Business Leadership Forum

Hosted by Hebrew University President, Professor Asher Cohen

Thursday, June 7th – Sunday, June 10th 2018


The Forum is an exclusive 3.5-day program beginning the Thursday evening before the Hebrew University’s annual Board of Governors meetings. This year’s Board of Governors will honor the centennial anniversary of the laying of the cornerstones, with a theme celebrating 100 Years of Knowledge.


We are looking forward to celebrating international business leadership and providing an insider perspective into the Jerusalem world of high-tech. We welcome a new cohort of attendees to this special pre-Board program as well as to be an integral part of the Board of Governors festive opening and other events. The Forum will focus on:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • High-tech Innovation
  • Israel’s Economic Transformation
  • Jerusalem, Central to the Start-Up Nation


Thursday, June 7th

7:30 – 9:30 pm

“La Guta” Restaurant                                                                   

Opening dinner at La Guta, a kosher French restaurant, located in the beautiful Nahalat Shiva neighborhood of central Jerusalem. The combination of architectural styles add to the character of the restaurant whose menu has a dominant Moroccan influence taken from the rich traditional kitchen in which the chef, Guta Ben-Simchon, grew up as a child.


Presentation by Nimrod Ron, HU alumnus, CEO Eyeron Systems and finalist of 2018 MassChallenge Israel.


Transportation: Bus will leave from the Inbal Hotel at 7:00 pm and then pick up from the King David Hotel followed by the David Citadel Hotel (approx. 2 minutes between hotels).


Friday, June 8th

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Creating a Thriving Eco-System for Innovation:  an informative and inspiring day at the Hebrew University’s Edmond J. Safra Campus

Transportation: Bus will leave from the Inbal Hotel at 8:30 am and then pick up from the King David Hotel followed by the David Citadel Hotel (approx. 2 minutes between hotels).


9:00 – 11:00 am                                                                                                        

Shark Tank Panel

The Innovation Panel will bring together entrepreneurs, founders, and funders, as well as established businesses to talk about today’s best practices and tomorrow’s most exciting trends. Panelists represent the best of Israeli innovation and will discuss what makes Jerusalem and Israel a successful technological ecosystem.

Young faculty members will have a unique opportunity to present their entrepreneurial ideas to the expert panel of judges. Who will have the next big idea? Audience participation is encouraged.

The panel will include: 

  • Izhar Shay, Israeli high-tech entrepreneur, venture capital investor and HU alumnus
  • Harel Beit-On, Israeli seasoned executive with over 30 years of management leadership in the IT industry and an extensive investment and exit record
  • Orna Berry, Vice President of Dell EMC, and the General Manager of Israel Center of Excellence
  • Marius Nacht – Co Founder, Check Point and HU alumnus
  • Oren Shoval, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Via and HU alumnus
  • Moderator: Dr. Yaron Daniely, CEO & President, Yissum, Hebrew University’s technology transfer company 

Special Presentations

  • Zeev Farbman – CEO, Lightricks
  • Yossi Vardi, Israeli entrepreneur, often referred to as the Israeli high-tech guru


11:00 – 11:20 am

Break – Refreshments


11:20 am – 12:40 pm                                                                                                                  

“Be the Investor”

We give you a million… you play with it…

An interactive investment simulation game with timed, speed meetings between participants and HU alumni entrepreneurs.


Entrepreneurs will include:


12:50 – 1:10 pm

Dr. Yaron Daniely, CEO & President of Yissum 

Presentation of Prizes to winning companies

Address:  Promoting Hebrew University Entrepreneurship


1:10 – 1:45 pm                                                                                           

Guest Lecture by Brigadier General (res) Dr. Danny Gold

Brig. Gen. (res.) Dr. Danny Gold is the head of MAFAT, the Israeli Defense Forces’ Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure. Brig. Gen. Gold will showcase the Talpiot program, an elite Israel Defense Forces (IDF) training program based at the Hebrew University. He will also present the army as a unique incubator for the creation of advanced technologies.


2:00 – 2:45 pm


At the University’s Belgium House, Faculty Club


2:45 – 3:45 pm                                                                                                            

Exclusive exposition of The Albert Einstein Archives                                                        

Participants will get a glimpse of original documents that few people in the world have seen.

