Updates as of December 2021
As we approach the end of 2021, a most challenging year for us all, I am pleased to share with you some of the accomplishments that have made this year such a memorable one for JCT. The tone we’ve together set for a successful Tal Campus for Women capital campaign is extraordinary. A few highlights:
- With a remarkable $60 million+ raised to date, we were able to expand the scope of the first phase of our project to include all four academic buildings in Phase 1 of our construction plans, to be supported by an increased campaign goal of $100 million.
- We have been in contact with the Council of Higher Education, The Ministry for Jerusalem Affairs and the Municipality of Jerusalem who have all agreed to support our campaign and we are hopeful that additional government support will follow.
- We expect to be granted our excavation and foundation permits by the second quarter of 2022.
- We are nearing final planning for the Garden of Psalms by renowned artist Ofra Friedland that promises to be the aesthetic centerpiece of the new Tal Campus, and which we believe will engage a new circle of donors as we present it to the public in the months ahead.
Judy & Morry Weiss Chaim Sukenik Stuart Hershkowitz
Honorary Chairs President Vice President
Tal Campaign JCT JCT
Tal Campus for Women Steering Committee
Judy and Morry Weiss
Prof. Chaim Sukenik, President JCT
Henry and Atta Zielenic
Robert S. Reichmann
Pam and Ian Rosmarin
Debbie Tessler and Ed Glina
Stuart Hershkowitz, Vice President JCT
Rosalind Elbaum, Director of Development JCT
Suzy Lieberman, Assistant Director of Development JCT
Simmy Zieleniec, Canadian Friends of JCT
Shmuli Zema, American Friends of JCT
Amplify Partners, Capital Campaign Counsel.
Until recently, one of Israel’s best-keep secrets wasn’t related to defense, or even to diplomacy. Rather, it concerned the high-tech sector—and the local talent available to keep it afloat.
According to the Israel Innovation Authority, Israel faced a shortage of some 18,500 tech positions last year alone. Without a dramatic increase in the number of high-tech employees, Israeli companies will have no choice but to outsource their development overseas. And the Start-up Nation, that symbol of agility and achievement in the face of adversity, will stall out.
Applying the same innovative thinking behind Israel’s technological advancements to the challenge of raising human capital, JCT is answering the country’s need for a steady flow of highly skilled and motivated employees. By seeking out the places where untapped potential hides in plain sight, we find men and women of remarkable character and commitment, capable of taking their country’s technology, health, and business sectors to stunning new heights.
Slated to open its first of three phases in 2025, the new state-of-the-art JCT Tal Campus for Women will ultimately include a 12-story tower and a series of 6-story satellite buildings, which will together house:
- Faculties of Health Sciences, Management, Engineering and Computer Science
- Computer Labs, Telecommunications and Project Labs
- Academic Library and Study Center
- Student Center with dining facilities
- A Haredi Women’s Studies Building
- Amphitheater and Conference Center
- Parking and recreation areas
The new Tal Campus Campaign is seeded by lead commitments totaling a remarkable $57 million, including major giftsfrom the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Henry Israel Beren Charity Foundation and an $8 million grant from the Government of Israel.
New Tal Campus is poised to expand opportunities and empower women to pursue higher education and attain employment in science, high-tech, business and nursing
May 31, 2022 (Jerusalem, Israel) — The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) on Monday broke ground on its new Tal Campus for women, marking a notable academic and socioeconomic milestone for the city of Jerusalem.
Attended by dignitaries including Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion, the groundbreaking ceremony highlighted how the $100 million Tal Campus project amplifies JCT’s decades-long role in bolstering the Israeli capital’s economic and cultural footprint.
Speaking via video, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “[JCT] has been providing a unique Israeli educational experience – one that combines quantitative subjects with the study of Torah. Many of the Center’s alumni have found their place in engineering, life sciences, health, management and more. Today, I celebrate with you as you lay the cornerstone of the new Tal Campus, a new hope for women to study academia and Torah. This new home of Torah and mada (science) is the next step in fulfilling the center’s vision to bridge academic studies with Jewish studies.”
