Tel-Hai Magazine - Fall 2020
Why Do We Fear Corona So Much? Prof. Mooli Lahad Critical Issues Facing the Galilee: The 6th Upper Galilee Conference in Memory of Elad Erlich
Internationalization at Home
Asia Points the Way to Recovery From the Covid-19 Pandemic Students Rising to the Challenge: From Analog to Digital's Innovative Social Engagement
Through a Glass, Not Quite so Darkly
How do Birds Navigate? Research by Dr. Yoni Vortman
Happiness in Children: International Research by Dr. Daphna Gross Manos
Editorial Team Ophira Alon, Dinah Kagan, Reut Diamant, Oshrit Shita,
Against all odds: the story of Suzan Sawaid
Sigal Siroah, Natalie Edelman-Porat, Karin Stevenson, Richard Tabachnik
Contributing Writers Katvanit Content writing, Gail Diamond Editing Katvanit Content Writing
Graphic Design Oshrit Shita
Photography Dror Miller studio, Dror Galili
Front Cover Dror Miller studio
Magazine, Fall 2020
Dear Friends of Tel-Hai,
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a drastic change to education systems across the globe, changes nobody could have foreseen. What challenges and possibilities does this open up for the future of learning, for the reorganization of our institutions, and for Tel-Hai in particular?
What are we actually facing?
Here at Tel-Hai we are always looking towards the future. Our strategic plans were working on a forward-thinking ideal that we called “Tel-Hai 2030.” The COVID-19
pandemic triggered Tel-Hai to put in place workable short-term solutions for remote teaching and learning. And yet, remote learning in and of itself does not fully address the challenges of the future such as maintaining effective student engagement and providing students with the necessary tool box suitable for the 21st century, all the while preserving the unique spirit of Tel-Hai. Concurrently we are focusing on "hybrid teaching" which is a method that combines teaching small groups on campus while the rest of the class are at home “Zooming” and participating remotely. Another planned alternative is "blended teaching", combining online educational material and opportunities for interaction online with traditional site-based classroom methods. An equally significant aspect of the College's mission are its social activities and community engagement programs. Our resourcefulness is unlimited, as we are constantly adapting and looking for alternatives to meet some of the acute needs of our students, staff and community that are pressing and urgent in our local context. In short, the answer to my question of “what are we actually facing?” is uncertainty; but we will face it with optimism and not lose sight of Tel-Hai’s vision of serving as the academic and scientific leader of the Galilee, committed to academic excellence, innovation and the pioneering spirit of its founders.
Warm Galilee regards from all of us at Tel-Hai,
" ..We miss meeting our students on campus, the personal relationship is one of the characteristics that distinguish our College and in particular the Department of Education Dr. Irit Sason, Chair, Department of Education
Prof. Yoseph A.Mekori, MD President, Tel-Hai College
I worked very hard last year, and I hope that the Covid-19 will be gone
Daniel Simon, 2nd year student, Social Work.
We look back in pride at a century of achievement and look forward with hope to a new century of exploring new horizons and conquering new frontiers.
Commemorating the Past - Pondering the Future
It is now a century since the Battle of Tel-Hai which became a foundational myth for the State of Israel, the Zionist Movement and most especially for all of us here in Tel-Hai. While different groups have chosen to emphasize different aspects and interpretations of the battle and the events leading up to it, all were inspired by the dedication and spirit of commitment which motivated the pioneers who established the historic Tel-Hai, and those who followed in their footsteps. It is thanks to them that Tel-Hai College is the vibrant, diverse, science and technology hub that it is – and it is thanks to them that we can now study and question the events surrounding the battle from a fresh, original perspective. The Battle of Tel-Hai was marked in an academic conference (March, 2020), where we learned about, among others, Kamal Hussein (The man who killed Trumpeldor), analyzed the formation of the Tel-Hai myth, reviewed the cultural development of the Tel-Hai myth, and contextualized the battle within the Arab-Zionist conflict, and its relevance to our lives today. To mark the centennial of the Battle of Tel-Hai, a selection of contemporary art pieces created in response to the Tel-Hai myth has been collected. The collection brought to the surface ideas and subjective responses to the themes of heroism, territorialism, figuration and society. The art pieces were presented alongside photos and archival items describing the construction of the statue, and the Battle of Tel-Hai. Centennial events included an Honorary Fellow Award Ceremony. Tel-Hai College is proud to award Mrs. Rachel Rabin, Sir Stephen Walley Cohen, Mr. Sandor Frankel and President Reuven Rivlin the Tel-Hai Honorary Fellow Award.
The Helmsley Science Building for Health, Environment and Biotechnology Studies Construction of The Helmsley Science Building for Health, Environment and Biotechnology Studies continued without interruptions throughout the spring and summer. The building is a joint initiative of Tel-Hai College, Migal-Galilee Research Institute and is supported by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, ICA in Israel, The Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education and UJIA-UK. The construction is scheduled for completion in 2022.
