fall 2013

"A Taste of Academia"

In cafes, bars, restaurants and clubhouses throughout Ra'anana hundreds of residents sat back and relaxed while listening to Open University of Israel's faculty speak about spiders and Spiderman, bacteria, lasers, influential wives of Prime Ministers, Arab-Jewish relations and humous, information overload, aliens…and the list goes on. OUI changed the venue, but not the quality or extent of information.

On a mild spring evening, leading members of the Open University of Israel left the University's campus, and 'set up shop' in cafes, bars, restaurants and clubhouses. They came to share their knowledge and bring science and academia to the people, with Ra'anana's citizens enjoying the opportunity to choose from tens of subjects, among them….

  • "Spiderman and Spiders" and "Bacteria Larger than Life" by Dr. Opatovsky and Dr. Dror Bar Nir respectively from the Department of Natural Sciences
  • "The Status of Humous" and "Is Europe Becoming Muslim?" by Dr. Dafna Hirsch and Dr. Denis Charbit both from the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication
  • "Drowning in Information - Overload and Information" by Dr. Yoram Kalman of the Research Center for Innovation in Learning Technologies and the Department of Economics and Management
  • "Computer Science in Service of Biology and Medicine" by Dr. Noam Shental of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
  • "Exodus: The Real Story" by Prof. Aviva Halamish from the Department of History, Philosophy and Judaic Studies
  • "The Eighth Traveler: The Prey and E.T.: Encounters with Aliens by Prof. Yoav Yair of the Avinoam Adam Department of Natural Sciences

As diverse as the subjects were, so were the 'out-of-classroom' participants, running the gamut of backgrounds and ages. This was the objective of the Ministry of Science and Technology, under whose auspices Israel's universities all participated in this national one-day program -- Israel's look alike to "Ted Talks." Lecture attendees had to pre-register, and as a result of such a high level of interest, by the time the early evening activities began, there were literally no available seats for last minute attendees. Full house attendance and enthusiastic audiences were the order of the day, each willingly and thoroughly entering the world of academia for a sample of the pleasures of learning.