Hanoch Gutfreund, Professor Emeritus in theoretical physics, former University President, and currently the Academic Director of the Archives, will present the exposition.


3:45 – 4:15 pm

Coffee & Dessert


8:00 – 10:00 pm 

King David Hotel                                                                                                     

Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Friday evening Shabbat dinner with members of the Board of Governors and students from international programs.


Friday Hospitality Desks:

King David Hotel: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

David Citadel Hotel: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Inbal Hotel: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm


Saturday, June 9th

9:00 am – 4:30 pm                                                                                                                

Judean Desert                                                                                                                     

Trekking Our History. Accompanied by Prof. Re’em Sari, Hebrew University Vice President for Research and Development and Mr. Bar Kribus, PhD Student at the Institute of Archaeology.


Option 1: Jeeping in the Judean Desert including stops at Jabel Muntar (the biblical site of Azazel), Mar Saba (5th c. monastery built in the cliffs as a place of seclusion for monks), and Hyrcania (fortress).


Option 2: Rappelling above Wadi Dargah. Skilled and licensed instructors will safeguard the hikers with professional rappelling equipment for the 20m breathtaking descent. At the bottom of the precipice, participants will take a jeep ride to Nabi Musa with the possibility of wading into the refreshing Wadi Qelt.


Lunch: Both groups will reunite for a catered lunch at the Nabi Musa observation post.


Transportation: Buses will leave from the Inbal Hotel at 8:45 am and then pick up from the King David Hotel (approx. 2 minutes between hotels).


8:45 pm – 12:00 midnight

The Jerusalem Cinematheque


The Opening Reception of the 81st meeting of the Board of Governors: Guests will enjoy an evening celebrating Israeli cinema, and cocktails under the stars, featuring an inter-generational dialogue between award-winning Hebrew University Professor Haim Cedar and his award-winning filmmaker son, Joseph Cedar.


Transportation: Bus will leave from the Inbal Hotel at 8:30 pm and then pick up from the King David Hotel followed by the David Citadel Hotel (approx. 2 minutes between hotels).


Saturday Hospitality Desks:

King David Hotel: 8:00 am – midnight

David Citadel Hotel: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

Inbal Hotel: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm


Sunday, June 10th


Transportation: Buses will leave from the Inbal Hotel at 9:45 am and then pick up from the King David Hotel followed by the David Citadel Hotel (approx. 2 minutes between hotels).


10:15 am – 1:45 pm

Dan Jerusalem Hotel


HUJI Talks: To 100 and Beyond – The TED-style talks, in a unique setting by Hebrew University academics and guest speakers, will focus on celebrating the past 100 years, and innovative ideas for the next 100 years. HUJI Talk speakers will include:

  • Idan Segev, Department of Neurobiology & ELSC: Blue Brain and Beyond
  • Cory Shulman, Multi-Disciplinary Autism Center: Autism – Perspectives from the Past, Challenges for the Future.
  • Sergeant Johnmichael O’Hare, Police Sergeant, City of Hartford
  • Yuval Noah Harari, Department of History: The Rise of Digital Dictatorships
  • Raphael Mechoulam, Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research in the School of Pharmacy: Canabis – Looking Back and Ahead
  • Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, Department of Sociology & Anthropology: What Does It Take to be Remembered?
  • Reuven Hazan, Department of Political Science: Make Israel Stable Again
  • Orly Sade, Jerusalem School of Business Administration: Crowdfunding


2:00 – 3:00 pm

Dan Jerusalem Hotel 


Transportation: Buses will leave the Dan Jerusalem Hotel following lunch, to Mt. Scopus Campus


3:30 – 5:30 pm 

Mt. Scopus Campus                                                                                                               

Plenary Session – President’s Report                    


8:00 pm – 11:00 pm    

Tower of David Museum    


Gala Dinner Celebrating 100 Years of Knowledge. Guests will enjoy a magical evening at the Tower of David Museum, featuring a spectacular interactive multimedia show projected on the Old City walls.


Buses will leave from the Inbal Hotel at 7:30 pm and then pick up from the King David Hotel followed by the David Citadel Hotel (approx. 2 minutes between hotels).


Sunday Hospitality Desks:

King David Hotel: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm

David Citadel Hotel: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

Inbal Hotel: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm