granted by the Israel Government to construct a building on the university’s new campus in the Ramat Aviv suburb of Tel Aviv, to set up a number of chairs in the educational disciplines, to recruit the necessary faculty in Israel and from abroad, and to establish research projects and to grant advanced study scholarships.


Tel Aviv University, Israel’s youngest and fastest growing institution of higher learning, opened its current 1965-66 academic year with an all-time high in student enrollment. From a student body of 148 in the 1956-57 school year, it grew to 3,100 last year and reached almost 5,000 this year. This number is expected to double in the next three years. Its academic body of 56 in 1956-57 now totals more than 550. Despite its rapid growth the university was forced to turn away more than 1,000 of the 3,000 qualified applicants who sought entrance this year because of lack of space.

Tel Aviv University consists of a Faculty of Science, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, a School of Medicine, Faculty of Continuing Medical Education and a Department of Pedagogy, which will become part of the Sharett Institute. It also is planned in the near future to establish a School of Business Administration and Finance, a School of Fine and Applied Arts and other facilities.

Principal speakers at tonight’s dinner included also Dr. Wise; Daniel G. Ross, chairman of the board of directors of the American Friends of TAU; Harry E. Brager, chairman of the American organization’s executive committee; and Maurice Rosen, president of the American Technion Society. New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller greeted the guests. Representing the family of the late Moshe Sharett was Mr. Sharett’s elder son, Yaakov, a specialist on East European affairs, formerly with the Foreign Ministry and today a practicing journalist

In presenting Mr. Eban, Dr. Wise said that the “mantle of Moshe Sharett has fallen on his worthy friend, disciple and successor, Abba Eban. The deep faith in the cause of Israel and the profound belief in the conscience of mankind, the nobility of spirit, the power of moral persuasion which permeated the life and thinking of Sharett are also an in-separable part of the intellect, character and activity of Abba Eban.”

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