New Archaeological Display Four years ago, a monumental Roman temple column, built with 14 column drums and a gigantic capital, rising to a height of 11 meters and weighing nearly 18 tons, was reconstructed inside Tel-Hai College's library. Recently, phase two of this archaeological display was finally completed - two impressive capitals from the same Roman Temple, dating to the first century CE, were installed in front of the library and above the Arnold and Anita Silber Theatre. The remains of the temple complex at the ancient site of Omrit were excavated by Prof. Andrew Overman of Macalester College of St. Paul, Minnesota, and his team, for over 15 years. With the support of the Israel Antiquities Authority and through generous contributions by the Tel-Hai College and Macalester College, this impressive outdoor exhibition was added to enhance the campus. Visitors to the college will now be allowed a glimpse into the past through the historical remains of the unique 2000-year-old temple. Peering through the capitals, one has a clear view of the ancient site of Omrit, across the Hula valley.
Magazine, Fall 2020
Local Matter 2020 – Tel-Hai Arts Institute Graduation Exhibition The current Corona virus epidemic unsettles people, disrupts their routines and expectations, and challenges them to overcome hurdles and rethink basic assumptions. In other words, it provides artists the raw materials they need to thrive – and make their work all the more essential to reflect and deliberate the great issues of their time. That is exactly what the "Local Matter 2020" graduation exhibition of Tel-Hai College Art's Institute is all about. The artists, lecturers and students were resolute to continue to meet and create in spite of the limitations, and the results speak for themselves: unique personal projects based on the development of individual language and ideas – all in accordance with the roots and world-view of each individual student, while still vigorously corresponding with the wider world of art and design.
Installation of the new Anatomage Table will revolutionize Anatomy teaching at the College. The Anatomage Table, was acquired with the generous support of ICA in Israel. Students from the Pre-Med Studies, psychology, social work, nutrition and animal science will be able to visualize anatomy exactly as they would on a fresh cadaver with accurate details and rich content.
Innovative Learning at Tel-Hai has Stepped Up to the Next Level! Tel-Hai's new virtual international classroom – the WILLIAM classroom was officially inaugurated by Tel-Hai Management in July 2020. The new classroom will be used for international classes and additional modules of internationalized learning as a means to engage faculty and students in international environments, without having to go abroad. Read more about the WILILIAM Project on page 10.
Scholarships Programs Over 700 scholarships were distributed last year to deserving students at Tel-Hai College. We are grateful to our partners and friends: Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, The Jean Bell Legacy Scholarship Program, Bank Hapoalim, Shamir Optical Industry, Bank Mizrahi -Tefahot, Kristet Center and Rothschild-Ambassadors, who chose to support our students on their journey to bring their potential to the fullest. New Academic Programs Biodata Studies, Department of Biotechnology Animal Health Studies, Department of Animal Science Matzpen La-Gallil" (Galilean Compass) program, Department of Multidisciplinary Studies Body and Soul, Clinical Studies, Social Work, Graduate Studies
Why Do We Fear Corona Prof. Shmuel (Mooli) Lahad
Virus So Much?
Prof. Mooli Lahad of Tel-Hai College, Founder and President of MASHABIM Community Stress Prevention Center in Kiryat Shemona, and an international expert in dealing with stress and anxiety inducing situations believes that our hatred of uncertainty is key to explaining this fear. “Let’s start with the name of the
They are now “patients” and not managers, administrators etc. Someone who is in home quarantine doesn’t go to work, doesn’t fill certain regular roles. Role discontinuity often causes feelings of helplessness and lack of functioning. Historical continuity is also disrupted when people feel that they “don’t know themselves,” that they are going crazy, that the feelings they feel right now are strange to them. They don’t recognize themselves when they are frightened, crying, tired, with aches or pains. What can we do? First, we can learn the facts and not let rumors and unreliable interpretations run our lives. In situations like this it is very important to be attentive to official entities like the Ministry of Health and our own medical professionals, to get assistance from the Magen David Adom information center and the Ministry of Health. It is important to build a routine even if the regular daily schedule is disrupted. Even if you are under lockdown in home quarantine, set a daily schedule. At first it seems strange but if you are consistent you will see that this in itself organizes you. Set times for getting up, for meals, for light exercise, for watching the internet/computer/news, and bedtime. In homes with children, a set schedule helps children and also parents. Two weeks is a long time to be at home. You can add game time to the schedule (games of all kinds), times for tidying and organizing the house or all kinds of other activities that you have been putting off. In every home there are more than enough items to sort or get rid of. Here’s your opportunity. Find time to rest. People who know how to do meditation and relaxation have a wonderful tool at their disposal. There are many examples on YouTube for relaxation including soothing music. Stay connected with family and friends. Through smartphones, social networks, email, WhatsApp and more. Organize online food shopping through apps or other services you can order on the internet and of course the delivery can be left outside your door if you are in quarantine. Make a group in Skype, Zoom or FaceTime which will allow you to see your friends and family and make that part of your daily schedule. Remember that people who aren’t in quarantine aren’t always free to be in touch. Don’t be insulted, schedule time with them.