Currently, the Tal Campus accommodates over 2,100 women studying at JCT. Slated for completion in 2025, the new women’s campus will be the permanent home of academic excellence for up to 3,000 female students in nursing, computer science, industrial engineering, accounting, and management. The campus is poised to provide increased opportunities for religious women to pursue higher education and attain quality employment in scientific and high-tech industries. It will enable the opening of an industrial engineering and management track as well as a new nursing program for Haredi women, a new pharmacy track, and the College’s recently announced business administration program for women which will be offered in English.
The Tal Campus also offers a sensitive environment for religious women, and helps many women break the cycle of poverty in their underserved communities through greater access to higher education, while connecting them with gainful employment and ambitious career paths upon graduation.
“Sadly, for too long, we have not appreciated what you at JCT have always known,” Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, said. “For too long, the religious women of Jerusalem, have not had the facilities they deserve to study and gain qualifications. [Yet] this important community is already becoming the rosh pina, the cornerstone of Jerusalem’s high-tech economy.”
As such, JCT reflects how the 4,700-student College makes disproportionately large contributions to academic excellence in nursing, computer science, and engineering in the city of Jerusalem and across Israel. The school is a leader in integrating Haredi men and women into the workforce and is home to over 2,000 Haredi students, 1,300 of whom are women who have been underrepresented in the local job market and the Start-up Nation in particular. The school boasts the best nursing school in Israel with its Selma Jelinek School of Nursing which has the largest number of undergraduate and graduate nursing students studying in Jerusalem and nearly fifteen percent of Israel’s female undergraduate students in computer science.
Thus, with healthcare and hi-tech sectors significantly understaffed in Israel, JCT is filling those vital voids with a quality pool of talent.
“Part of JCT’s mission has been to identify pressing socioeconomic needs in Israeli society, which in the past has included integration of Russian and Ethiopian students over the decades. And now, we are at the forefront of Haredi integration,” said JCT Vice President Stuart Hershkowitz. “The new Tal Campus expansion will allow us to integrate Haredi women in a state-of-the-art facility. We are simultaneously empowering religious women to shatter stereotypes of their lagging interest in science and technology, igniting an ongoing wave of Haredi integration into the workforce, and combating the unacceptable levels of poverty in Jerusalem. The new Tal Campus will operate as the fulcrum of this socio-economic revolution.”
The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) yesterday announced that it has received approval from the Israel Land Authority to significantly expand the College’s grounds through the construction of the new Tal Campus for Women.The expansion of JCT — which is home to approximately 5,000 students from religious backgrounds, making it Jerusalem’s second-largest academic institution — aligns with the broader plans spearheaded by the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage to position the capital as a national hub for academic excellence in science, technology, and other disciplines.
As the permanent home for up to 3,000 of JCT’s female students in nursing, computer science, electro-optics, industrial engineering, accounting, and management, the new Tal Campus will provide increased opportunities for national religious, Haredi, and Ethiopian women to pursue higher education and attain quality employment in scientific and high-tech industries.The decision was made in accordance with larger plans spearheaded by the Office of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage for the city which include making Jerusalem a national hub for education and academia.
“Promoting technology education in Jerusalem and attracting students to this discipline is a significant goal for the city,” said Minister of Housing and Construction Ze’ev Elkin, who heads the Israel Land Authority as well as the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage. “Under my leadership, the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage will continue to invest its resources in academics and ensure that students from all walks of life are properly integrated into higher education and the job market.”
The Tal Campus construction project, which made significant strides despite the potential obstacle of the COVID-19 pandemic, is on track to break ground early this year. The current Tal Campus accommodates approximately 2,000 women, including 1,400 from the Haredi community. After completion of the new Tal Campus, JCT expects to be able to accommodate 3,000 students, many of whom will study in allocated tracks for Haredi population. The new Tal Campus will also enable the opening of a new industrial engineering and management track for Haredi women.
