Hemda - Computational Science Program

Project Name:

CS Program – Computational Science for Excelling Students, Hemda Center for Science Education

Center for Science Education, Tel Aviv 

The Hemda Institute at the Center for Science Education in Tel Aviv Jaffa has been operating since 1991. Its principles were established by an international committee of scientists and educators from Israel and overseas, and its purpose is the creation of a new model for a regional center of scientific education, undertaking pedagogical responsibility for scientific education at surrounding high schools, including preparation for the matriculation exams.

Within this framework, a new program has been developed and designated for excelling students. Entitled CS ("Computational Science"), it has won the esteem of scientists worldwide.

Computational Science is at the heart of modern scientific research. Many significant scientific breakthroughs could not have occurred without the use of the computer in many fields, such as the behavior of black holes in the universe, the Big Bang Theory, the decoding of the human genome, and more. Computational science harnesses the computer for solving problems which are otherwise unsolvable. The computational scientist deals with building, analysis, and comparison of simulations for experiments. This is a new field that is integral to any scientific or technological institution in the world.

The CS program at Hemda was developed in an effort to grant exceptionally creative and excellent students tools to solve scientific problems using computers. Teachers of CS give classes at Hemda in Tel Aviv as well as the Davidson Institute at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. The program offers a unique opportunity for individual scientific and technological progress.

Students in the CS Program receive in-depth training in computers and scientific  fields related to the projects run by members of the academic staff at Hemda, all doctors in their fields. With the help of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, a collaboration has been formed with the medical research staff at the Rabin Medical Academic Center on Beilinson Campus. CS students take part in projects which are at the forefront of scientific research in academia, medical research, and industry. 

Social Research

Project Name:
Social Research


Throughout the years, the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation has strived to promote academic excellence in Israel by encouraging and supporting research among institutes of higher education. In 2011, the Foundation made a strategic decision to support studies related to social fields, in order to harness academic research to promotion of social activity in Israel.

The Foundation chose three primary areas of research: Maximization of higher education for employment, Baron Rothschild and his Social Legacy, and Evaluation of Project Results and their Social Outcomes. Committees of professional and academic experts examined dozens of research proposals from a variety of institutes that responded to a call for studies; and after a two-phased screening process, this committee recommended that the Foundation support the following studies:

  • Integration of Haredi Women in Institutes of Higher Education and the Workforce (Dr. Varda Wasserman and Dr. Michael Frenkel, the Open University)
  • Integration of Arab-Bedouin Women Graduates of Higher Education in the Israeli Workforce (Dr. Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, Institute for Desert Studies at Ben Gurion University)
  • Social Gaps in Academic Studies (Dr. Yariv Feniger and Prof. Hanna Ayalon, Ben Gurion University); the Combination of Studies and Work among Israeli Students (Prof. Rachel Gali Cinamon, Tel Aviv University)
  • Decision Makers and how they Cope with Evaluation Results (Dr. Noga Sverdlik, The Open University and Ben Gurion University; Prof. Shaul Oreg, Hebrew University, Dr. Yair Berson, Haifa University and Bar Ilan University)
  • Collaborative  Measurement of Results in Social Programs (Prof. Jack Haviv and Mr. Yehonatan Almog, Meyers-JDC-Brookdale Institute)
  • Evaluation of High Schools' Contribution to Accessibility to Higher Education (Prof. Moshe Justman, Ben Gurion University)
  • How Entities Funding Social Programs in Israel Use Evaluation Findings (Dr. Tali Freund, Anat Kedem, and Lior Rosenberg, Center for Educational Technology)
  • Philanthropic Education – Encounters between Western and Early Israeli Culture (1882 – 1948) (Dr. Tali Tadmor-Shimoni and Dr. Nirit Reichel, Ben Gurion University)

Anxious for their Privacy – Embarking into New Territories

Researchers: Dr. Varda Wasserman and Dr. Michal Frenkel

Institute: The Open University

The research shall study the integration of Haredi women in institutes of higher education as well as the workforce through a spatial-gender-based analysis of their unique experiences in the physical spaces they have been allocated. The research shall map difficulties and barriers posed by organizational planning vis-à-vis studying and working Haredi women, and possible solutions to these difficulties.

The study aspires to contribute to the theory of the importance of aesthetics and organizational space to improvement of the work performed therein and the consolidation of identity in organizations.

Integration of Arab-Bedouin women graduates of higher education in the Israeli workforce

Researcher: Dr. Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder

Institute: The Institute for Desert Studies at Ben Gurion University

The key research goal is to identify the factors that encourage or inhibit the integration of highly educated Arab-Bedouin women into the Israeli workforce, in Bedouin villages and adjacent Jewish towns. An additional goal is to identify the strategies and coping mechanisms used by these women at home and at work in order to integrate into the workforce.

