Focus is the University of Haifa's English-language newspaper of news and features about Israel's foremost "University of the North."  Published 3-4 times a year by the Division of  External Relations and Resource Development

Prof. Ada Spitzer, Vice President, External Relations and Resource Development
Editor : A.M. Goldstein


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More in This Issue:

University Will Not Be Silent in Face of UK Boycott

Anat Liberman Is New External Relations Head

Prof. Majid Al-Haj to Be New Dean of Research

Prof. Sophia Menache – New Dean of Graduate Studies

Prof. Menachem Mor—Dean of Humanities

Virtual Open House Proves a Big Hit

Students Have an Address for Complaints: Professor Schatzker, Their Ombudsman

Computer Science and Occupational Therapy Team Up for Virtual Reality Conference
Student Develops Innovative Technology to Deal with Post-Traumatic Stress

Giora Lehavi: His Job Is to Check on Quality Management, and Other Standards

University’s Sports Teams Prove a Winner in More Ways than One

Student Publishes His Road to Wisdom

Honors and Awards

Mother and Son—in utero—Studied Hebrew at University’s Summer Ulpan

University’s China Connection Continues

Unique Algorithm Enables Better Mobile Wireless Communication

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Prof. Azy Barak’s SAHAR Offers a Vital Virtual Shoulder to Those with Nowhere Else to Turn

In mid-March, Israeli TV showed the deliberately blurred picture of a 23-year-old woman sitting on a window ledge of Tel Aviv’s tallest building, the 49-story Azrieli Tower. She was threatening to jump. Fortunately the incident had a peaceful resolution. It could have been otherwise.

Sahar, a Hebrew acronym for support and listening on the Net, is a volunteer organization that tries to prevent despondency from deteriorating to such a scenario or to convince a would-be suicide to step back from the brink. Although Sahar was not involved in the incident described, it has offered vital assistance to many thousands to choose life.

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University Joins War on Drugs, Campaign Is Integral to Interdisciplinary Clinical Center’s Service

The signs suddenly popped up around Haifa like mushrooms. And it was a poisonous mushroom of sorts that they were warning against and offering help to combat its effect—drugs.

Making use of a play on words in the Hebrew, the sign, which was directed at “students and youngsters 18+,” declared: “Drugs—there is an end to it.” Or, by switching the first letter in the first word with another having the same sound, “Putting an end to it.”
The University’s Interdisciplinary Clinical Center, based in the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies, had enlisted in the war on growing drug abuse in Israel. It held out the prospect of counseling and therapy to users who had not yet become addicts, but faced the danger if they continued to “experiment” with drugs. Those who called the number listed were assured full discretion and secrecy.

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Kidma Project Helps Students Face Their Identities

These are some of the comments aired during a course entitled, "A Meeting of Identities: Between Gender Identity and National Identity." Sponsored by Kidma: Project for the Advancement of Women at the University of Haifa, the class is composed of sixteen women: 8 Jewish and 8 Arab. The course meets each Tuesday for over three hours during one academic semester. The women are guided by two female facilitators from Nisan Young Women Leaders, the only organization dedicated to the advancement of young women in Israel.

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President’s Focus

Battling Unjust Resolutions

Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev

I was outraged by the utterly unjust and unjustifiable decision to boycott the University, its teachers, and researchers that was taken by the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) on the eve of this past Pesach. I was disheartened by that organization’s attempt to erect barriers and obstruct the flow of ideas within the international academic community. If there was any good that emerged from the AUT’s act, so reminiscent of similar actions taken in the 1930s, it has been the encouraging responses that we have received from overseas, Britain included.

In making their accusations, the authors of this campaign of vilification have chosen to adopt a three-year-old urban legend. Worse, the AUT never requested our response prior to adopting the resolution, nor did it allow our position to be presented by members of the AUT who are familiar with the facts. The case against Israeli academia, in general, and the University of Haifa, in particular, was devoid of empirical evidence and in violation of due process. Driven by a prior and prejudicial assumption of guilt, the AUT has refused to confuse itself with facts.

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