FILED UNDER SOMETHINGISRAELI >> Technology
Israel's Jerusalem College of Technology recently hit the headlines when a lunch meeting with media mogul Rupert Murdoch was auctioned off on eBay with all proceeds to benefit the college.
The lunch meeting with Mr Murdoch went for $57,100 when it was won by Bill Zanker, the founder and president of The Learning Annex.
For him it was a golden opportunity to talk about his own plans of expansion for his business and home learning education company which recently took on property tycoon Donald Trump as a speaker.
"Paying Rupert Murdoch $1000 a minute for a one-hour lunch feels like a bargain compared to the $25,000 a minute I'm paying Donald Trump."
So what's the big deal with the college and why people want to support it?
It was founded by the late Professor Ze’ev Lev (William Low) in 1969 and through Low's work has emerged as a powerhouse in Israeli education for those who wish to study technology and science and related industries.
President of the college is British-born Dr Joseph Bodenheimer who emigrated to Israel as an eight year old in 1949 and has held his position since 1993. Dr Bodenheimer himself is an expert in lasers and related technology.
Of Mr Murdoch's involvement in the auction to raise funds, he said: "We are extremely happy to have Mr Murdoch's involvement in this worthwhile cause of raising funds for our research into different fields such as industrial management, micro-electronics and non-invasive medical technologies for diagnosis of disease.”
Murdoch himself as chairman and CEO of News International has a majority interest in broadcast technology company NDS in which several of its senior executives come from the college.
“The Jerusalem College of Technology is at the forefront of this achievement, producing top-notch graduates whose world-class education will no doubt lead to many innovations and advances in the world of information technology,” Mr Murdoch said.
The college itself has been about innovating and creating opportunities. In September 2000, it opened Machon Tal, a women's only college which allows orthodox women to learn about high-tech engineering as well as combine it with traditional Jewish studies. It also runs a special program called Ethiopians for Engineers to help develop opportunities in technology for Ethiopians.
Among its recent success stories are: Zamir, One of the world's leading companies in license plate recognition was founded by students of the college while VKB develops virtual keyboards which connect with mobile phones and other handheld devices.
For more information: www.jct.ac.il