(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
NEW YORK – Businessman and former three-term New York mayor Michael Bloomberg received an honorary doctorate Wednesday from the Technion during the institution’s benefit gala.
Bloomberg was honored for his “inspired vision in bringing the Technion to New York City, and for his role in transforming the future of education in the city,” the Technion said.
In 2010, the Bloomberg administration established an international competition challenging academic institutions to propose a new or expand an existing applied sciences and engineering campus in New York.
The winner was the partnership between the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Cornell University to create a joint campus on Roosevelt Island on the city’s East River, between Manhattan and Queens.
According to the Technion, the campus to be built over the next two decades will generate 8,000 permanent jobs and 20,000 construction jobs, and more than $23 billion in economic activity.
“Israel and New York share a special bond built on common values, and my own connections to Israel have deepened over the years,” Bloomberg told the gala. “Whenever I visit, I’m struck by the spirit and the resourcefulness of the Israeli people, and that spirit has certainly shaped the course of this school’s history.
“A strong Israel is important to our world. If we want to better understand global financial markets, or counter violent extremism or tackle climate change, more of our leaders need to be thinking past just the next quarter or the next election, and start thinking more about the next generation,” Bloomberg said.
Boaz Golany, the Technion’s vice president for external relations and resource development, told The Jerusalem Post that the power of the partnership between Cornell and the Technion in New York City stems from a “synergy” between the visions of the two institutions.
The “American mentality of how to run business” and the “Israeli chutzpah” is what makes the collaboration unique, he said.
Golany added that in a time when the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is singling out Israeli academia, partnerships such as the one with Cornell University can counter this phenomenon by establishing “win/win collaborative efforts where both sides have concrete benefits to gain.
“We believe this is the best way to show the fallacies of the arguments of BDS,” he said.