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About Us

The German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF) was established in 1986 by an agreement between the Ministers of Science of the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Israel, as an additional instrument complementing the continuous fruitful ties in scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries.
Both parties recognize that mutual cooperation in scientific research will strengthen the bonds of friendship and understanding between the German and Israeli peoples and advance the state of scientific research and development to the benefit of both countries.
The distinguishing feature of the GIF approach is the joint participation and equal responsibility of both Ministries in financing, management and decision making.
The Board of Governors directing the foundation consists of an equal number of German and Israeli members.
The GIF administration is headed by a Director, appointed by the Board of Governors, who is responsible for operations and staffing.
The Foundation has been established as a legal entity by the Israeli Knesset and the German Bundestag.
GIF's objective is to promote and fund basic and applied scientific research projects for peaceful purposes in both countries. Its annual budget is derived from interest on a EURO 211 million endowment fund contributed in equal parts by the two countries.


GIF Board of Governors


Federal Minister
Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan

Professor Dr Annette Schavan has been Federal Minister of Education and Research and a Member of the German Bundestag since 2005. Before that she was Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of the Land of Baden-Württemberg for ten years. Since 1998 she has been Vice Chair of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She studied Catholic Theology, Philosophy and Educational Sciences. She earned her doctoral degree (Dr. phil.) in 1980 with a thesis on conscience formation. In 2009 she was awarded the title of Honorary Professor of Catholic Theology at Freie Universität Berlin and an
honorary PhD from the Department of Philosophy of Cairo University and was elected member of class I (philosophy and cultural history) of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2010 she was awarded an honorary PhD from Tongji University in Shanghai.​


Minister of Science and Technology
Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz
Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, Knesset Member and Minister of Science and Technology in the Government of Israel, head of the "Habayit Hayehudi" (the Jewish Home) party, was born on January 2, 1953, in Haifa, Israel. Both his parents are holocaust survivors.
He is married to Shimona, principal of a special education high school.  They have five children and eight grandchildren. He served as a Major in the IDF.
He got all his academic degrees (B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D, all in Mathematics) at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.
Since 1985 he has been a faculty member at the Technion. He is a full Professor in the Mathematics Department of the Technion, and since June 2006 he has been holding the Eugene & Marlene Shapiro Academic Chair in Mathematics at the Technion.  During the years 1983-1986 he was a Van Vleck Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Among the many posts he has held at the Technion: President of the Disciplinary Court for students (4 years), Dean of the Division of Continuing Education and External Studies (4 years), Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics (5 years), and the chair of the Technion Faculty Association (over 4 years).
He has been invited to deliver plenary talks in dozens of international conferences, and he has served on the organizing committees of dozens of international conferences (in many he served as the chair of the committee).
He is an author of over 80 mathematical papers. He has had 11 graduate students.
He is a member of the editorial board of the following 4 journals:
  • Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra (Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor)
  • Linear Algebra and its Applications (Senior Editor)
  • BDD - Journal of Torah and Scholarship, Bar-Ilan University
  • The Shaanan College Annual
He has been a member of the executive board and of the board of directors of the International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS) since its establishment in 1987. He served for 9 years as secretary of the society, for 6 years as the vice-president, and for 6 years as its president.
Besides his academic career he is a certified Rabbi. Since 1997 he has been serving as the Rabbi of the neighborhood Ahuza in Haifa, being in charge of 23 synagogues.  Since 1996 he has been serving as the head of a Rabbinical Conversion Court. He has written numerous halachic and Jewish philosophical articles, has given numerous lectures, has officiated in close to 600 weddings, etc..
Some other public professional activities:
  • Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Shaanan College, Haifa
  • Member of the Board of Governors of the Jerusalem College of Technology
  • Member of the academic council of the Academic Arab College for Education in Israel
  • Member of the national steering committee of Science and Technology Education in Israel
  • Chairman of the Executive Board of the Study Center in Shlomi
  • Member of the council of the Institute of Internal Auditors, Israel
  • Member of the Committee for National Responsibility
  • Member of the northern council of the Constitution Project of the Israel Democracy Institute
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Jewish Education, Haifa University
  • Member of the board of directors of Elementrix Technologies Ltd., Haifa
Hershkowitz Daniel.jpg