Three major social applications accompany the study:

  • Helping decision makers understand the world of highly educated working Bedouin women, in the field of academia as well as work, and encouragement to find suitable solutions for their promotion in the workforce
  • Help in promoting women in the workforce, for decision makers in the government arena as well as in community organizations
  • Help for institutes of higher education in academic and work-oriented guidance adapted to the reality of Bedouin women in the Negev

    Social Gaps in Academic Studies: Accessibility to Institutions, Fields of Study, and Completion of Bachelor's DegreeResearchers: Dr. Yariv Feniger and Prof. Hanna Ayalon

Institute: Ben Gurion University

Academic education is of great importance to successful integration in the modern workforce, to civil involvement and to a rich, socially and culturally diverse mature life. Although a relatively high percentage of Israeli youth continue to higher education, there are significant gaps between various population groups in the achievement of academic degrees. The current research is based on a large sample of young Israelis, and it closely examines the differences between various population groups in achieving bachelor's degrees, while taking into consideration the institution, field of study, and value of degree in the workforce. The purpose of the study is to enable an improved understanding of the causes of social gaps in higher education, and help decision-makers determine policies to bridge these gaps.

The Combination of Studies and Work among Israeli Students: Is it a Facilitator or a Barrier? To Whom, and How?

Researcher: Prof. Rachel Gali Cinamon

Institute: Tel Aviv University

The period between the end of the teenage years and the end of the twenties is a critical stage of life for many young people in Western industrialized countries. At this stage, important decisions are made regarding relationships, education, and work – decisions which form the lives of these young people as well as the face of society. Young people's  experiences in various walks of life and the meaning they afford these experiences are formed within environmental, cultural, and financial contexts, which encourage or inhibit experiences and obligations in major roles of life. For instance, young people from strong financial groups can afford to enroll in higher studies without working. Compared to them, young people from lower socio-economic echelons are required to work in order to finance their studies, or even completely give up the option of higher education.

The combination between a number of demanding roles such as studies and work may cause conflicts and make it difficult to succeed and function in each of the roles, but may also enrich and contribute to the success of each role. The purpose of the study is to examine the contribution of individual and environmental factors in explaining the diversity of inhibiting or enriching aspects in the combination of work and studies among Israeli students. An additional goal is to examine the implications of these relations of conflict and enrichment entailed in the combination of work and study on the future professional and family plans of Israeli students as well as their psychological well-being.



Decision Makers and how they Cope with Evaluation Results: Projecting the Reactions of School Principals to the Results of Evaluations of School Atmosphere

Researchers: Dr. Noga Sverdlik, The Open University and Ben Gurion University; Prof. Shaul Oreg, Hebrew University, Dr. Yair Berson, Haifa University and Bar Ilan University

The goal of this study is to examine the extent and manner in which executives respond to findings of evaluations on their organizations' performance, and how they make use of these findings. The study examines how personal and motivational traits, along with the executives' preconceptions regarding evaluations, as well as the nature of evaluation itself, can explain the style of coping with the evaluation findings. In addition, the study examines how these methods of coping, combined with the executives' management style, explain the extent and manner of use of evaluation findings, and their efficacy.

Collaborative Measurement of Results in Social Programs

Researchers: Prof. Jack Haviv and Yehonatan Almog,

Institute: Brookdale  - Meyers-JDC-Brookdale Institute

A common measurement of results is a measurement performed collaboratively by a number of organizations dealing in a defined social field. In Israel, as in the world, there is an increasing acknowledgement of the importance of collaborative work between organizations and sectors, along with the increase of opportunities for collaborations. In light of this, we can understand the resulting importance of a common measurement system as a key means of maintaining and retaining cooperation between entities involved and effective guidance of their joint activities.

In spite of the increasing professional interest in the field of collaborative measurement,   scant experience has been accumulated in Israel to date, and the current study will be among the first attempts at theoretical and practical promotion of the field. Within this framework, for the first time, we shall map models for collaborative measurement of results in social programs, and develop a new application model.

Evaluation of High Schools' Contribution to Accessibility to Higher Education

Researcher: Prof. Moshe Justman

Institute: Ben Gurion University

The goal of this study is to evaluate Israeli high schools' contribution to accessibility to higher education by assessing their added value when comparing the results of standardized tests performed in the eighth grade to the matriculation results of the same students during and at the end of their high school studies. The study shall produce evaluations of how individual high schools contribute to their students' progress, and a general assessment of the Israeli high school system's influence on equal opportunities in education. The study will develop methodological tools adapted especially for this purpose, including non-parametric analysis methods, to enable a routine application of the method for monitoring schools, and for specific examination of educational projects aimed at promoting accessibility to higher education.

