TAU Embraces Australia after Bushfires

Written on |

The University jointly organized a solidarity event for the restoration of nature and wildlife Down Under

As a way of giving back to Australia at its time of need, Tel Aviv University co-sponsored a fundraising concert attended by 1,000 guests. The Australian Bushfire Relief evening, held jointly with the Zionist Federation of Australia, Jewish National Fund Australia (KKL) and the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, took place on February 3 at Hangar 11, a gig venue at the Tel Aviv Port, a popular outdoor pedestrian area by the sea.

Income from the gathering was donated to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), a global NGO focusing on wilderness preservation.

Keynote speaker Prof. Tamar Dayan of TAU’s School of Zoology, who also chairs the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, described the environmental ramifications of the wildfires.

“Only now are we starting to understand the magnitude of this disaster and how it will affect us all,” said Prof. Dayan. “The physical scale of the damage is unprecedented; it is six times bigger than the outcome caused by the big wildfires in California in 2018. It is estimated that one billion animals were killed and others are at a real risk of extinction, meaning all the wildlife preservation efforts to date were reversed all at once.”

According to Dayan, no government can prepare for a natural disaster of this scope, specifically the fires’ duration and reach.

“There are many factors affecting the restoration of nature and wildlife, including the quantities of rain in the coming months and whether or not the drought lasts. The Australians are trying to assess the process of rehabilitating the damaged areas but only time will tell,” she said.

Prof. Tamar Dayan (left) and Meir Buber. Photo: Jorge Novominsky, KKL-JNF photo archive

Prof. Dayan is one of a couple dozen researchers at TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences whose expertise in biodiversity, ecology, plant sciences, climate change and other fields are relevant for Australia’s rehabilitation.​

“TAU enjoys a warm and longstanding friendship with Australia, its people and the Australian Jewish community,” said Meir Buber, TAU Senior Executive for Resource Development for Australia, who co-organized the event on behalf of the University.  Australian organizations and individuals have supported the University generously over the years, especially for environmental causes, he stressed, and added: “Through this event we want to say thank you to the Australians for their deep rooted support for TAU.”

T​AU co-organizer Gillian Rosner, Australia Liaison, added: “At the University we’ve had excellent relations with Australian business delegations, with the Australian Embassy, with Ambassador Chris Cannan and with his predecessors for years. For example, Cannan attended the Balfour Declaration centenary we hosted in 2017 at TAU. Now we’re seeing an outpouring of sympathy by Israelis for Australia.”

Vibrant and cheerful atmosphere

Donated for the evening by its owner, Melbourne-born Zev Eizik, the Hangar 11 venue hosted performances by Israeli social singing initiative Koolulam, reality show songstress Hagit Yaso, Israeli trumpet player Arik Davidov and Israeli-Australian musician Savannah Zwi. Comedian Jeremie Bracka, who is actually an Australian-Israeli human rights lawyer, performed stand-up.

Among attendees at the lively event were Ambassador Cannan, many former Aussies who immigrated to Israel, and residents of Israeli towns near Gaza who for years have received Australian support after rocket attacks. The crowd also included the Roim Rahok (“Seeing Far Ahead”) organization and its trainees, youngsters on the autistic spectrum who are prepared for integration into military service.

The book “Frank Lowy: Pushing the Limits” by Jill Margo telling the story of the Australian-born TAU benefactor was sold at the event in benefit of the WWF.

Australian Ambassador Cannan tweeted his appreciation after the fundraiser: “Thank you Israel for showing, in a big way, your support for Australia’s bushfire recovery. An amazing night of comedy, singing and fundraising for the one thousand Israelis there to support their mates from down under at a tough time.” 

The crowd singing at the Australian Bushfire Relief event. Photo: Jorge Novominsky, KKL-JNF photo archive                              

Related posts

BOG 2022: TAU Inaugurates Koret Center for Jewish Civilization

May 16, 2022

BOG 2022: TAU Inaugurates Sylvan Adams Sports Center

May 14, 2022

BOG 2022: TAU Awards Honorary Degrees to Change-Making Cohort

May 13, 2022

BOG 2022: Nine Winners Receive Reimagined Dan David Prize

May 12, 2022

This Week: TAU Welcomes Governors to Annual Meeting

May 10, 2022

On Israel’s Independence Day, TAU Celebrates Breakthroughs

May 3, 2022

New Collaborations between TAU and Leading Turkish Universities

April 29, 2022

TAU Launches Manufacturing Research Center in India

April 13, 2022

Strengthening Local Leadership in Israel

April 5, 2022

First Israeli Research Book Published in Abu Dhabi

April 3, 2022

TAU Welcomes Ukrainian Emergency Fellowship Students

March 31, 2022

Prof. Ehud Gazit – First Israeli to Receive Prestigious International Recognition in Chemistry

March 31, 2022

From War in Ukraine to Studies at TAU

March 20, 2022

TAU Special Briefing: Crisis in Ukraine

March 8, 2022

Investment in Social Funds Leads to a Reduction in Charitable Donations

March 7, 2022

TAU Launches Emergency Fellowship Fund for Ukrainian Graduate Students

March 3, 2022

The New Dan David Prize Announces Inaugural Cohort of Winners

March 2, 2022

Prof. Oded Lipschits Awarded the 2022 EMET Prize in Archaeology

February 21, 2022

And Let There Be Light

February 6, 2022

More than 16,000 participants on TAU’s Open Day 2022

February 2, 2022

The Magnificent TAU Trees

January 16, 2022

For the 1st time at an Israeli university: Air and Space Power Center

January 4, 2022

First Anniversary of Morocco-USA-Israel Agreement

December 28, 2021

TAU Students Racing Towards a Greener Campus

December 21, 2021

TAU and Goethe University Establish Joint Center for Interfaith Studies

December 19, 2021

TAU Ventures Raises $50M to Boost Israeli Startups

December 12, 2021

Coexistence – Israel’s Inevitable Faith

December 6, 2021

Cybermania

November 30, 2021

Tel Aviv University and Rutgers University Strengthen Ties

November 29, 2021

TAU’s Tisch Film School Among Global Best

November 29, 2021

TAU 8th in World for Entrepreneurship

November 29, 2021

Climate Action: From Campus to Glasgow

November 26, 2021

TAU: First Israeli University to Launch Online MBA

November 18, 2021

Feeling at Home in Tanzania

November 13, 2021

Revisiting the Tel Aviv Zoo

November 12, 2021

TAU Initiates Model for Carbon Neutrality

November 11, 2021

Britain and Israel Team Up on Challenge of Healthy Ageing

November 10, 2021

Meet the New Academic Power Couple

November 10, 2021

TAU Launches Cutting-Edge Center for Innovation Labs

November 3, 2021

From Law and Education to Nursing

November 3, 2021

394 TAU Researchers Among World’s Top 100,000

October 31, 2021

TAU 5th in World for Entrepreneurship

October 28, 2021

Israel-Indian academic ties boosted by visit of Indian Minister of External Affairs

October 26, 2021

“In Wars, there are Winners and Losers. In Peace, Everyone Wins”

October 20, 2021

This Week: TAU Board of Governors Meeting 2021

October 11, 2021

Be My Guest

September 19, 2021

Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel Receives the IEEE Leadership Award

August 13, 2021

See You at Naftali

July 22, 2021

Digital Learning: TAU 1st in Israel According to International Ranking

July 12, 2021

Celebrating 20 Years of Gender Studies

June 16, 2021

Pursuing the Unknown

Copyright ©  Tel Aviv University Trust. All rights reserved.
Registered charity number 314179.