Frenchman’s Creek Mission to the UAE and Israel

Late October witnessed a delegation of American supporters of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem take part in a much-anticipated event: the AFHU Southeastern Region’s Frenchman’s Creek Mission to the UAE and Israel. 

The mission, which took place from October 24 through November 1, 2022, was led by major U.S. business leaders, civic leaders, and philanthropists, including Dr. Beno Michel, Sherry Norris and John Bauman, and Hedy and Arnold Kanarick, among others. During the Dubai and Abu Dhabi legs of the trip, participants received expert briefings on the impact of the Abraham Accords; enjoyed a visit with the Israeli ambassador to Abu Dhabi; dined with the Jewish and Israeli communities of Dubai; and experienced tours of the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque and the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.

The Israeli leg of the trip included a welcome dinner with Prof. Tamir Shaefer, Vice-President and Director-General Mr. Yishai Fraenkel, and Prof. Aharon Palmon, the new Vice President and Chairman of the Authority for Research and Development. A visit to the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the university’s Rehovot Campus featured a discussion about Israeli start-ups and the food tech industry with Prof. Eugene Kandel, followed by lunch and a private tour at SavorEat with Prof. Oded Shoseyov.  

A day trip to Tel Aviv included a tour of the ANU Museum of the Jewish People and a visit to the Milk and Honey Whiskey Distillery with Professor Reuven Hazan, while a trip to the Golan Heights included a tour of the Syrian border with Brigadier General Ilan Lavi and lunch at the Golan Heights Winery. 

Sunday saw a visit to the Edmond J. Safra Campus and included a briefing by professor of Structural Biochemistry Isaiah (Shy) Arkin, an update on the ‘Talpiot’ program, and a visit to the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Research (ELSC).
The Monday visit to Ein Kerem included an informative meeting with the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Dina Ben-Yehuda, and lunch with students from the IDF’s Tzameret Program for Military Medicine. This was followed by a Founder’s Wall ceremony at the Mount Scopus campus and dinner at the home of Hebrew University Chancellor Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, his wife, Ada, and former speaker of the Knesset, Avrum Burg. 

The final day in Jerusalem included a private briefing with Vice President for Strategy and Diversity Prof. Mona Khoury and a farewell lunch that featured former Mossad Director Ephraim Halevy. 

AFHU missions provide high-level networking opportunities, grow support for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s thriving academic program and research community, and strengthen ties that link the American Jewish community to Jewish communities and people of goodwill throughout the world.