How Entities Funding Social Programs in Israel Use Evaluation Findings

Researchers: Dr. Tali Freund, Anat Kedem, and Lior Rosenberg

Institute: Center for Educational Technology

Over the past two decades, measurement and evaluation have become intrinsic parts of organization's activities. In the American context, studies indicate an expansion and institutionalization of measurement and evaluation practices with a great deal of attention to the examination of the efficiency of government organizations, philanthropic associations, and foundations.

This study aspires to increase understanding with regard to the extent and scope of influence measurement activities have on the decisions of funding entities in the Israeli social arena. The study duration will be one years, and 25 funding executives and program operators will be interviewed, with an online survey of an additional 150 executives and program operators.

The study will contribute to the efforts to shed light on the extent and manner in which social program funding executives use evaluation processes and results. It shall also examine the activity of measurement itself, in an attempt to enhance understanding of the courses of action required to maximize its influence.

Philanthropic Education – Encounters between Western and Early Israeli Culture (1882 – 1948)

Researchers: Dr. Tali Tadmor-Shimoni and Dr. Nirit Reichel

Institute: Ben Gurion University

This study aspires to examine the educational institutes originating in the cultural and educational projects supported directly by the Baron de Rothschild (1882 – 1900) as well as the Jewish Colonization Association (1900 – 1924) and the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (1924 – 1957). At the heart of our discussion is the issue of philanthropic contributions and their influence on the values offered to students at these schools, as well as the examination of these institutes as loci of encounters between Western and early (materializing) Israeli cultures.

This connection relies on original sources from the relevant period as well as studies that examine various aspects that will be discussed, including: educational philanthropy, ethnic solidarity, "the Modernism Project", humanist education, portraits of the desired graduates and formulation of the new society; historiography of education and settlement in the Israeli.

This project belongs to the field of the history of education and considers a discussion of schools on a timeline as a prism reflecting key social processes ensuing at the time (Kaestle, 1995; Keeves, 1999; Rousmaniere, 2004).

The purposes of the study are:

  • A historical examination of educational philanthropy in the years 1882 – 1948
  • A study of encounters between different cultures, and the portraits of students and teachers educated at schools supported by the Baron de Rothschild, the JCA, and the PJCA.
  • Examination of the interpretation of values such as: Jewish solidarity, "Correction" and productivity, the ethos of cultivating land, the "New Jew", and more, to a corpus of educational messages.



Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Computer Science

Project Name:
The Rothschild Caesarea Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Computer Science



University of Haifa

Research in computer science has changed the face of society in recent years – in education, commerce, industry, government, law, and many other walks of life. Out of awareness of these changes and in order to meet the challenges and opportunities they bring, in 2001 Haifa University established a unique institute for interdisciplinary research in computer science. This was enabled by the investment of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, which continues to support its ongoing activity. The purpose of the Institute is to launch, promote, and provide a basis for research and interdisciplinary programs in computer science.

While there are a number of research institutes for computer science in Israel, few devote their efforts to interdisciplinary studies in these fields. The Rothschild Caesarea Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Computer Science works in three major areas: research, education, and technological. On the research level, the Institute promotes academic activity related to interdisciplinary research of computer science, initiates new interdisciplinary research projects, and organizes workshops and international conventions with global researchers. On the educational level, the Institute has launched new tracks for BA and MA studies of Interdisciplinary studies of Computer Science as well as of additional departments at the University. Within this framework, 25 scholarships are awarded yearly to the Institute's academic tracks. On the technological level, the Institute provides support and encouragement for advanced students and faculty members interested in studying or developing ideas and inventions bearing social or financial value.

The establishment of the Institute has changed the face of computer science research in Israel. In the years of its activity, the Institute has managed to draw many scientists and support projects and collaborations with over 12 other Haifa University departments. The Institute provides many services to the University, as well as to the entire Israeli scientific community, and contributes greatly to Israel's ability to draw the world's finest researchers, while managing to keep brilliant minds inside the country.

First Steps Program, Technion

Project Name:

First Steps Program


Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa

Since its establishment ninety years ago, the Technion has positioned itself as Israel's leading institution for science and technology, and is a source of national pride. It has groomed the most brilliant minds in the world of academia, which play important roles in promoting the Israeli economy from the 1920's to this very day. The academic staff at the Technion is extremely accomplished and is the subject of prestige and recognition both nationally and internationally. This is one of the few global institutes where a faculty of medicine operates within a technological institute.