What aspects of the Corona virus pandemic scares us? Human beings are creatures who hate uncertainty and even more so lack of control. Uncertainty and lack of control bring on a sense of helplessness. But in truth human beings are experts at coping with uncertainty. There is no other creature that takes risks in the face of uncertainty in life like the human being. So what is so frightening about COVID-19? 1. The invisibility of the frightening entity. Despite the fact that we have received explanations of how it spreads, it remains invisible. 2. The huge media buzz. 3. Historical associations with “plagues” that wiped out entire populations, such as the Black Plague in Europe. 4. Quarantine – denial of freedom of movement. 5. Uncertainty about when a vaccine will be found. 6. And of course the fact that COVID-19 can cause death. virus. The meaning of the name is crown or diadem and of course this derives from the similarity between the shape of the virus and the image of a crown. Therefore, our goal needs to be to decrease the control of this king or queen over our lives. What happens to us in a situation of threat and uncertainty? A health event like the corona virus or in fact any crisis disrupts our sense of continuity. We are simultaneously faced with uncertainty and a feeling that yesterday can no longer serve as a predictor of tomorrow. The disruption of realistic-cognitive continuity is expressed in a feeling that one does not understand what is happening. One feels confused, that the world has been disrupted, the natural order has been challenged and our routine has been broken. When social continuity is disrupted, we feel isolated and disconnected. Home quarantine due to fears of COVID-19 increases social disconnection. There is also fear that if people discover we are identified as someone who may have the COVID-19 virus, people will avoid contact with us. People who are taken to hospital find themselves in a new and different social situation whose rules they do not understand, and of course they experience a loss of their accustomed roles.
Magazine, Fall 2020
Corona Anxiety In situations of threat and fear, we tend to fill the gaps in information with rumors. They can appear through word of mouth and through social media. It is clear that in most cases the intention is not to arouse panic or to scare people. The authors feel a need to share unchecked information out of a desire to feel control of a situation in which we do not have control. The illusory information gives them a sense of control. But the damage caused as a result of misinformation harms all of us. First of all the person about whom the rumor is spread, but afterwards also wider circles. For example, if there is a rumor that at a particular workplace a particular employee has been quarantined or has been found to be ill with the novel corona virus, the site immediately suffers economically, without the facts having been verified. In situations of panic we tend to follow rumors because we are looking for confirmation of our fears. Recommendations Each of us is responsible, just as we are responsible for washing our hands, for following the instructions of the Ministry of Health, and for avoiding crowded places. Our responsibility tells us stop! Do not spread rumors. If someone is in quarantine that does not mean they are ill! It means that the person was in an area where they may have be infected. There is no need to turn the person into a leper. On the contrary, call, take an interest in the person. Clarify why they are in quarantine. Check if you can bring something they need, even if you cannot go into their home. The virus cannot pass through doors. You can leave whatever they or their family need by the door and let them know. If there are children in quarantine, encourage your children, their friends, to reach out on social media, play interactive games with them and so forth. Let’s remember. The novel corona virus will pass – but our friendships and connections will remain. Let’s remember, after COVID-19 we will still want to go shopping. It’s our responsibility to ensure that businesses don’t close because of rumors that keep customers away. COVID-19 is a new, frightening and challenging event. Let’s not turn it into a disaster. Let’s show responsibility, caring and sensitivity to others. Remember, tomorrow it could be any one of us.
It is very important that we try to define roles within the routine imposed upon us. If you are not in quarantine, try to preserve routine roles and if you need information in order to feel in control, define the times when you will receive updates so that it doesn’t disturb your regular functions. Being busy and active is very effective. If you are in quarantine, try to define roles, both for adults and children. For children it is even more important that they have roles and responsibilities, even small ones. A role takes us from passivity to activity and this creates a sense of control. Therefore you can also decide on sports activities at home [if you aren’t suffering from symptoms of illness] and invent roles and jobs [such as the child who waters the plants once every two days, feeds the fish, etc.]. Involve family members in planning menus and as much as possible in food preparation. This will give them a role. It is important to remind ourselves about what hasn’t changed. What can we identify that isn’t impacted despite the situation? Do I have habits or routines that give me a good feeling and that I can perform now? I can remind myself how I coped in previous situations, what helped me and how I can use that [perhaps with changes] today. I can take care to do something every day that makes me feel good, something I can do in the framework of the limitations. I can distract myself with movies/reading/games. I can reassure myself and my family that the situation will end, that every situation, even the worst, eventually ends. We can, right now, plan what we want to do when all this is over, something fun to mark the end of this period. For those for whom it is appropriate, pray and compose prayers or read Psalms. Remember that the more we succeed in preserving part of our continuity of role, our sense of control over our lives will increase.
