A conversation with David Solomon »J-Wire

September 26, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk

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David Solomon was recently appointed CEO of the Australian Friends of Tel Aviv University.

David Solomon

Clive Donner, Federal President of AFTAU, said: “As AFTAU positions itself for an exciting future, we were looking for an enthusiastic and proactive fundraising professional with a business approach, who can think strategically, build relationships and deliver results. David was a perfect fit for this bill.

J-Wire asked David Solomon about the date.

Thread J: What is your professional background that led you to this position?

David Salomon: I have a fairly wide experience in industry, the associative sector and municipal organizations. This includes 15 years inside and consultant to / coaching entrepreneurs and businesses. I have personally launched a number of successful start-ups and spent an additional 15 years in international executive search, executive recruiting and running a human resources outsourcing business.

However, for the past four years, I have focused on the nonprofit sector with an emphasis on philanthropy. It is because of my strong will to help make the world a better place (Tikkun Olam). I can do it best in a goal-driven organization that I resonate with. Prior to this position, I spent three years as the National Philanthropy Officer for the Australian Red Cross.

Thread J: Why the Australian friends at Tel Aviv University?

David Salomon: I am very happy to work with AFTAU. I feel a tremendous alignment with Tel Aviv University’s goals of pursuing the next big idea, the next challenge, the next mystery that will advance human knowledge and improve all of our lives.

Coupled with this with 13 years on the Board of Directors of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, this means that I have an inherent understanding of AFTAU’s role in serving as a dynamic bridge between two inspired communities – Australian and Israeli.

And the fact that Tel Aviv University is such an exceptional multidisciplinary university fits perfectly into my holistic approach to life.

Thread J: What will be the biggest challenge in this role?

David Salomon: The current challenges of all travel due to Covid restrictions – local, national and international – make things a little interesting, however, I don’t see this as a long-term problem.

I know this sounds a bit trite, but I always try to reposition “challenges” into “opportunities” and ask lots of questions such as; What is really behind all of this? What can we learn from this scenario? How to bypass / under / over blockage? Is this a signal to try another approach? Etc.

Thread J: Is your name very familiar to you? Why is that?

David Salomon: There is no doubt that there are quite a few people with the same name in our community, indeed, all over the world! However, many people will know me in my days with AICC, other communal organizations and in my “second life” as a singer and actor. (I played the role of Tevye in the Moriah College productions of Fiddler on the Roof in 1994 and 2018.)

Thread J: What do you do in your free time?

David Salomon: Family is my main driving force and I have been married for almost 38 years. My wife and I have 3 adult children living here and abroad and 1 grandchild. Also, a dog, which is another child of course!

I also love all kinds of sports, science fiction, personal development, current affairs and when I have the time, gardening and cooking.

The Australian AFTAU is the representative federal entity of AFTAU in Australia. His role is to lead the promotion of Tel Aviv University in Australia by generating support, funds and opportunities that will move the University forward. It is strongly supported by state committees of active volunteers.

AFTAU offers scholarships to financially disadvantaged Israeli students, direct research support within TAU, collaborative research between TAU and Australian universities and companies.

Founded in 1956, Tel Aviv University (TAU) is Israel’s largest and most comprehensive higher education and research institution. It offers 125 schools and departments across the spectrum of sciences, letters and arts; Israel’s largest biomedical education and research complex; and 128 research centers. The university leads the country in terms of the number and impact of research publications and was ranked eighth in the world and first outside the United States in terms of the International Entrepreneur Index in 2020.

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