HIT Celebrates its 50th Anniversary


The Holon Institute of Technology celebrated its Jubilee. Among the guests was Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chairperson of the Planning and Budget Committee of the Council for Higher Education, Mr. Moti Sasson, Mayor of Holon, and other distinguished guests from Israel and around the world.



The evening marks 50 years of excellence in academics, research and social action for the Institute, and is a highlight within the series of events celebrating HIT’s Jubilee anniversary. The stellar lineup included remarks and greetings by HIT President, Prof. Eduard Yakubov, guest of honor Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chairperson of the Planning and Budget Committee of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), Chairman of the Board of Trustees and HIT alumni Pinchas (Pini) Cohen, Executive Committee Chairman Prof. Adir Pridor and Holon Mayor Moti Sasson.


On November 3, 1969, HIT opened its doorswith the goal of training talented engineers for the evolving State of Israel. In its first years, the Institute embarked on its academic path by training about 100 students in 3 different engineering programs. Fifty years later, the need for not only engineers, but computer scientists, designers, technology managers and instructional technologists has only increased. The Institute boasts over 15,000 graduates, 4,500 full-time students, and about 700 certificate students currently pursuing their degrees, with 19 academic programs, and cooperation with over 90 academic institutions from 32 countries around the world.



A distinguished presence from the senior diplomatic corps was evident, with guests including the Ambassador of Uzbekistan H.E. Maqsud Ibodolaev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan H.E. Satybaldy Burshakov Ambassador of Latvia H.E. Elita Gavele, Ambassador of Italy H.E. Gianluigi Benedetti, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus H.E. Evgeny Vorobyev, Ambassador of Israel in N. Macedonia and Director Balkan Countries H.E. Dan Oryan. Other high-ranking representatives from Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Russia and the USA joined HIT to celebrate on this special occasion. During the cocktail reception, mingling and viewing the special Jubilee Exhibition was the order of the evening. The Exhibition showcased the Institute’s faculties and social outreach providing a glimpse into the significant achievements in academia and community action over the past 5 decades..



For the main program Prof. Yakubov welcomed the guests, opening with a brief historical overview of the Institute - past, and present achievements. He spoke of the values of the Institute built on 2 triangles: the first - academia, industry, society, and the second: multidisciplinarity, innovation, and creativity - together creating the six wings of the Star of David. Prof. Yakobov shared the strategic goals he set for the Institute over the next years with the attentive audience, including: “academic development and the establishment of new academic programs; fulfilling the vision set forward by the CHE in terms of the emphasis to be placed on digital academic learning and multidisciplinary courses; expanding the number of students to 6,500, from which 10% would be international students; increasing the number of tenured academic faculty to more than 200; and of course the construction of 3 new buildings, which will also include space for Dream-Lab - an industry integration within the campus”.


Prof. Zilbershats told the crowd that HIT was the first to recognize the connection between engineering and design and have a big head start over other technology and design institutions which are only just now starting to build the integral links between these disciplines. Prof. Zilbershats also acknowledged that the Institute is playing a major role in building Israel’s high-tech labor force, integrating the Ethiopian community in higher education and winning major research grants over the big universities.



Mr. Pini Cohen emphasized that alongside its high academic standards the Institute has placed priority on making higher education accessible to the community at large. “We are aware that not all sectors have shared the social and economic benefits of Israel, and we consider it imperative to harness the academy to the betterment of society, assisting those in the geographic and economic periphery".


Prof. Adir Pridor moved the audience in his remarks, saying that "the Jubilee celebration is an important landmark which delineates the past from the future: “it is our privilege to be blessed with our achievements in the past, and it is our duty to cleverly build the future.”



Holon Mayor Moti Sasson reminisced with the guests, and spoke about the difficulties along the way. The guests laughed when he compared the President to a city employee, because HIT is such an integral part of Holon that when he promotes the Institute, he is in essence promoting the city.


It was impossible to hold a 50-year jubilee event without looking ahead. A panel was held on the future of the academy - developments and innovations. Representatives of the panel included young academics from the five faculties as well as the planned faculty of Digital Medical Technology (in formation) led by Dr. Refael Barcan, Head of the Research, Innovation and International Venture Authority. The evening concluded with a performance by popular singer Hanan Ben Ari, who had the audience singing and dancing in the aisles



Posted: 14/01/2020