Critical Issues Facing the Galilee The Sixth Galilee Panhandle Conference in Memory of Elad Erlich A vital initiative focusing on the Eastern Galilee relies on regional creativity and energy to highlight critical issues has recently taken place, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Galilee Panhandle Conference in memory of Elad Erlich z”l has been taking place over several weeks this fall, addressing major chall e nges such as establishing of a university in the Eastern Galilee, making health services more accessible regionally , promoting local culture through government support and developing economic and employment models appropriate to the changing situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference emphasizes regional cooperation and addresses the growing gaps between Israel's geographical center and periphery. Sponsored by Tel-Hai College, the Shinui Kivun (Change in Course) Organization, the Eastern Galilee Cluster and local authorities in the region, the Sixth Annual Conference reached new audiences with its bold agenda for growth and development in the region. On September 2020, panels featuring national experts addressed the critical issues facing the Galilee Panhandle: health, employment, higher education and culture. Health experts discussed how the current pandemic can serve as a catalyst for improving health services accessibility. Speakers emphasized the importance of cooperation between different health maintenance organizations and highlighted the urgent regional need for investment in preventive health care. The panel on employment focused on the rapid economic and workforce changes occurring in Israel and the world as a result of the pandemic. Udi Erlich Giladi, Human Capital Director, Bank of Jerusalem, discussed these dramatic changes, as dozens of bank workers transferred from in-person to work-from-home positions. Other panelists emphasized the importance of cooperation among local authorities to attract new employment opportunities to the Galilee. The higher education session brought new energy to the goal of establishing a university in the Galilee as a catalyst for regional development. Panelists underscored the available regional resources, indicated the obstacles and discussed ways for local leadership to unite to successfully realize the common vision.
Magazine, Fall 2020
As Professor Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, noted,
"There is already an exceptional research institute, the MIGAL Institute, and Tel-Hai College, which has all the elements and capabilities of a university. No other place in the country has all these conditions. [A university] will push forward the development of education and culture in the region. This is a national mission of the first order."
The online panel presentations attracted thousands of viewers from throughout the region. The culmination of the conference will take place at the “Galilee Panhandle Conference Day” at the Knesset. This key event will include live broadcasts from Knesset committees and video interviews with government leaders committed to addressing the challenges, issues and proposals raised by the Conference. The Conference steering committee is working on a document that will guide the next steps for national government entities and local government. Residents of the Galilee Panhandle are taking an active role in crafting and presenting the document through a consultation website that is open to the broader community during all the stages of the Conference. Through engaging residents, academics and regional and national leaders, the Galilee Panhandle Conference in memory of Elad Erlich continues to be a force for positive change and growth in the entire region.
The Galilee Panhandle Conference honors the memory of Elad Erlich, the Director of the External Studies Unit at Tel-Hai College and one of the founders of the “Shinui Kivun” movement. Born and raised in Kiryat Shmona, Elad tragically lost his life in a car accident at the Gomeh Junction in 2013, on his way to perform reserve duty in his combat unit. In 2015, the Erlich family established the Galilee Panhandle Conference to honor Elad’s legacy of service to his country, Tel-Hai College and the Galilee community he loved.
Internationalization at Home I ternat A new classroom has recently been inaugurated at Tel-Hai College – the WILLIAM classroom. WILLIAM is an Erasmus+ project, a collaborative initiative between 12 Israeli and European institutions, Tel-Hai College among them, that works to advance “internationalization at
home” within Israeli higher education institutions. The new classroom will be used as a virtual international classroom, as well as a studio for producing online courses, and was planned long before we even heard of the covid-19 pandemic.
“the classroom allows us to use innovative and advanced teaching technology in our courses, in line with the College’s strategy for 2030”
says Prof. Mooli Lahad, Ph.D, Head of the International Academic Affairs unit at Tel-Hai. “over the past year and a half, as partners in WILLIAM, we examined different models of virtual teaching and virtual classroom as a tool to promote internationalization, and learned from the experience of our partners in Israel and in Europe. With the assistance and input from our IT department and Excellence in Teaching unit at Tel-Hai, we designed the classroom and purchased the relevant equipment to match our current needs” adds Prof. Lahad. It was also decided to renovate the classroom at the same opportunity, to complete the learning and teaching experience. With the consultation of an interior designer specializing in learning spaces, we improved the classroom environment to the benefit of our faculty and students, as you can see in the photos.
The classroom has already been used for filming lectures for our International Bioinformatics workshop, which was offered online for the first time this summer, due to the pandemic. The workshop gathered 45 students from Israel and abroad for a high level and practical workshop in NGS data analysis. Another course offered these days is an international course in “Cultural Landscapes”, led by Dr. Gad Schaffer, in collaboration with Roskilde University in Denmark. This course is also part of the WILLIAM project, and is taught in parallel in Israel and Denmark. The students from both institutions have joint online tasks, while several classes in the course will be taught using the new classroom, with the students present in class while communicating with their fellow students in Denmark using the advanced classroom equipment. We hope that when the world returns to normal, these classroom capabilities will continue to engage faculty and students in international environments, without even having to even leave the campus. As the world faces a new era of uncertainty following the pandemic, and is forced to reconsider existing customs and methods of teaching, we choose to look at this time as a great opportunity for reinvention, involving creative solutions in every aspect of our lives. The next academic year will be very different than what we expected or ever imagined, but it is not necessarily for the worse. Initiatives such as WILLIAM especially in times like these, stimulate our creative thinking, and allow us to adapt quickly, at least in the higher education system.
