President Rivlin meets with Oxford University, Rhodes Trust representatives, together with first two Israeli scholarship recipients
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Reuven Rivlin today (Sunday) welcomed at his residence in Jerusalem, representatives and supporters of the Rhodes Trust and Oxford University, together with the first two Israeli academics accepted into the scholarship under a new expansion of the program, which included Israel as a candidate country. Accompanying the scholars were leading philanthropists Larry and Judy Tanenbaum from Canada, with whose generosity the expansion had been made possible.
President Rivlin welcomed them and said, “It is my great pleasure to congratulate both the scholars for all they have achieved, and the Rhodes Trust for all you have been doing for more than 100 years. Your decision to add Israeli students is very important.” He added, “Wherever I travel in the world, I see the admiration for Israel for our education system, and our achievements in innovation, and as the Start-Up Nation. Without natural resources we have had to develop and invest in human resources, and we are very proud of what we have achieved.”
CEO of the Rhodes Trust, Charles Conn, told the President, “We have long wanted to have scholars from Israel, and we are thankful to all those who have helped us achieve this. Through the support raised we are working so that this will be an annual occurrence.” He noted that there was expected to be a high volume of applications of Israeli students for the scholarship, “There is such a reverence for learning here which we greatly appreciate”.
The group explained to the President that Oxford University had become the first major university from abroad to open an office in Tel Aviv. The President noted, “This is an answer to the BDS. People who want to silence debate must understand that the only way toward a better future is through cooperation and sharing knowledge.” He added, “Oxford is more than just a university it is an idea.”
In 2016, the Rhodes Trust announced two new Rhodes Scholarships for Israel for the first time in the scholarship's 113 year history. The first two Rhodes Scholars, Maayan Roichman and Nadav Lidor, were elected at the end of 2016, and would start at Oxford in October 2017. The new Israel scholarships were part of a wider geographic expansion through which the total number of annual scholarships increased from 83 to 95, including scholarships also for Jordanian, Lebanese, Malaysian, Syrian, Palestinian, UAE, and West African students.
Attached photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO) (President Rivlin with new Israeli Rhodes Scholars, Maayan Roichman and Nadav Lidor)