“As the second-largest academic institution in Jerusalem, JCT’s rapid development is a necessity,” said Uriel Ben-Nun, the College’s Vice President of Construction and Infrastructure. The Israel Land Authority’s approval will bring this expansion to fruition, and we hope to break ground on the new Tal Campus soon.”
JCT’s academic programs for women have produced job placement rates of over 90 percent for Haredim and other underserved students, with alums securing immediate employment upon graduation in leading firms such as Intel, Texas Instruments, Check Point, and IBM.
“The new Tal Campus will take JCT’s work to empower students from Israel’s underserved populations to new heights, including by helping women shatter the proverbial glass ceiling and debunk stereotypes surrounding their lagging interest in science and technology careers,” said JCT Vice President Stuart Hershkowitz. “We are grateful for the government’s latest resounding vote of confidence in our institutional vision, and eager to accelerate this impactful mission for the benefit of Jerusalem and the entire nation.”
Long before his career in real estate and venture capital, Larry Krauss studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto. Today, his ongoing support for the Jerusalem College of Technology brings his passions and experiences full circle.
Through Terracap Ventures, Krauss is a strategic investment partner in a variety of cutting-edge technology companies internationally, and he serves on the board of several such entities, including Cellint, Satixfy, Helix, Silentium and TSU. Krauss says that Terracap Ventures has invested in more than 45 startups — including some which have been launched by JCT students.
“I’m always interested in promoting advanced science and technology as well as advancing the boundaries of what can be done with science,” Krauss says. “It’s important for me to see a school in Israel like JCT that can take students who would otherwise not have an exposure to science — such as those from the Haredi community — and turn them into computer engineers, electro-optical engineers, and professionals who are able to advance the interests of the state and the interests of their community, while still maintaining their connection to Judaism and Torah.”
Terracap Ventures is part of Krauss’ Terracap Group of Companies, a Toronto-based fully integrated owner, developer, and operator of high-quality real estate assets across North America. His latest support for JCT, meanwhile, comes in his capacity as a member of the Tal Campus Steering Committee. As the permanent home for up to 3,000 of JCT’s female students in nursing, computer science, electro-optics, industrial engineering, accounting, and management, the new Tal Campus will provide increased opportunities for national religious, Haredi, and Ethiopian women to pursue higher education and attain quality employment in scientific and high-tech industries.
The Toronto businessman attended JCT for approximately two months in 1970, the second year of the College’s existence. When his father died, Krauss decided to return home, and was accepted to University of Toronto.
Even though it was short, Krauss’ time as a JCT student was still memorable, including his impressions of the College’s founder Prof. Ze’ev Lev.
“Professor Lev stressed offering the highest-quality education in every discipline that the College offers — not just helping graduates get jobs, but creating excellence, for students and faculty who are focused on excellence,” he says.
Twenty-five years after Krauss left the Jerusalem campus, Kurt Rothschild asked him to become Chair of Canadian Friends of JCT. In the ensuing years, CFJCT has raised its profile through hosting various gala events and conferring honorary degrees to high-profile Canadian dignitaries, including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former Finance Minister Joe Oliver, and Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney. CFJCT has also posthumously honored Krauss’ grandparents Rabbi Eliezer and Chaya Weinberger, who both died in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Now, the Tal Campus project has provided Krauss with another avenue to advance his passion for JCT’s mission.
“The integration of women into high-tech, nursing, health informatics, business, and other fields is a tremendous use of women’s energy, creativity, and intelligence,” he says. “It helps maximize the human potential, especially for women from the Haredi world who might not otherwise attend university.”
Morry Weiss sets sights on empowering Israel’s religious women through higher education
As the former chairman of American Greetings, the world’s second-largest greeting card producer, Morry Weiss knows a strong value proposition when he sees one. These days, the Cleveland philanthropist is advocating for the value of connecting Israel’s underserved populations with greater opportunities in higher education and employment.