Magazine, Fall 2020
The mission of Tel-Hai College has been clear from its inception: To provide excellent academic education in the periphery, whilst serving as a social and economic engine for the development of the Galilee and its communities. We encourage our students to become proactive citizens and to believe in their abilities to create positive social change. Over 60% of our students are active in the community. They hone their leadership skills as well as their commitment to social justice; they develop a sense of self-worth and agency; often they gain practical skills relevant to their fields of study. They are the vanguard who inspire others through personal example to aspire for more and to take action to advance themselves and their communities. social engagement programs
collaborating regional organizations
total hours of
of the students indicated that community engagement strengthened their affinity to the Galilee
of the students testified that community engagement strengthened their social responsibility and civil activism
of the Rothschild Ambassadors alumni , chose to make the Galilee their home
Asia Points the Way to Recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic
ver the past few months, it seems that the states of East Asia, both democratic and non-democratic, have succeeded in the struggle with the Corona virus much better than other countries elsewhere. In China, even in Wuhan, the ground zero of the outbreak, life has gotten back on track. New cases that are discovered are handled rapidly by locking down entire neighborhoods and performing widespread inspections in order to enable the return to normal life in the rest of the country. As these words are written, the Government of China has launched a massive operation to screen every single one of the nine million residents of the city of Qingdao within five days (!) due to only twelve cases discovered in the local hospital. As we write these words, spending the Tishrei Holidays ensconced in our homes, China is also in the midst of a holiday and vacation packed week, with the Mid-Autumn Festival occurring this year in the same week as the national holiday. Given the worldwide crisis, the swarms of Chinese tourists who rush overseas every October, will instead supplement the hundreds of millions of internal tourists, a vast mass including around 40% of the entire population of China (some 600 million people) who annually spread out, traveling around the country, packing the train, hotels, local tourism sites and internal flights. The previous vacation week in which hundreds of millions of travelers packed China's highways and alleys took place during Chinese New Year, in the dark shadow of the early news concerning the Corona virus, and symbolized the deep social and economic crisis caused by the plague. Now, it seems like many consider the national holiday week to be a symbol of China's success in the struggle against the pandemic. Taiwan has stood out as one of the most conspicuous success stories in the struggle against corona, with the number of cases diagnosed in it as of early October being only 510, with a total of seven dead (in a population of 23 million people), thanks to its rapid response in immediately and completely sealing the borders as soon as the existence of a mysterious virus in Wuhan became known, and utilizing systems set up following earlier outbreaks of diseases such as SARS in 2003. It did all this without shutting down either its economy or education system. Taiwan was therefore able to preserve positive economic growth (even if it was lower than the past), held a presidential election in January 2020, and currently provides support to many countries around the world with equipment vital for handling the disease. Vietnam (1096 cases and 35 dead), China's neighbor to the south, and even Hong Kong (5114 cases), which is managed as an autonomy under Chinese sovereignty, rapidly placed social restrictions and closed their borders to China, long before European states did the same, and there too notable successes were noted in halting the spread of the disease.
Dr. Oded Abt Dr. Dror Kochan
Magazine, Fall 2020
In Japan as well, whose population is amongst the oldest in the world, life is getting back on track, with the limitations policy that was put in place early in the crisis being phased out throughout almost the entire country, and its schools reopening. Korea is continuing to present a widespread and successful inspection model that helped it deal rapidly with the first wave of the disease, as well as with later,more local outbreaks. A lockdown has not been put in place in either of these states, but public campaigns encouraging wearing masks and staying home were carried out, and the public response was impressively positive and compliant. It is clear that the various models implemented in East Asian counties have achieved results which countries in Europe and the Americas can only jealously aspire to. One reason may be the high public trust in government actions, which results in public behavior which helped halt the pandemic. This public trust was both earned, in this particular crisis thanks to clear messages and actions lead by professional officials on the national and local levels, the beneficiary of a cultural worldview which recognizes the ability of the government to resolve crises. In considering the Asian success one should also take into account the improved funding of public health systems following the problematic handling of the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the impressive coordination between governmental authorities. The use of advanced technology which enables focused identification and treatment of infection cases played a decisive role in the success of many East Asian States. It is worth noting that moreso than in the West, the leading democratic states in East Asia also displayed widespread public consensus and political feasibility regarding the infringement on individual privacy which such measures entail. But beyond the actions undertaken by the governmental authorities, the social and public mobilization for appropriate behavior, the public cooperation given through the trust in the system and the internalization of the patterns of social distancing played an even greater role in East Asia's impressive achievements. So, while in the United States experts took pains to convince the President of the necessity of masks, in East Asia ill people, even if they are only suffering from a cold, wore masks even decades before this crisis, out of consideration to their neighbors. The reasons for the success these countries registered are many and various, but the leading one is the simple insight that East Asians did not need to be persuaded that a pandemic had broken out and needed to be dealt with. The readiness of the East Asian States to pay a high price to contain the disease in its initial stages is what enabled them to limit the rate of the pandemic’s victims to a minimum, enable the economy to recover, and to slowly return to normal. That is how the Government China, whose population is four times greater than that of the United States, can direct the unprecedented manpower and resources required to deal with any new outbreak in a thorough but focused manner.
