A Letter to the Technion Family From President Uri Sivan

Dear Technion Family,

The academic year 5784 will commence soon and it will be a different and sorrowful year. The three months that have passed since October 7 have been painful and challenging for the State of Israel and the Technion family. Dozens of our friends’ family members were murdered, and others were abducted. Many have been injured or killed in the war, and our hearts are filled with pain and worry.

Approximately 2,500 students, faculty members, and administrative staff were called up for reserve duty, and many of them are still serving. In the spirit of Technion tradition, we postponed the opening of the academic year to await their return. As the expected release is delayed, we responded to the IDF’s request and delayed the opening of the year to January 14, 2024.

The upcoming academic year marks a historic milestone for us. Exactly one hundred years have passed since the Technion opened its doors in the historical building in Hadar HaCarmel with 16 male students and one female student. Who could have then foreseen that from that humble beginning would grow a top-tier research university, graduating one hundred thousand alumni, who have shouldered the security and prosperity of the State of Israel? Who could have imagined that our researchers would be awarded Nobel Prizes, and our influence on humanity would be so significant?

We did it all in our humble and persistent way, year after year. This has been our response to all the events, wars, and acts of terror that have afflicted us before the founding of the State and afterwards. This will also be our response to the appalling terrorist acts of Hamas, intended to undermine our determination, sow fear, create conflict within Israeli society, and drag us into the moral abyss in which they operate.

Nobody can divert us from our path. We will conquer the anger and the pain and immerse ourselves in achieving our goals with the spirit of our constitution: ‘To disseminate knowledge through education and promote knowledge through pure and applied research.’ We will continue to educate for the values that have guided us through the past tumultuous one hundred years: tolerance, inclusivity, the pursuit of truth and justice, and deep social responsibility towards all people. We will continue to support the security and economy of the State of Israel, and just as importantly, we will continue to embrace the entire Israeli society.

If we needed proof of our solidarity as a committed community, we received it in the last few months in the inspiring voluntary efforts of the Technion community. Alongside the enlistment of thousands in the reserves, the student union, academic and administrative staff rallied for a vast array of activities to support those whose lives were put on hold. We hosted hundreds of families who were evacuated from the south and north on campus, supported thousands of our own recruits, and addressed the diverse needs of the security forces.

This is the finest hour of the Technion family, and now we must channel these tremendous forces also to confront the additional challenges ahead of us. We must return to the routine of studies and research as in every year, and at the same time continue to support those among us whose lives have changed forever. We all must strive to heal the rifts in Israeli society, and we must continue to assist the thousands of women and men among us who left everything behind and enlisted to defend the country. We face enormous challenges, but from my acquaintance with this remarkable institution, its resilience, and the solidarity of the Technion family, I have no doubt that we will succeed.

Finally, I would like to remind you all, that my door and the doors of the entire administration are always open, especially during these challenging times. Please, do not hesitate to reach out with any problem or suggestion.

Wishing you all success and a fruitful academic year!

Technion President Uri Sivan