Weiss and his wife Judy were recently named the honorary chairs of the Jerusalem College of Technology’s (JCT) Tal Campus Campaign. The college’s new Tal Campus for women is on track to break ground in early 2022. As the permanent home for up to 3,000 of JCT’s female students in nursing, computer science, electro-optics, industrial engineering, accounting, and management, the campus will provide increased opportunities for national religious, Haredi, and Ethiopian women to pursue higher education and attain quality employment in scientific and high-tech industries.
“We agreed to chair the Tal Campus Campaign because we believe JCT is a crucial institution in Israel that makes a wonderful contribution to both individuals and the state when it comes to providing education and creating career opportunities,” said Weiss, whose family has supported JCT since the college was founded in 1969.
According to Weiss, supporting the Tal Campus aligns with his belief that while Israel “has done a fine job in breaking the proverbial glass ceiling, religious women haven’t had the same opportunities as men in the workforce. Progress is being made. Providing academic training and education is critical for religious women and adds to the vitality of the economy.” Judy Weiss, he noted, “has been been a strong force in creating educational opportunities for women.”
JCT is known for its track record of strengthening Israel’s labor market through working to increase technology-related educational and employment opportunities for underserved populations. The college’s Haredi graduates attain an 89-percent employment rate, far exceeding the roughly 50-percent employment rate for Haredi men throughout Israel. Further, 53 percent of all JCT’s computer science students are women, which is 18 percent higher than any other Israeli academic institution.
“We have become fascinated by JCT’s efforts within the Haredi segment of Israel’s population,” Morry Weiss said. “We believe that from a long-term perspective, providing Haredi Israelis with quality job opportunities is an unbelievable benefit to Israel; they can make enormous contributions. Higher education in no way compromises their personal commitment to Judaism, but it also means they can gain respectable employment and help grow the Israeli economy.”
He continued, “There’s no question that we’re dealing with a highly intelligent segment of the population. Young Haredi men and women have experienced the benefit of a great deal of Torah study, which has sharpened their minds and their skills. What we need to do is train them for careers. We mostly train them for good entry-level positions, with aspirations to grow. In some cases, we can directly prepare them for higher level employment (as JCT has done with its specialized Cyber Security programs). Many of these fields require continuous education and training, or even career changes to allow professionals to provide for their family. Everyone strives to support a family no matter their level of observance, and JCT is making all of that possible.”
The preceding generation in the Weiss family identified with JCT as an institution that enables its students to balance a college education with Torah learning. The family has also known JCT President Chaim Sukenik since his time as a professor of chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and then at Bar-Ilan University.
The Weiss’s leadership of the Tal Campus Campaign adds to the family’s legacy of broad support for Jewish and Israeli causes. Morry Weiss has served on the boards of directors for Bar-Ilan University, the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, the Orthodox Union, and Yeshiva University (YU), including as the YU board’s chairman.
“My great-grandfather would have done anything to see this period of growth and success in — Israel is a miracle — and it happened in our generation,” Weiss said. “We have that obligation to continue that and to enhance it.”
Before deciding to pursue an undergraduate degree at JCT’s Tal Campus for Women, Tammy Mandel—the oldest of 11 siblings from a Belz Hassidic family—sewed garments at a factory in Bnei Brak.
Determined to improve her family’s socio-economic status and to contribute meaningfully to Israeli society, Tammy excelled first in her computer science studies and then in the Cyber Elite Program for outstanding graduates at JCT. Today, Tammy analyzes computer code at Intel to ensure that it’s hack-free.
Stories like Tammy’s are repeated a hundredfold each year at JCT. By developing the untapped potential of talented men and women from among Israel’s disadvantaged communities, we apply an approach as innovative as any Intel technology to the challenge of meeting Israel’s need for computer programmers, healthcare workers, and software engineers.
And now, in the most significant step since the founding of JCT nearly half a century ago, we are launching a $75 million campaign to build a permanent home for the Tal Campus—and prepare thousands more women like Tammy to power the Startup Nation and build a better future for their families.
We have already raised more than 50 percent of the amount needed for this ambitious campaign, set to be one of the largest capital projects in Jerusalem in the coming decade. We now invite you to partner in this unbeatable project. If you seek an out-of-the-box, forward-thinking, multi-faceted means of advancing the Jewish state, you’ll find it in the new Tal Campus.