Dr. Oded Abt is a faculty member in the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel-Hai College, specializing in Chinese social and religious history, anthropology and ethnicity. During the last decade he carried out extensive fieldwork and research in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Manila. His current research project is based on anthropological and historical research into the ethnic and religious heritage of descendants of Muslims in Southeast China, Taiwan and the Philippines. Dr. Dror Kochan is a lecturer in the Department of East Asia Studies at Tel-Hai College. Dror deals with political, social and economic processes in contemporary China, focusing on internal Urban migration from the countryside, urban transformation and planning, and changes to urban public spaces. Tel-Hai is the only college in the country with a Department of East Asian Studies. The department operates in a bi-departmental format, so that students focus on the Chinese or Japanese language and integrate their studies with fields such as economics, psychology and even computer science. Classes take place in an intimate setting in which students are exposed to the history, culture and politics of East Asian countries. Graduates of the department are integrated into organizations and companies that operate in China, Japan and other countries. Another area that the department hopes to develop in the upcoming years, once the Corona era ends, is inbound tourism from East Asia, with an emphasis on tourism sites in the Galilee (Prof. Amir Goldstein, Head of the Department of East Asia studies). the Department of East Asian Studies
From Analog to Digital's Innovative Social Engagement Students Rising to the Challenge
he corona epidemic has been a challenging time – but it will, eventually, pass. The benefits to the lives of senior citizens from the innovative solutions developed by Tel-Hai students for the challenges of the times will, however, endure, long after the pandemic is contained. From Analog to Digital, a program launched by Tel-Hai students Danielle Iphlan and Dor Oren, improves senior citizens’ quality of life by making technology more accessible, while building multigenerational connections. The project brings together Tel-Hai students and participants from the Beit Vatikei Ha-Galil Senior Center. After attending a unique training program, students help seniors navigate technology and reap the benefits of the digital world. Rivka’s children and grandchildren live in the center of the country. Her son bought her a tablet, but she didn’t really know what to do with it. Rivka learned how to use Zoom, download games and access Pinterest. Now she can see her grandchildren any time she wants. “Thank you for helping me. It simply changed my life.” “Thank you for helping me. It simply changed my life.” David, a former musician, missed his years as a performer. Through the project, David became familiar with YouTube where he can listen to his favorite music, hear new songs and experience a different world. “I never imagined that YouTube could be a balm for loneliness.” To help seniors during the pandemic, the project worked with Beit Vatikei HaGalil to design a Zoom learning program. The students and 60 new volunteers connected more than 300 seniors to Zoom, providing explanations and troubleshooting problems in real time. The project has connected more than 500 households to Zoom and mapped the needs of more than 1500 households in the Galilee region. This year, the project will operate with the support of the Fritz Naphtali Foundation. Magazine, Fall 2020
Dor Oren, Danielle Iphlan
Meet Project Co-Founder and Student Association Chair, Danielle Iphlan
Shalom, I'm Danielle, 24 years old, originally from Jerusalem and currently living in Metulla while completing my third year of studies in designing educational spaces, sociology and gender at Tel-Hai College. From a young age I realized that community involvement is the way to influence society and make a change. I was always in some voluntary activity or another, beginning with student council in elementary and high school, through a pre- military year of service (Shnat-Sherut) in the ORT-BINA program, to my present position. I chose to study at Tel-Hai because I fell in love with the landscape, the serenity, the intimate atmosphere and the option to choose a broad, multidisciplinary study track. In my first year, I was a coordinator in the Student Association, I also took a course on social entrepreneurship and volunteered in two community organizations. These activities enriched my studies, contributed to my development and created a diverse new circle of friendships. The Student Association unites all students and emphasizes our role in shaping Israel’s future. The Association provides a wide range of services: welfare, academics, culture, financial management and community involvement. As Chair of the Association, I hope to use my influence to make change and improve the quality of life for all Tel-Hai students. This year we will reach students at home; we need to get off campus and think out of the box in order to maintain a somewhat normal routine during this crazy situation. We will continue to promote social entrepreneurship and activism among students, while representing the student voice to the College administration. Together with Dor Oren, I established the From Analog to Digital project to make technology more accessible to seniors and create intergenerational connections. With the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the need for our project increased. Connecting elders to technology has become an urgent need. Naturally we rose to the challenge, recruiting volunteers to help connect elders to Zoom. I hope that we, at the Student Association will create significant community and academic connections this coming year, for the benefit of the students and the communities in the Upper Galilee.
