Questionnaire: Focused on values

Shlomtzion Lulu believes the country needs a long-term strategy on a number of issues.

Shlomtzion Lulu (photo credit: Courtesy)
Shlomtzion Lulu
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Name: Shlomtzion Lulu
Age: 38
Profession: Executive vice president and CEO, The Jerusalem College of Engineering Place of birth: Kiryat Shmona
Current residence: Mevo Betar
What issue gets you out of bed in the morning? What gets me out of bed in the morning is my responsibility to fulfill my obligations to people that day. That’s how I wake up excited each day.
What issue keeps you up at night? The tasks I remember or that weren’t done, as well as conversations from the day before in which I may have failed to clearly transmit my message. This makes me think of how to constantly improve. These thoughts arise mainly at night, when my head automatically reviews the day.
What’s the most difficult professional moment you’ve faced so far? I don’t think there’s one specific moment. My work includes many small dilemmas and decisions on a daily basis, on various levels. At every instance, my thought process is the same: to neutralize emotion and to determine what’s best for the situation. The accompanying difficulty comes in the next step, where I must facilitate what has been decided. And we deal with it. What’s difficult is done quickly, but the impossible takes a bit longer.
How do you celebrate your achievements? I applaud myself internally.

If you were prime minister, what’s the first thing you would do?
There are many initial things to be taken care of in our country... I am not jealous of the prime minister and the multitude of important tasks he has.

Which Israeli should have a movie made about him/her?
There should be a movie made about Uzi Wexler, founder of the Jerusalem College of Engineering, past college president and current chairman of JCE’s Executive Committee. He is the paradigm of someone with the rare ability to make things happen and vision for the greater good, hand in hand with modesty.
There is no one else like him today.
What would you change about Israelis if you could? What I would change about Israelis is planning for the long term. This is severely lacking in our country, as well as among individuals and families. For example, if there was an education plan for the next 30 to 40 years that addressed education needs in order to bring us to social, economic and values-based achievements, then we wouldn’t have to re-determine our direction with each new education minister.
This is just one example, but it’s clear that we face crisis situations of all kinds that could be prevented if long-term plans existed and we acted accordingly.
iPad, BlackBerry or pen and paper? There is no substitute for paper, for which I have a special appreciation. However, the smartphone has brought an undeniable amount of efficiency to our lives. It’s hard to imagine going back. In my eyes, it’s not an option. That’s the beauty of progress, despite the deficiencies that undoubtedly exist with it.

If you had to write an advertisement to entice tourists to come to Israel, what would it say?
There’s no place like Israel – come find out why.

What is the most serious problem facing the country?
The most serious problem facing the country is education, and specifically not regarding subjects such as what is being learned and how much. I am referring to the values. Since our society has become more materialistic, simple values and skills have seemingly been lost, such as appreciation for what we have, striving for excellence and not for competition, conflict resolution and crisis management.

How can it be solved?
I think this can be solved by including these values in the education system – not individually, but as part of a full value system that will teach about integrity, cooperation and excellence. Education must advance with progress and with the generations and customize itself so that for the long term, we will see results within the society in which we live.
In 20 years, the country will be: In 20 years, the country will be flourishing economically and socially, with generation gaps closing.
There will be less separation between groups by origin, faith, or nationality.