May 30, 2024
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Mayim Bialik Keynotes Jerusalem College of Technology Dinner

At the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) gala dinner event in the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, the keynote speech was given by neuroscientist and The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik. Speaking to a crowd of over 400 people, Bialik spoke openly about her experiences, her passion for science and her strong support for Israel.

“What is so incredible about what the Jerusalem College of Technology does, and why I’m so honored to be here, is that I want to see Israel succeed and compete, and I think there is so much misinformation about Israel and what she is and what she’s not,” Bialik shared. “Organizations like JCT represent that tension and complexity while really honoring so many of the values that many of us hold true no matter how we identify politically or religiously.”

During her speech Bialik also took the opportunity to talk about her acting experiences and the time she spent pursuing her science degree. Despite math and science being a male-dominated field, Bialik decided to follow that path simply because she enjoyed it so much.

“The story of how I became a scientist is I fell in love with biology when I was 15,” Bialik continued. “I was really considered a late-bloomer for being a scientist because all of the predominantly male clientele of my schools, the junior high and high school I went to, they had always been good at science and math and I was told that math and science were for boys and because they were difficult for me, I just thought I’d be an English teacher, like my parents.”

After earning her degree she returned to acting, where she continues to receive widespread popularity and recognition for her portrayal of the iconically funny Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. At the dinner, she was praised for being a “scientist and Zionist,” for her continuing support of Israel.

In addition to Bialik’s address, the dinner, which was helmed by Friends of JCT Chairman Aurora Cassirer, also featured video presentations and an awards ceremony. Golan Ben Oni received the Shield of David Award, and Drs. Gita and Jay Lisker and Sheri and Lieber Schachter accepted the Devorah the Prophetess Awards in tribute to their mother, Rozalie Schachter, z”l, who was an award-winning physicist and an early supporter of JCT. Bialik received the Yael Heroine Of Israel Award. Speaking at the event, Cassirer shared remarks on how much it meant to her to see so many members of the community come out for the dinner.

“It was inspiring to see so many people turn out to support JCT’s mission to effect vital social and economic change in Israel through providing high-level science and technology education to underserved populations,” Cassirer explained. “Exceptional individuals like Mayim Bialik—an observant Jewish woman at the top of the scientific field, both as a neuroscientist and in Hollywood—are the product of this mission. JCT will continue to train and empower the trailblazing religious men and women who are charting a new course for the future of Israel.”

JCT was founded in 1979 and prides itself on being a prestigious and unique institution that offers degrees in engineering and math- and science-related fields, along with opportunities for Judaic studies. It has gender-separate campuses, which is done to accommodate Orthodox and Haredi students. The dinner celebrated, among other successes, the grant of land in Emek Zion, on which the college plans to build new facilities for Machon Tal, its women’s campus.

By Adam Samuel

�Adam Samuel is a journalist from Teaneck. He blogs at adamssoapbox.com.

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