Shalom Life | August 03, 2014

How Tel Aviv University Supports the IDF

From terror tunnel detection systems to programs helping children cope with the psychological toll of the conflict, TAU continues to contribute to the national security of the State of Israel

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 31st, 2014 in Business » Israel

Since Operation Protective Edge began 24 days ago, 56 Israeli IDF soldiers have perished, giving their lives to defend the State, and the people, of Israel.

Jewish groups from around the world, and notably in the U.S. and Canada, have given all that they can to support our soldiers, whether via care packages, providing educational opportunities or counselling.

Naturally, Israeli academic institutions have also risen to the occasion.

As outlined by Tel Aviv University President Joseph Klafter, TAU has embarked on several projects and initiatives that use cutting-edge technology to help strengthen the Israel Defense Forces whilst saving lives.

"From terror tunnel detection systems and programs helping children cope with the psychological toll of the conflict, to cutting-edge cyber security research and wound healing methods, Tel Aviv University continues to contribute substantially to the national security of the State of Israel and the wellbeing of its citizens," Klafter said in a statement.

Additionally, scores of Tel Aviv University students have been called up for reserve duty on the front lines.

"They have dropped everything -- their family commitments, their studies, their jobs -- to defend Israel," says Klafkter. "To express our appreciation, we have launched a special scholarship initiative to help these students continue their studies."

If you would like to contribute, or learn more, click here.

Meanwhile, TAU continues to help the IDF battle Hamas terrorists in order to restore peace and stability to the region, through the following avenues:

Detecting the Terror Tunnels

As we all know, one of Israel's focal points during the Operation is to uncover the Hamas-built tunnels on each side of the border. The Israeli Ministry of Defense funds research conducted by TAU, which looks to create solutions that address this threat. At TAU’s Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, geophysicist Prof. Moshe Reshef and his team are looking to detect the extensive network of tunnels built by Hamas, which are currently being used to transport weapons and missiles and pose a threat to Israeli soldiers and civilians. Reshef is considered Israel's leading expert on tunnel technology, and admits that while finding them is considerably harder than building them, he remains confident. “We’re aiming at the optimal method that will allow us to see from above,” he says. “It’s an ongoing process, but we’re making advances."

Strengthening Children’s Resilience in Times of Conflict

As a result of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Israeli children and youth have been forced to spend much of their summer in bomb shelters, and have experienced an overwhelming amount of fear, which can lead to psychological and psychiatric problems. Prof. Michelle Slone of the School of Psychological Sciences, Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences, argues that despite the violence, most children are actually resilient and often display coping skills, allowing them to continue with their everyday lives.

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