JCT was established in 1969 by Professor Lev with the goal of producing graduates skilled in engineering, electro-optics and computer science, combined with high-level advanced Jewish studies. In the years since its inception, JCT has grown to be so much more. Today the Jerusalem College of Technology is recognized across the globe as one of Israel’s finest institutions of higher education. JCT has new degree programs in water and solar engineering, nanotechnology, and computer communications. As part of the women’s Tal Campus, it has the largest and most widely respected nursing school in Israel and 600 students studying engineering. On the campuses of JCT today, one can see a complete synthesis between Torah and Science, between Jewish Heritage and High-Tech and most importantly one can see the sight of young Jewish students from Israel, North America, South America, Europe, and Ethiopia studying and growing together to take their role alongside the future leader of the State of Israel. They are well equipped with the highest quality secular education and strengthened by being well rooted and firm in their beliefs in traditional Torah education and their commitment to Israel and the Jewish People.
JCT’s graduates have been infused with the knowledge that it is a religious value to get a full-scale academic and professional education. They know that Jewish history and Jewish values dictate that they must serve the Jewish People and the State of Israel. Their job is to build and strengthen Israel as scientists, engineers, accountants, businessmen, nurses, educators and Torah scholars- all at the same time.
We learn in Pirkei Avot- “אם אין קמח אין תורה ; אם אין תורה אין קמח ”, “If there is no flour there can be no Torah and where there is no Torah, there can be no flour”. Without the means to support oneself and one’s family, there cannot be Torah, since poverty and a subsequent lack of food and shelter is a distraction from Torah learning. Likewise earning a living is devoid of meaning without Torah guidance to infuse spiritual values that will elevate ones materialism. JCT is at the forefront of this synthesis- the idea of Torah with Derech Eretz, a strong religious foundation interwoven with higher education in all other fields so that its graduates can contribute to society and the growth of their communities.
As a Canadian and a Jew, I am proud of our Government for its unwavering stance in adamantly supporting and defending Israel. There is no other Government in the world like ours that takes as strong a role in fighting Anti- Semitism and Anti-Israel rhetoric. As the Honourable John Baird stated on his last visit to Israel, “Canada doesn’t stand behind Israel; we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with it.” These statements and those of the Honourable Joe Oliver and, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper are not just lip service. They are motions of support to Canadian Jews and Jews across the globe that Canada is a true and sincere friend and the greatest ally that Israel has ever had.
I’d like to thank Larry Krauss, Chairman of CFJCT, the Dinner Chairmen and the Event Committees for their help and support in making this Gala Dinner the huge success that it is. Most importantly, thank you, the supporters of JCT, for your trust and commitment in the College and the work that it does in order to improve the quality of life in Israel and the world at large.