Through a glass, not quite so darkly “Less may not be more, but for now, this is
When Tel-Hai's academic year opened under the pallid sign of the ongoing Corona epidemic and Israel's second lockdown, Noa Ha-Giladi, realizing she would not have the opportunity of teaching her long anticipated glass crafting techniques workshop course decided it was time to take a breather, and take a bike trip around the Land of Israel. An eight-week bike trip. We were able to catch her for this interview while she was leaning back and enjoying the view in Mitzpe Shalem in the Judean Wilderness. We wondered how this journey, in stark landscapes so different from the verdant, stream and lake strewn Galilee Panhandle influenced her perspective. Well, we asked, and we got far more than we expected. Noa recalled her first visit to Tel-Hai, back in 2002. She was just visiting a friend back then, but naturally stopped to have a look at Tel-Hai's glassworks. "Truthfully", she says "There was not much to see." But even back then Noa had toyed around with the idea of building a fully equipped glassworks studio in the verdant north, one in which many glass working techniques could be practiced and taught. It would be 15 long years before Noa returned full time to glass working, her first artistic love, or to Tel-Hai. In the interim, she suffered a nervous breakdown, clawed her way back to recovery through artistic photography and painting, especially of nature and landscapes, renewed her glass working studies in Israel and abroad, and eventually made her way to us for a residency in our "A Studio of Your Own" program. Unfortunately, Tel-Hai's glass working studio, though respectable by Israeli standards, continued to fall far short of Noa's vision, or of the equipment and possibilities to which she was exposed abroad. Nonetheless it was during her residency that she had an epiphany. "I realized I didn’t need the most advanced equipment to achieve results, to create true and authentic art which expressed my vision and could inspire others" says Noa.
enough. And every creation, every student I can inspire, is another step forward towards creating the critical mass necessary to transform Tel-Hai's glassworks into the ideal Israeli glass working center I envision". In other words, Noa has adopted the "another dunam and another goat" adage of David Ben Gurion and the founders of Tel-Hai. That vision of the future is part of what keeps Noa going. But the greater part is her passion for glasswork and fascination with the manifold qualities and versatility of the material. "Glass is innately reflective, clear, moldable – and fragile. All of these qualities combine to offer an artist infinite potential – and morally compel her to explore this potential to the utmost." Passion and authenticity is key, Noa says. "When an artist uses her art to reflect authentic experiences, insights, and inner turmoil, then they become healers. Of themselves – and of anyone who bonds with their work". "What I want more than anything else", continues Noa, "Is to pass that passion onwards". Noa plans to do that, in her intended class, by introducing her students to glass working techniques which have shaped her artistic development and career, many of which are unknown in Israel. She first brings up casting, which enables the artist to imbue an existing object with new meaning of interpretation. She used this technique to prepare a pair of glass stumps (Gedamim) six months before her father's death, symbolizing the transience of life, and the enduring legacy left behind even in death. She delved deeper into her father's character, and his importance to her, in her Betzalel graduation centerpiece, a full scale glass tractor. Initially, she had considered to use casting for this work as well, and experimented with half a dozen techniques, before settling on fusing and slumping. "I got exactly what I wanted, but not what I envisioned, when I used slumping on the tractor" says Noa. "This is the nature of the artistic process – the artist needs to be prepared to accept what the process is telling her, rather than insist on imposing her vision on the outcome".
Shortly after graduating, Noa suffered her breakdown, putting her glass working career on freeze for many years. Her "greenhouse" project, displayed in the "Studio of Your Own" framework brought her glasswork art back into the spotlight, and signaled a fruitful return to her interrupted career. The project uses three different techniques to recreate the elements of her childhood home's greenhouse, destroyed by a sudden hailstorm in the harsh winter of 1991. Utilizing the remnants of the destroyed greenhouse (dust, pots and glass shards) as both backdrop and artistic medium, Noa created a poignant memorial to the shattered dreams of childhood. The shards of glass hanging from the ceiling were web printed with glass powder. The words inscribed on the shards are taken from her breakdown (which occurred when Noa was working in a different greenhouse a decade later). This is where Noa introduced the sgraffito technique, utilizing it to paint the diagram of the destroyed greenhouse. This technique, which Noa studied in Pennland North Carolina, and which she wishes to introduce to Tel-Hai's students was also utilized by her in the creation of the multi-year project depicting the magnificent landscapes of the Syrian-African Rift. "I am open and more than willing to tell anyone about my experience," says Noa, who has "left the closet" and taken upon herself the task of normalizing public perception of mental health and illness. "But my breakdown is not what defines me, or my art, and is not what I am focused on now. That is in the past. It is prologue, but not the future" What Noa is focused on is being a change agent for two interwoven goals: providing glasswork artists with an artistic center in the North where they can professionally develop, keeping them in Israel and the Galilee Panhandle, and providing talented individuals who suffer from mental illness with both a place to recover through art as she has recovered and a living example that recovery is possible. That example, however, is not directed solely, or even primarily, for those recovering from mental illness. It is rather directed at "normative" society, whose perception of mental illness is characterized by fear and ignorance. "Really, dealing with the stigmas and preconceptions of normies can be harder and more exhausting than coping with the symptoms of the illness", says Noa.