Gmar Chatima Tova
This month, the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) kicked off its largest capital campaign since its establishment, announcing it has already raised $57 million in gifts toward its goal of $100 million by 2025. The campaign will support the construction of a new, 325,000 square-feet Tal Campus for Women adjacent to the Lev Campus for Men. The Tal Campus, future home to 3,000 students in engineering and computer science, nursing, and business management, will cement JCT’s role as an engine of growth for Jerusalem, and in particular its booming hi-tech ecosystem…
Among the major gifts to date is a $15 million donation from an anonymous Israeli donor, given to launch the Tal Campus campaign. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust have provided another $9 million for the construction of the Helmsley Life and Health Sciences building on the Tal Campus, which will be home to one of Israel’s largest nursing programs and most advanced nursing simulation laboratories. Recognized as the country’s premier nursing program, JCT received the Israeli Ministry of Health’s National Prize for Excellence in 2020.
The Israel Henry Beren Charitable Foundation, a longstanding supporter of modern Orthodox Jewish education in Israel and America, donated $9 million for the construction of the new engineering building, future home of the renamed Beren Center for Engineering. Today, one out of every five female computer science student in Israel studies at JCT, and women account for a full 40 percent of JCT’s engineering graduates.
Additional major gifts include $2 million from Atta and Henry Zieleniec of Toronto, Canada, for the Selma Jelinek School of Nursing in the Helmsley Life and Health Sciences building. The school is named for Atta’s mother, known as “nurse Selma,” who became a nurse in the Russian army after escaping the Nazis in the town of Koretz.
Finally, Judy and Morry Weiss of Cleveland, Ohio contributed $1 million, with Morry also serving as co-chairman of the Tal Campus for Women Campaign.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity and visionary leadership of JCT’s partners, without whom the new Tal Campus for Women for would not be possible,” stated Prof. Chaim Sukenik, president of JCT. “Their support will enable us to train thousands more talented women to advance their own lives and those of their families and communities. But perhaps most important, this support will ensure that JCT serves as a critical resource for the Startup Nation, contributing significantly to Israel’s health, security, and prosperity.”
No one wants to be the first patient on which a nursing student practices intubation, a challenging and highly uncomfortable procedure that involves navigating a breathing tube down the throat—and the control and confidence for which it can take years and dozens of patients to develop. For precisely that reason, of course, no nursing student particularly wants to learn on a real patient, either.
With astonishingly lifelike mannequins that can bleed, cry, and even suffer realistic seizures and strokes, however, they may not need to: Nursing students with access to today’s advanced simulation labs can gain important practice long before encountering those high-pressure, high-stakes medical situations that require quick thinking and a steady hand.
While the value of nursing simulations has long been appreciated—offering practice in a safe, supportive, and risk-free environment being the most obvious among them—the integration of advanced technologies has both expanded the range of medical conditions with which a nursing student can contend and enhanced the efficiency of the learning experience at the same time. For this reason, the training students obtain in simulation labs is largely considered superior to that of regular practicums, with Israel’s Health Ministry recommending that up to a third of a nurse’s training take place in a simulation lab.
For nursing students in Jerusalem, however, that was often easier said than done. That is, until now.
Currently, Jerusalem is home to just a small number of simulation labs, too few and too small to accommodate the growing number of nursing students in the capital’s schools. Moreover, most of these labs contain outdated equipment, making a trip to Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer Hospital a necessity for essential training sessions. To provide its own students with the best possible training, as well as to offer its many healthcare partners in Jerusalem and the city’s hospitals a valuable and much-needed resource, JCT plans to build a new, state-of-the-art, 1,300 square feet Simulation Center in its Selma Jelinek School of Nursing.
