De iure De-iure - Page 15

unattainable through voluntary exclusion and lack of academic opportunity, the burden on those who pay taxes will be much heavier.” So the need for integration at this point is critical. “Exactly.” How was the program set up? “I approached Prof. Ron Harris, Faculty Dean at that time, and he gave me the green light to proceed and recruit students for the program. I have many connections in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and sent out gentle feelers to gauge a response without creating too much of a buzz. I didn’t want to create tension in the community and risk alienating any of the Rabbis, since the issue of coeducational learning is sensitive in these circles. It was all very ‘hush hush’ to begin with. Eventually, we received a few applicants and Prof. Harris nominated Prof. Neta Ziv to head up admissions. We interviewed the applicants and made it very clear that it would be a mixed-class environment and that the academic standards are exceedingly high at Tel Aviv University. There would be considerable demands on their time. It was important to manage their expectations so that the applicants understood precisely what they were going into. There was also the financial aspect that required careful deliberation; not so much the tuition fees, but the matter of providing for their families while they study here, since Haredi students tend to be older and have young families.” It must have been difficult approaching a community that is essentially isolationist and resistant to change. “I realized the need to create a pilot program and work with a number of students who would be pioneers. The first TAU Law student we recruited was Daniel Cohen. Currently commencing his fourth year and excelling in his studies, Daniel’s participation was instrumental to the early success of the program. He studied at Hebron, one of the best yeshivas in Israel, and he is a well-known and respected member of the community. His success made it easier to recruit students after the pilot year. In the second year, we had three students. In the third, eight. In the current year we have 14 students – twelve LL.B. and two LL.M. students.” So the program is gaining momentum. That’s fantastic. “It is. I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the University’s leadership for all the support and encouragement; the Rector of Tel Aviv University Prof. Yaron Oz, former TAU Vice Rector Prof. Dina Prialnik, Vice President for Strategic Planning and Marketing Ehud Or, and Chairman of TAU Admissions Committee Prof. Abner Soffer. The professors at TAU Law have also been extremely supportive of the program and have remarked on the richness of opinion and diversity the Haredi students bring to the classroom. The students are exceptional. Some of them are excelling in their studies and one is a research assistant. Their achievements are tremendous and we ensure they have access to the support they need, whether it’s private tutors who can assist with study and paper writing skills, or psychologists who provide emotional support. It’s important to me to build a supportive and holistic community for them.” What does that entail for you personally? “First and foremost, I am there for them. I provide a comprehensive support net and ensure they have access to the resources available. I provide words of encouragement. Daily calls, messages, WhatsApp… assisting with deadline extensions, exam logistics, speaking to the professors. I am a passionate advocate for these students and care deeply about their successes and wellbeing… sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make a difference. Another thing I enjoy is organizing cultural evenings for them. For instance, last Hanukah we held a special evening for the students and their spouses. It is important to make their families feel welcome and an integral part of the process. It was an amazing night. Do you know the Israeli television series Shtisel?” Yes I do, it follows the storyline of a fictional ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jewish family living in present-day Jerusalem. “Exactly. So I brought the main actors Page 15 / De iure September 2018 Adv. Galia Givoly of Shtisel to the evening, along with the producer and writer bFR6rBv0rGW&rFRWfVrvR67&VVV@6WRbV&&R66VW2B@FW&W7FrF67W762&VB7V7G2`&VFƖfRBFRvB2'G&VBFR6~( bBv2Vf&vWGF&R( ХvVvF6VBFR6r&VV&W F涖rFBN( 2FW&W7FrFvF66W&W2&WB&VFFB6( B&W@&VFƖfRFR6&7FW'2W7BVF&RVG&'FF'WBBFW6( BFVfPFVBW2FffW&V6RFFRB( Ŗ^( fRBFRFRVBFN( 0W7FǒvFWƖRB6V6( Ф7FǒN( 2v'FFrFBFR7V&V7@bW"B666W&2FRVG&Ф'FFWv66VGrFB@6R&WC( ėBv26VW"66FV6RF&VvvFB6VBfR&VVWF2"7VGW&֖&G7&VWrvFVBF7GVGVFW"FR7WW'f6b&bॖ&&vƖFvFVvBRGW&pג7GVFW2BvVvRWBFF67W72FRF2FV֖WFRVWFpGW&VBFGvֆW"'&7F&֖p6W76v6vRFVƖ&W&FVBBfRЧGVVBFR7V&V7BBfVV2ƖR֗76FSFVWǒfW7FVBFR&w&vVvFW72FRVVF7V66W76W0bFW6R7GVFVG2bvvV@&&&ǒBfRvRFVfW'6G@6W'FǒBr66ƖRDRrfVV&VBBV&VBF&R'B`FV"W&W( (