City of Ariel

Posts Tagged ‘Ariel University Center’

Joining Hearts and Minds at the Ariel University Center

In Ariel City on April 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Nisan 23, 5770, 07 April 10 07:15

by Danielle Grossman

( Ariel University Center of Samaria is in more ways than one at the heart of Israel.

The city of Ariel is a growing community in the Shomron (Samaria) that has become a melting pot for people of all backgrounds, religions, and beliefs. The Ariel University Center there is not only an educational institution, but also a place that encompasses all the things for which the State of Israel stands. Eldad HaLachmi, VP of Resource Development at the Center, accompanied Israel National Radio’s Yishai Fleisher on a tour of the Center to show what the institution has to offer. (Click here to listen to Fleisher’s interview of HaLachmi).

Ariel University Center is midway between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – 25 miles from each. It is also a 35-minute drive from Tel Aviv, and slightly longer from Jerusalem, making it the true heart of Israel. The city of Ariel itself has over 20,000 residents – 11,000 of whom are students at the Ariel University Center. There are also 1,500 members of the faculty and administration who spearhead the learning and research. “More than 10,000 people come here every day to find their future here,” said HaLachmi. “The many different kinds of people here represent the ‘real’ Israel. This is who we are, because in the heart of the land of Israel we have the whole spectrum of Israeli society.”

HaLachmi reiterated how important he feels the Center is to Israel and to the constant battle for peace: “Ariel University Center is a place where students of all backgrounds can come together to learn and grow, and as such, is a place of tolerance and freedom. It’s a great example of what peace should be. The people in Ariel can imagine a country at peace everyday as they walk around the campus and see the many different faces of Israel interact with each other.”

“Ariel is a Zionist school. You can see that with the simple things – the Israeli flags everywhere, for instance. It’s also mandatory for everyone to take one course in Jewish heritage every semester. Ariel has a huge variety of people [with] Arabs and Jews working side by side. We are making it affordable to anyone who chooses to come to Ariel. For example, scholarships are given to Ethiopian and Russian immigrant students to provide them with the opportunity for a greater education.”

The Ariel University Center is expanding. It is in the process of constructing the Gateway building, which will complete the Liberal Arts and Humanities complex. Also in progress is an extension to a dormitory, as well as a new library that will be “very modern and amazing,” according to HaLachmi. These additions are being pushed forward because the student body is growing daily and is projected to reach 20,000 students by the year 2020.

The site is the most condensed education center in all of Israel. It gives opportunities for worldwide research, with an impressive array of scientists. It is one of the fastest growing universities in Israel, and soon hopes to become one of the most advanced.

Ariel U not only creates opportunities for student of all backgrounds, but also gives special treatment to students serving in the IDF reserves. It especially accommodates combat soldiers, because these are young people who are giving the most back to their country.

The 500 Journalism students at Ariel study not only journalism proper, but also Journalism Ethics. A radio and television studio is on hand for those continuing in the media field. The studios have state-of-the-art equipment that provide a multitude chances for the students to learn and prosper. The Moskowitz family helped fund the media center in order to show the value of this field.

One unusual unit is the free electron laser center. Three departments use this laser to develop and research various areas of interest, including especially the power of radiation. Questions the students and scientists are asking about laser radiation are: “Does it cause cancer? Does it heal cancer? What effects does it have on the body?”

Another area of research is the transfer of power from the free electron laser. One idea being investigated is the transferring of power through the air, such as shooting up beams of power to satellites or aircrafts. The study of detection using radiation is an area of research with many practical applications in Israel, which could assist in the detection of explosives, guns, and other unwanted objects on people’s bodies, even from great distances. The laser unit is the size of a basketball court. In the worlds of Yishai Fleisher: “I felt like they are on the verge of making tools that will change our lives.”

Several more research centers are in development at Ariel U: a cancer research center, a brain research center, a robotics center, and a research and development center for the Jordan Valley and Samaria. The metal research center is already one of the major centers at Ariel. “The Ariel University research centers are aiming for a better world and to make Israel a much stronger and prouder country,” said HaLachmi.

After Fleisher’s visit to Ariel, he said, “I felt like I was in the future and in the past. It’s right here – it’s Judaism, it’s technology, it’s knowledge, it’s youth, and it’s growing up.”

A leadership mission to the Ariel University Center will be held from May 23 to May 29. For more information, visit the American Friends of the Ariel University Center at


Ariel’s 30th Anniversary

In Ariel Events on September 18, 2007 at 12:35 pm

In honor of Ariel’s 30th birthday, Ariel’s founder and Mayor, Ron Nachman, was interviewed to get a look at the past, present and future of Ariel through his eyes.