In recent decades, graduates of the Technion have made Israel one of the world's leading countries in the field of hi-tech. Thanks to Israeli innovation and high concentration of start-up companies, it has been named "the second Silicone Valley".

Until several years ago, the Technion was an academic institute with a young staff and low levels of recruitment, as its excellent graduates were highly attractive and courted aggressively by leading companies in Israel and around the world. Therefore, the institute saw a need to initiate a wide-scale ongoing recruitment of staff that was unprecedented in its history.

The Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, which is dedicated to the promotion of higher education in Israel, initiated the "First Steps Program" in 2006 in order to assist in recruiting new and esteemed academic staff to contribute to the continued excellence of the Technion, as befits Israel's leading technological institution. The multi-annual program equips new faculty members with the tools they need to conduct cutting edge resources and to provide all tools necessary to meet various challenges. Among other things, the program includes purchasing the most innovative equipment and the renovation and updating of crucial laboratories and research facilities. By fulfilling technological needs, the Foundation can help realize the Technion's vision and retain its status as a source of inspiration and research vitality.

"The First Israelis", Ben-Gurion University

Project Name:
"The First Israelis – The State's Founding Generation in Society and in Israeli Culture"

Ben-Gurion University

The Heksherim Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture was established in 2001 at Ben Gurion University, in an effort to closely study and promote the relations between culture, society, and community in Israeli and Jewish culture. Founder and initiator of the Institute is Prof. Igal Schwartz, one of the world's leading literary researchers and a senior literary editor.

The Institute oversees a variety of projects that are multi-disciplinary and pioneering in terms of their research methods, which are in turn enabled by the contribution of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. A key Institute goal is the promotion of groups of young researches whose work combines academic excellence with cultural sensitivity and commitment.

In 2003, the Institute launched a new project sponsored by the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, entitled: "The First Israelis – Israel's First Generation in Society and Culture." The project comprises a wide scale and long-term study of the works created by writers, poets, playwrights, children's authors, and other artists who contributed a great deal to forming the nature of Israeli personality.

Among the research projects sponsored by the Institute are "The Story of the South" – a project based on the creation of a cultural and population based profile of the South of Israel, as seen in the eyes of residents living there since Israel's first decade: settlers in kibbutzim and moshavim, development towns, Bedouins, and others. Another project is the "Lexicon of Israeli Authors", which is a compilation of an entire lexicon of Israeli authors to be made accessible to the public; it will be followed by the "Lexicon of Authors of Children's Literature". Another fascinating study is "Hebrew Publishing 1890 – 2000", regarding the history of Hebrew publishing houses in the past 100 years. The Institute is currently working to establish a visitors' center in order to make the treasures of Hebrew literature accessible to the general public, including students, pupils, and residents. The visitors' center is scheduled to open in February 2013. 

Joint Research Project - Neurology Department

Project Name:

Joint Research Project of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and the Rothschild Ophthalmology Foundation in Paris


Neurology Department at the Hadassah University Medical Center, Jerusalem

In 2007, the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and the Rothschild Ophthalmology Foundation in Paris embarked on a joint research project. A donation from the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation helped launch this new project, which set out to ask important questions about the human brain, how it responds to injuries and especially how the visual cortex reacts to peripheral and central damage in the visual system. This research also explores understanding the mechanisms underlying the brain's plasticity, as well as the brain's healing mechanisms, which serve as the basis for developing rehabilitation treatments for patients.

Research is conducted jointly by an Israeli group headed by Dr. Netta Levin, Director of the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Unit at Hadassah University Medical Center's Department of Neurology, and a French group led by Dr. Sylvie Chokron of La Fondation Ophtalmologique Adolphe de Rothschild in Paris. The Hadassah team, trained to carry out high-level clinical and experimental research, is composed of neurologists, ophthalmologists, neuroradiologists and researchers. The Rothschild Ophthalmology Foundation is a private medical institution that has been operating in conjunction with France's public hospital system since 1990. This foundation specializes in ophthalmology and brain sciences with a focus on two strategic areas – medical service and research. Cooperation between the Israeli and French teams was undertaken with the goal of bringing together two leading hospitals that each wished to contribute their experience in this field to bring a joint research project to fruition.

The project's goal is to study processes in the visual cortex in response to various injuries along the path of vision, starting with the cornea, through the optic nerve and up to the cerebral cortex itself. The research methods will include behavioral testing as well as non-invasive imaging techniques, i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging and DTI, the leading methods in cognitive research today. The Rothschild Caesarea Foundation's support for this project has not only contributed to advancing research on the human brain and the development of treatment methods; it has also helped boost the status of the Functional MRI Center at Hadassah, positioning it alongside other major centers worldwide.

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