And it doesn't have to be this way. "Tel-Hai gave me a chance to practice my art again. Tel-Hai gave me a home. The Hula Valley and Galilee Panhandle is home, and my latest eight-week trek across Israel have reminded me how much its human and natural landscape is a part of me. Just imagine how much Tel-Hai and the Galilee Panhandle could benefit if it became the home for all the talented individuals who lack the chance to develop professionally, recover personally and professionally from mental illness mishaps which plague so many people in Israel, and offer true acceptance to all of them."
Ground breaking new study identifies Magnetotactic bacteria in animals, strengthening controversial symbiotic magnetic sensing hypothesis
How exactly do animals, especially migratory birds, navigate across vast reaches of the earth to their precise seasonal abodes? One hypothesis is that they utilize the earth’s magnetic field to navigate through the air, land and sea. But in spite of numerous studies indicating animals do indeed sense the geomagnetic field, the identity of the magnetic sensor remains enigmatic – “a sense without a sensor”. Recently Dr. Natan from Oxford University and Dr. Vortman from Tel-Hai College raised an exciting new hypothesis: that the sensor lies not in the animals themselves, but in symbiotic magnetotactic bacteria - a group of bacteria characterized by possessing an “iron needle” which causes them to swim along with the magnetic field. Animals hosting such bacteria, might just sense the bacteria and acquire a
“magnetic sense” indirectly, without possessing any magnetic sensing capability of their own. This hypothesis offers a satisfying resolution to the often contradictory and puzzling results of previous research - and also explain how this much touted sensor has yet to be found. The gap in this neat hypothesis, however is that no magnetotactic bacteria have been identified within animal samples – up to now. In this new contribution, researchers from the UK, University of Central Florida USA, and Tel-Hai College Israel (Natan, Fitak, Werber and Vortman), show that since the hypothesis has been raised, new, previously neglected findings have come to light.
Magazine, Fall 2020
Research by Dr. Yoni Vortman How Do Birds Navigate?
“Apparently evidence has always been around and was waiting for someone to shine a light on it “ says Vortman. Contrary to "common knowledge" in the scientific community, they found, within an existing public metagenomics database that many animal samples do in fact contain a wide variety of magnetotactic bacteria species. This supports the hypothesis by refuting one of its major criticisms. Further, “for a given host, specific magnetotactic bacteria species are most commonly found. In addition, the magnetotactic bacteria of mammals such as bats and whales are more similar to each other than to penguins and sea turtles – strengthening the possibility that these bacteria are truly symbiotic to specific hosts and reducing the possibility that arbitrary environmental contamination is the cause of the presence of these magnetotactic bacteria” Fitak adds.
The authors also demonstrate that current knowledge on the diversity of these bacteria is far from comprehensive, and that the number of identified species has grown logarithmically over the past few years. The next challenge is to prove experimentally that these bacteria are indeed the basis for the transcontinental animal navigation capabilities. “It is possible that the ability of birds to find their way while migrating across continents, sea turtles crossing oceans and salmons finding their way from the ocean to the creeks, is also possible due to the tiny bacteria which reside within them”, sums Natan.
International Research Examines Happiness Level of Children Around theWorld: Studies indicate that eight year olds are most satisfied with their lives in all parameters other than the feeling of safety in the home
by Dr. Daphna Gross-Manos
The international study "Children’s Worlds" (ISCWeB, funded by the Jacobs fund) has recently completed its third wave in the massive international survey including over 128,000 children in 35 countries around the world. This massive, unique, project aspires to understand and promote the perspectives and experiences of children regarding their own lives and well-being; and to encourage policymakers and all those who deal with child well-being to act to improve experiences during childhood. In Israel, the study was conducted by the researchers Prof. Asher Ben Arieh and Dr. Hanita Kosher from the Hebrew University, Dr. Daphna Gross-Manos from Tel-Hai College and Sagit Brok from the Haruv Institute, and included 4,687 - 8,10 and 12 year old children in Israel (second, fourth and sixth grade). The questions in the study ranged between general satisfaction in life and personal well-being to specific areas of life, such as internet access and feelings of security in their respective environments. The survey provides a unique up-to-date perspective on the life of children in many countries that are diverse in their economic wealth, geography and culture. A short selection of the findings is presented here:
Percentage of children who completely agreed they have enough places to play and hang out
Are younger children happier children?
The study's findings indicate that children become less satisfied with their lives as they grow older. In most countries the average grades declined as the age of the children increased, so that eight year old children ranked their general well-being as quite high in comparison to the ten year olds, whereas these ranked their general well-being as higher compared to the 12 years old. Their assessment regarding specific aspects of their life, such as satisfaction with family life, neighbourhood life and the school, also tended to be less positive as their age rose.
Magazine, Fall 2020
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