Acting Co-Chairpersons
Thomas Rachel
State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education and Research
17 May 1962
Born in Düren; Protestant; married, one daughter
Abitur at Städtisches Gymnasium am Wirteltor in Düren
​1985 Fellowship from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
1986 - 1987 Assistant to Matthias Wissmann, Member of the German Bundestag
​1992 Magister Artium (M. A.) in Political Science, History and Public Law at the University of Bonn
1992 - 2004 Member of staff at the Steel Trade Association, Düsseldorf
since 1994 Member of the German Bundestag
​Since 2000 Member of the Land Synod of the Protestant Church of the Rhineland
1998 - 2005 Spokesman on Education and Research Policy of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group
2003 - 2005 Spokesman for the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag's Study Commission on "Law and Ethics of Modern Medicine"
since 2003 Federal Chairman of the CDU/CSU Protestant Working Group (EAK)
since 2005 Member of the board of trustees of the Jülich Solar Institute (SIJ), Aachen University of Applied Sciences (in an honorary capacity)
since November 2005 Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research
Prof. David Mendlovic
General Manager, MOS
Prof. David Mendlovic is a full Professor in the Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University. He holds B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University followed by a MINERVA post-doc fellowship. His main research activity is connected with electro-optics. He has authored more than 200 technical articles, 3 book chapters, and is the holder of more than 40 patents all of them have been commercialized. Prof. Mendlovic is the 1998 winner of the ICO (International Commission of Optics) Award. During the past decade, based on his academic research results, he commercialized various technologies from his patent portfolio. Few of his research became worldwide technology standards (e.g. long range scanners / imagers). He is a founder of successful opto-electronics startup companies (Civcom and Eyesquad) and served as their CEO. After being acquired by Tessera he became the General Manger of Tessera Israel and later on the General Manager of Tessera’s Image Enhancement Division. Prof. Mendlovic was the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Science during 2008-2010.

Governors (in alphabetical order)
Prof. Dr. Mathias Bähr (Universität Göttingen)
Prof. Dr. Mathias Bähr is a full Professor at the University of Göttingen Medical School. After finishing his MD in Tübingen he started his training in Neurology at the University of Düsseldorf. With a grant from the German Research Council he worked at the Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen with Prof. Bonhoeffer. There he received a Max-Planck-Fellowship for a cooperation visit of the Department of Neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis and came back to Tübingen in 1989. He completed his training in Neurology and in parallel built up a research group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology with a focus on mechanisms of de- and regeneration in the adult CNS of rats and mice. He received the Attempto Award, the Pette Prize and several other honors including the membership of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians in London.
Since 2001 he is head of the Department of Neurology in Göttingen and spokesperson of the DFG-Research Center ‚Molecular Physiology of the Brain’.
He is author of more than 200 original publications in peer reviewed international journals, book articles and several books with a current H-index of 47.
Prof. Aaron Ciechanover (Technion, Haifa)
Aaron Ciechanover was born in Haifa, Israel in 1947.  He is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.  He received his M.Sc. (1971) and M.D. (1973) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  He then completed his national service (1973-1976) as military physician, and continued his studies to obtain a doctorate in biological sciences in the Faculty of Medicine in the Technion (D.Sc.; 1982).  There, as a graduate student with Dr. Avram Hershko and in collaboration with Dr. Irwin A. Rose from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, USA, they discovered that covalent attachment of ubiquitin to a target protein signals it for degradation.  They deciphered the mechanism of conjugation, described the general proteolytic functions of the system, and proposed a model according to which this modification serves as a recognition signal for a specific downstream protease.  As a post doctoral fellow with Dr. Harvey Lodish at the M.I.T., he continued his studies on the ubiquitin system and made additional important discoveries.  Along the years it has become clear that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis plays major roles in numerous cellular processes, and aberrations in the system underlie the pathogenetic mechanisms of many diseases, among them certain malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders.  Consequently, the system has become an important platform for drug development.  Among the numerous prizes Ciechanover received are the 2000 Albert Lasker Award, the 2003 Israel Prize, and the 2004 Nobel Prize (Chemistry; shared with Drs. Hershko and Rose).  Among many academies, Ciechanover is member of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Foreign Fellow), the American Philosophical Society, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican, the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (Foreign Associate), and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of the USA (Foreign Associate).
Prof. Daniella Goldfarb (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Professor Daniella Goldfarb is the Erich Klieger Chair in Chemical Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. She joined the Weizmann Institute as a scientist in 1987, was promoted to tenured associate professor in 1992 and full professor in 1998.  Between 1999-2003 she served as the   Chair of the Department of Chemical Physics and in 2009-2010 as the chair of the Council of Professors of the Weizmann Institute.
Her research focuses on developments and applications of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Prof. Goldfarb introduces new measuring techniques  and develops the required instrumentation in order to achieve better sensitivity and resolution. She uses these developments, and others,  to decipher the structure of metal active sites in proteins, resolve peptide- membrane interactions  and the formation mechanism of ordered porous materials. 
Professor Goldfarb is a Fellow of the International society of magnetic resonance (ISMAR)  and currently serves as the vice president of ISMAR. Her scientific contributions were recognized by several international prizes ( the Silver medal (2002) of the International EPR society, the 2007 Bruker lecture prize, the 2009 Zavoisky Award).

