Professor Eliezer Rabinovici from the Hebrew University was elected as president of the CERN Council on Friday morning, following a campaign run by the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli embassy in Geneva.
CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research – is an international organization located in Geneva, Switzerland, that focuses on particle research. The organization employs the world's leading physicists who conduct experiments and research with the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in order to explore the theoretical side of particles and try to reveal their identity.
The organization includes 23 countries, with Israel having joined in December 2013 as the only non-European nation. Until then, the Jewish state's role had been that of an observer.
Rabinovici was the Israeli representative for the organization for ten years until 2020. In that time he gained great professional and personal renown in CERN. He was also one of the leaders of the SESAME project that brought cooperation between scientists of the Middle East. It is largely thanks to his work that Israel was able to join the organization as a fully-fledged active member.
He will now serve as the organization's president for the next three years.
The Israel in Geneva Twitter account tweeted a video to introduce Rabinovici to the world on Friday, in which he answered some questions regarding CERN and his role as the president of the council.
"It is the greatest honor for me to lead CERN in what will be defining years for the organization and the international scientific community," Rabinovici said. "I look forward to working with all member states to strengthen CERN, to hopefully bring new explanations of what our world is made of."
"I want to congratulate Professor Eliezer Rabinovici for his election as president of the CERN Council," said Israel's ambassador in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar. "CERN was established after World War II to unite divided Europe through scientific cooperation. This position brings great respect to the State of Israel and highlights the excellence of Israel's scientific community."
"Professor Eliezer Rabinovici's election is another win for the new connections policy and evidence of the great appreciation that Israel deserves," said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. "It has once again been proven that with positive and precise work, great achievements can be made. I want to thank all the employees of the Foreign Ministry who led the campaign in the last months that led to the election of an Israeli scientist in a central role in Europe."
"We are in the business of discovery, and discovery is about the unknown. I can promise that more knowledge will come out: new knowledge," he said about CERN's future work.