Named in honor of Holocaust survivor and Russian army nurse Selma Jelinek, JCT’s Selma Jelinek School of Nursing was established in 2007 to address the growing shortage of nurses in Israel: With just five nurses for every 1,000 patients, the Jewish state currently ranks among the lowest 25 percent of developed countries in nurse-to-patient rations, according to the OECD. Soon after, JCT launched a collaborative program with Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center as well as a parallel BSN program for men. Boasting an extraordinary 100 pass rate on national accreditation exams and the highest scores nationwide, the program was awarded the Health Ministry’s National Prize for Excellence.
Now, with the construction of a new home for the Tal Campus, the Selma Jelinek School of Nursing has set itself a still more ambitious goal: Become a national leader in nursing simulation.
Located in the Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Life and Health Sciences building, the Simulation Center will comprise two, separate yet complementary facilities. The Nursing Simulation Center will feature state-of-the-art laboratories for training in emergency medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics, internal medicine, and surgery, as well as training suites for labor and delivery and mock operation rooms. Designed by leading experts in the simulation-training field, the center will also feature viewing booths, a lecture hall, and advanced equipment for lifting, moving, and bathing patients, as well as a full audio-visual system for data collection and feedback.
The adjacent Health Sciences Simulation Center will allow hospital, community, and emergency sectors to provide training and orientation for new staff in various healthcare fields, and its laboratories’ design and equipment determined in accordance with the needs of Jerusalem HMOs, hospitals, and community clinics. The Health Sciences Simulation Center will also be available for commercial use and will provide needed revenue for enhancing clinical education at JCT.
“This new facility will expand JCT’s excellent nursing degree programs, allow it to grow its student body, and help to alleviate the unfortunate shortage of nurses in Israel,” said Sandor Frankel, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, which granted JCT a $9 million lead gift for the Tal Campus project last year. “We are committed to supporting quality healthcare in Israel, and enabling JCT to graduate more highly-trained nurses and other medical personnel will be a win for the country.”
Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) has selected Kimmel Eshkolot as the architectural firm for the design of the new Tal Campus for Women, future home to 3,000 students in engineering and computer science, nursing, and business management. Set to be one of Jerusalem’s most important capital projects of the coming decade, the 325,000 square-feet Tal Campus will connect the capital’s existing innovation clusters and provide a pipeline of talented professionals for its thriving hi-tech industry.
Known for the design of high-profile public projects, including the Davidson Museum in the archaeological park near the Western Wall, the Memorial Hall for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers at Mount Herzl, the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University, and the restoration of Tel Aviv’s historical Neve Tzedek neighborhood, Kimmel Eshkolot are recipients of the Rokach Prize for Architecture, the International Award for Excellence, and the Rechter Prize for Architecture, considered the most prestigious prize for architecture in Israel.
Kimmel Eshkolot’s winning design will combine its signature attention to context with a commitment to sustainable-architecture principles. Designed around a central courtyard that overlooks Jerusalem’s Gazelle Valley, the Tal Campus features an open amphitheater and a series of courtyards and roof gardens that both complement the landscape and extend it into the campus’ buildings themselves.
Along with the engineering, life and health sciences, and administration buildings, the campus will also include a library, a fitness center, an auditorium, a day-care center, and a cafeteria open to the expansive view. The Garden of Psalms, the campus’ aesthetic centerpiece, will feature 150 stained-glass panels designed by Ofra Friedland, considered one of Israel’s most significant contemporary artists. The panels will be available for dedication by supporters of the Tal Campus.
“Kimmel Eshkolot is privileged to lead the design of the Tal Campus for Women, and to help ensure its status as an iconic yet integral part of the city’s landscape,” said Etan Kimmel, co-founder of Kimmel Eshkolot. “We hope the campus itself will speak to JCT’s aspiration to bring the diverse aspects of Jerusalem and Israeli society in general into creative and fruitful dialogue.”
Prof. Chaim Sukenik, president of JCT, described Kimmel Eshkolot’s winning design as the “best reflection of our vision for the Tal Campus as a symbol of deep respect for Jerusalem’s history and the tradition it represents, as well as of its future as the capital of the Startup Nation.”
Construction on the $75 million Tal Campus is slated to begin in early 2022, and the first of its three phases to be complete in the fall of 2024.