Prof. Dr. Hans Joas (Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies)
*1948   ​
1979 ​PhD at Free University of Berlin
1981 ​Habilitation in Sociology at Free University of Berlin
1979-1983 ​Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education, Berlin
1984-1987 ​Heisenberg Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education
1987-1990 ​Full Professor in Sociology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
1990-2002 ​Full Professor in Sociology and North American Studies, Free University of Berlin
2000 ​Visiting Professor/ University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought
2002-2011 ​Max Weber Professor and Director of the Max Weber Center, University of Erfurt
2011 ​Permanent Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
1998 ​Ordinary Member, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences
2006-2010 ​Vice President, International Sociological Association
2008 ​Speaker of the Collaborative Research Centre “Religious Individualization in Historical Perspective”
2010 Niklas Luhmann Award (“Bielefelder Wissenschaftspreis”)
Fellow at the Berlin Wissenschaftskolleg (2005/06), at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (1992, 1999/2000, 2004/05, 2010), Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Duke University; New School for Social Research; University of Vienna, University of Uppsala etc.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Kern (MPI für Festkörperforschung, Stuttgart)
Klaus Kern is Director and Scientific Member at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany and Professor of Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He also is Honorary Professor at the University of Konstanz, Germany. His present research interests are in nanoscale science, self-ordering phenomena and in chemistry and physics of surfaces and interfaces. He holds a chemistry degree and PhD from the University of Bonn and an honorary doctor’s degree from the University of Aalborg. After his doctoral studies he was staff scientist at the Research Center Jülich and visiting scientist at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill before joining the Faculty of EPFL in 1991 and the Max-Planck-Society in 1998. Professor Kern has authored and coauthored nearly 500 scientific publications, which have received more than 16’000 citations. He has served frequently on advisory committees to universities, professional societies and institutions and has received numerous scientific awards and honors, including the 2008 Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize.
Prof. Touvia Miloh (Tel Aviv University)
GIF Director
Atalia (Tali) Rosenbaum 
Mrs. Tali Rosenbaum was appointed as GIF Director on November 9th  2011 by the GIF Board of Governors. She previously served as the Acting GIF Director since January 1st  2011. Tali obtained her M.Sc in Industrial Psychology (Thesis with honor) from the Technion institution in Haifa in the year 1989. Through her rich career Tali served as CEO and director in numerous hi-tech companies. Between the years 2003-2005 she was the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, hence her first acquaintance with GIF. During her time at the Ministry, the GIF capital was enlarged by additional EURO 50 million, NEW national science programs were established, VENUS – a cooperated Science Satellite project between Israel and France, and the Rehovot conference for Science Policy, with the then Prime Minister Mr.  Ariel Sharon, Mr. Benjamin Netahyahu (then Minister of Finance), and the head of the Bank of Israel, Prof. Stanley Fischer, as keynote speakers. Between 2008-2009 Tali was the CEO of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. In this capacity, the ninth annual Herzliya conference on: Policy, Statecraft and Leadership for Trying Times (February 2-4, 2009), was assembled. During the years 2009 and 2010 Tali was the Deputy for Organization and Strategic Development in the National Security Council of the Israeli Government. 
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