Q: You were the chairman of “Garin Tel Aviv”, the group of people organized to establish Ariel, and you led these first families to settle the fledgling community in 1978. What are some of your best and worst memories? 

A: One good memory I have is of great excitement right at the start. During Golda Meir’s government, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan called on the young people of Israel to do more for the defense of the country and for the settlement movement. 

We formed a group in the Israel Military Industries who wanted to take him up on that challenge and we responded to his call in a letter, telling him we were interested in forming a “settlement Garin”, a nucleus of potential settlers. 

He wrote us back very quickly and I remember how excited we were at receiving his letter. Dayan said he would help us to further our plans and encourage the government of Israel to allocate land for us, according to the government’s policies. That was a great day!

One of the worst memories from that time was the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War. Many of the original Garin members were called up and as history has shown, even though Israel was victorious, it was a terrible war with great losses for Israel. In terms of the Garin, it stopped all our activities and put our plans on hold for close to 4 years.

A really interesting aspect of Garin Tel Aviv was that we decided to adopt the methods that the Kibbutz movement used to screen potential residents: this was socio-metric testing for both men and women, questionnaires to fill out, home visits and we charged monthly membership dues. In short, we made great demands of the people who wanted to join us. And yet, almost 6,000 people joined and they fought to be among the first to settle. There was a real spirit then that showed that young Israelis had values. They wanted to do for their country. Those are the values that made Israel “a light unto the nations.” 

If I look at recent years, the worst thing that happened since Ariel was founded is that Israeli politics have eroded those values. Since Israel was reborn, leaders like Ben-Gurion regarded settlement as one of the key elements in creating the Jewish homeland – Aliyah (immigration), security and settlement were the critical factors in creating the Jewish State. 

Since Oslo, however, the idea of settlement has been denigrated and belittled. Let me make this clear: without settlement, there would be no Israel. Moreover, the left began accusing us of being “occupiers” but if this is our land, if we have the right to this land – and we do – then we are not “occupiers”, we are the rightful owners of the land. 

Q:  You have been the elected Mayor of Ariel for 23 years and now, you are running for another 5 year term. What have been:

a)     Your most important accomplishments in 23 years

b)     Your regrets or disappointments during that time. 

a: There is no doubt that the most important accomplishment is that we built a city from nothing – and we did it against all odds. Despite the political discrimination and the years of being “frozen”, we built a city that far surpasses any other founded in Israel at the time. The City has an amazing array of services and facilities that provide a wonderful quality of life for the people who live here. And we did it because it was the right thing to do for Israel – the Zionist spirit lives here. And we get confirmation in the reaction of every visitor to Ariel… “Wow, I did not expect this”… “This has been the highlight of my trip”… “This is so different from what the media shows”. 

Another very important decision we made was to bring Russian immigrants to Ariel. They doubled our population and created the critical mass that truly makes a city viable. Moreover, strengthening the Zionist spirit for immigrant absorption is the mandate of Israel. 

No less important was the development of a university in Ariel. Ariel University Center, with over 10,000 students, has made Ariel a university town and that is invaluable. I have family in Princeton, New Jersey and always see a parallel when I visit. There is a very special quality to a college town. 

What cannot be emphasized too much is the fact that in building and developing Ariel, we have secured Israel’s borders and retained Samaria for the Jewish people. I think that overall, that is by far our most important accomplishment. 

b. In terms of regrets, I think I would have to say I am disappointed that we have not yet become a population of 30,000. Even though that is primarily because of the continual building freezes, I still feel responsible. 

Q:  What are your goals, your hopes for Ariel, in the next 5 years? 

A:  I have many goals and hopes for this wonderful city but I think I can categorize them into four main topics: 

  1. To expand Ariel to a population of 30,000 within the next 10 years. 
  2. I feel we are on the right path to making Ariel’s educational system one of the best in Israel and I hope to make progress toward that goal in the next 5 years. 
  3. I want Ariel to be known as a healthy city. Here in the mountains, with clear air, there is no reason we cannot become leaders in ecological development and in our concern for the environment. 
  4. By the same token as the home of Israel’s 8th University and the first to privatize and develop the R & D Center established by the government for Russian immigrants, Ariel can and should become known as a leader in the development of R & D, new start-up and hi-tech industry. 

Q: In another 30 years, when people talk about Ron Nachman, what do you hope they will say? 

A: I hope they will remember me like the people of Nes Ziona remember my grandfather –as the man who built a city. Ariel really is my life’s work. I gave up many other opportunities to be the mayor of this city. I hope I am remembered for my consistency – of opinion, of vision and of achievement.