Business Leadership Forum

The President’s International Business Leadership Forum, Hosted by Hebrew University President, Professor Asher Cohen

Friday, June 8th – Sunday, June 10th

The Forum is an exclusive 3-day program beginning the Friday before Hebrew University’s annual Board of Governors, which will take place June 8-13, 2018. This years’ Board of Governors will honor the centennial anniversary of the laying of the cornerstones, with a theme celebrating 100 Years of Knowledge.

Business leaders from around the world and from Israel will join together for a day of innovation and inspiration. Leaders will get an insider perspective of the Jerusalem world of high-tech and will network with local entrepreneurs and University leaders.

We are looking forward to celebrating business leadership and inviting a new cohort of attendees, who will be an integral part of the Board, and will participate in the opening of the Board and a special Pre-Board program. The Forum will focus on:

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


Who: Business leaders (ranging in age from 35 – 55) from around the world. They will get a unique glimpse into the Israeli high-tech world, with an emphasis on Jerusalem and the Hebrew University.

Cost: $1,500 (not including flight and accommodations)


Friday, June 8th

9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Edmond J. Safra Campus/Bloomfield Science Museum

Panel: How to Create a Thriving Eco-System of Innovation: Bringing VC’s entrepreneurs, government and established businesses together to discuss best practices from the Start-Up nation. How do these different groups work together to make Israel—and Jerusalem’s—start-up community one of the most advanced in the world?

Specific Panel Topics:

  • From Idea to Exit: An Overview of the Key Points in the process
  • Hotbeds of Innovation: Which sectors are hot—which are not and the reasons behind them
  • Equal Access to funding: How do VCs ensure that they are funding a diverse group of entrepreneurs


Panelists: The HUJI Innovation Panel brings 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.

  • *Izhar Shay, Israeli high-tech entrepreneur and venture capital investor
  • Yehudit (Dita) Bronicki, former CEO of Ormat
  • *Harel Beit-On, Israeli seasoned executive with over 30 years of management leadership in the IT industry and an extensive investment and exit record
  • John Harthorne, the Founder and CEO of MassChallenge, a no equity and not-for-profit accelerator
  • *Dr. Erel Margalit, Hebrew University alumnus, and the Founder and Chairman of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP)
  • Orna Berry, Vice President of Dell EMC, and the General Manager of Israel Center of Excellence
  • *Yossi Vardi, Israeli entrepreneur, often referred to as the Israeli high-tech guru
  • *The panel will be moderated by Dr. Yaron Daniely, the President & CEO of Yissum, Hebrew University’s technology transfer company


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 discuss the Talpiot program, an elite Israel Defense Forces (IDF) training program based at the Hebrew University. He will also discuss how the army fosters a quality incubator for the creation of advanced technologies.

Potential addition to the program: A behind-the-scenes tour of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, the unique and world-renowned system designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 2.5-43 miles. To-date in Israel the Iron Dome has intercepted over 1,200 rockets.


Exclusive Visit to the Albert Einstein Archives

Enjoy a guided tour of the Einstein Archives, home to Einstein’s intellectual property. Participants will get a glimpse of original documents that few people in the world have seen. The tour will be led by Hanoch Gutfreund, Professor Emeritus in theoretical physics and Academic Director of the Archives.

Afternoon Session: From Dream to Reality

Participants will have the opportunity to visit the field, meet with professors who have created their own startups, and entrepreneurs who are Hebrew University alumni. Participants will visit labs and witness innovative companies and products first hand.

Some faculty members include: 

  • Professor Uriel Levy, The Hebrew University Center for Nano Science and Nanotechnology
  • Professor Uri Banin, The Hebrew University Center for Nano Science and Nanotechnology
  • Professor Shlomo Magdassi, 3D & Functional Printing Center, The Hebrew University Center for Nano Science and Nanotechnology
  • Professor Yaakov Nahmias, Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Professor Meital Reches, Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Professor Idan Segev, Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, Hebrew University


A showcase of innovative technologies including companies such as:

  • Airscort, a company that has developed a docking station solution for commercial drones to enable fully autonomous missions.
  • HumanEyes, a complete, end-to-end solution for creation, display and printing of projects with 3D and animation effects, also known as lenticular printing, used by photographers, graphic artists and printers.


The Friday program will end with a traditional Friday night dinner with members of the Board of Governors at one of Jerusalem’s finest five start hotels.

Saturday, June 9th

Trekking Our History

Breakfast at the hotel.

9:00 am: Depart on Jeeps into the Judean Desert to visit hidden monasteries such as Mar Saba (5th c. monastery built in the cliffs as a place of seclusion for monks), and St. Georges, followed by an easy hike to the Ein Prat Nature Reserve (Wadi Kelt) with a dip into fresh water springs. Ein Mabua is a spring that sits in the heart of the Nahal Prat cliffs, and is a natural phenomenon where the springs flow upstream.  Participants will be joined by Hebrew University faculty members from the Earth Sciences and Archeology who will provide a unique academic perspective, while supplementing the tour with research examples from the field.

11:30 am: Drive to Ein Fara, nestled in the Canyon of Wadi Kelt, for an afternoon of Rock Climbing and rappelling and an opportunity to dip in the cool pools of Wadi Kelt, with lunch.

2:00 pm: Conclude the day with a short and challenging ODT –Outdoor Training Activity, by a local prestigious adventure company.

4:00 pm: Returning to Jerusalem

Cinema, Cocktails and Celebration, 8:30 pm

The Opening Event of the BOG will be held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.
Guests will enjoy an evening celebrating Israeli cinema, and cocktails under the stars.

Sunday, June 10th

HUJI Talks Presents: 100 Years of Knowledge and Vision

The TED-style talks, in a unique and special setting will focus on celebrating the past 100 years, and innovative ideas for the next 100 years. This session will take place at the renowned Dan Jerusalem Hotel.

Speakers include, among others:

  • *Professor Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian. professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University, bestselling author
  • *Professor Idan Segev, Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, Hebrew University
  • *Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, founding director of the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, Hebrew University
  • George Logothesis, chairman and CEO of the Libra Group
  • Professor Amnon Shashua, co-founder and CTO of Mobileye, and co-founder of OrCam
  • Professor Berta Levavi-Sivan, aquaculture specialist at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University
  • *Yossi Vardi, Israeli entrepreneur, often referred to as the Israeli high-tech guru



 Presidents Reception: Honoring Israeli Excellence (TBD)

A reception held at President Rivlin’s residence, where prestigious prize recipients from across Israel will be recognized by the President of Israel, in a reception that will celebrate the University’s contribution to the world and Israel in the 100 years since the laying of the cornerstones.

Celebrating 100 Years of Knowledge and Excellence

Gala dinner celebrating 100 Years of Knowledge will be held at the Tower of David Museum and will feature an interactive spectacular multimedia show broadcast on the Old City walls. Celebrities from around the world and Israel will attend in celebration of this historic anniversary.

 *Note that the list of speakers is tentative and that confirmed speakers are denoted with an asterisk.