Bar-Ilan University Asian Students Meet International Board of Trustees Members
Amos Lim, affectionately nicknamed "famous Amos" is no ordinary Bar-Ilan University student. Neither is Yuval Wu. Amos hails from Singapore and is currently studying for his MA in Comparative Literature in the Faculty of Humanities. Yuval Wu, from China, is a student in Bar-Ilan's Multidisciplinary BA Program in the Humanities. She's one of several Chinese students now at Bar-Ilan through an exchange program with Sichuan International Studies University.
This week, international members of the University's Board of Trustees were introduced to a dozen of Bar-Ilan's many Asian students at a special luncheon in their honor. The meeting marked the 10thanniversary of the activities of the Sir Naim Dangoor Program for Universal Monotheism, which is now being expanded into a full-fledged Centre. The luncheon was held under the auspices of the Sir Naim Dangoor Centre for Universal Monotheism.
One by one the students, who have all adopted Hebrew names, stood up to introduce themselves. Roi, for instance, is studying physics and is thinking of staying an additional two years in Israel becaus
e he is "very happy in Israel. What you can learn from the Jewish people is beyond expectations," he said. Many of the students shared their desire to serve as a human bridge in strengthening Israel-Asia relations.
Dr. Danielle Gurevitch, Director of Global Affairs-Asia Division, was the first academic in Israel to recognize the potential of Sino-Israel academic collaboration. Over the past decade she has led the University's Asian exchange program and has also overseen the development of the Dangoor Program. She outlined the Program's activities and vision for the future, which focus on initiating, publishing, and developing programs embracing universal cultural values based on tolerance, mutual respect, and a comprehensive and respectful intellectual worldview. "Our aim is to act as a cultural agent and a mediator in a variety of fields of knowledge and interest shared by all peoples, religions, traditions, and heritage from West and East," she said.
Deputy President Prof. Moshe Lewenstein, who is overseeing the University's efforts to focus on internationalism, said he aims to increase the number of international students to close to 10% of the total student body. Assisting Lewenstein in reaching this goal will be Ofer Dahan, who just five days before the event joined the University to lead the management team of the international school.
Amos Lim, who will soon begin his PhD studies in Israel, is not only gaining an education at Bar-Ilan University. He is also giving back to the community by volunteering at soup kitchens, with refugees in south Tel Aviv, Holocaust survivors, and the needy. Perhaps Yuval Wu summed it up the best on behalf of all the students when she completed her presentation by asking "Why Israel?" and answering "Why Not?"