Here in Israel the almond tree (Shkeidiah) blossomed as we celebrated Tu B'shevat, Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot, (the New Year of Trees). Just as the Shkeidiah is the first to flower, a shakdan is a person who is diligent, studious, and often the first to excel. We are proud of our Bar-Ilan students, who are now on semester break, intensively preparing for exams and gearing up for the spring semester. We wish them much success.
In this issue we present pioneering voice analysis techniques that can have repercussion in medicine, security and other fields; a novel initiative for identifying the psychotherapeutic aspects of Hasidic stories; and a snapshot of BIU's 15th Ambassadors' Forum.
With my best wishes,
Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz,
President of Bar-Ilan University
BIU Ambassadors' Forum Draws Over 60 Top Diplomats
Senior diplomats from more than 60 countries convened at BIU's 15th Ambassadors' Forum to hear about "Israel's New Normal? Expanding International and Regional Ties" from Col. (res) Dr. Eran Lerman, former deputy chief of the National Security Council and senior IDF Military Intelligence division director. Now a senior research associate at BIU's Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, Lerman stated that in addition to the commonality of values and strategic interest and concerns which Israel shares with the US and Canada, it has "tools of cooperation" such as gas resources, state-of-the-art agricultural technology and other vital assets that have brought it closer to other countries.
Disease, Distress & Quality of Relationships:
All in the Voice
Beyond words, volumes may be learned from the human voice: Is a cry for help genuine or fake? Does a person unknowingly suffer from a vocal cord disorder? What is the relationship between spouses, or the compatibility of a therapist and patient? BIU computer scientist Dr. Joseph Keshet, a foremost authority on voice analysis, has developed sophisticated systems and software to address such questions and tap the vast potential in this exciting frontier field. Read More »
The Healing Power of Hasidic Stories
Hasidic stories can do more than fascinate the reader. They can inspire and foster introspection, encourage emotional growth, and even heal. "The connection between bibliotherapy and Hasidic literature is very natural, and today there's greater awareness among therapists that if you want to reach people, you need to speak their 'language,'" says BIU Hebrew Literature Prof. Zvi Mark, academic head of BIU's new diploma studies program, The Healing Power of Hasidic Stories. Read More »