Yair Rotstein, Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation

As we prepare to welcome the Jewish New Year, I look forward to the immediate future at BSF with great anticipation – and some mixed emotions. (More on that later.)

First, let me share some exciting updates. As you might have noticed, we have launched our new BSF website. It has the same information you have come to expect and much more; you’ll find it’s easier to use, and more informative for our grantees and applicants. It visually tells the story of the BSF and features many photos of American and Israeli BSF grantees working together.  We thank all our grantees whose photos are included on the new website and apologize to the many grantees whose photos we could not use. There simply was not room for all the images we received. Meanwhile, feel free to explore the site and let us know what you think. Also, please bookmark the site, check it often and follow us on Facebook for information you do not want to miss, in particular application submission deadlines.

Speaking of applications, we expect to see more of them. That is because our already successful NSF-BSF partnership has expanded to include researchers in the mathematical, astronomical and atmospheric sciences. As you will read in this issue, our NSF partners are as thrilled as we are. No other nation has the kind of extensive partnership that Israel now has with the NSF. All of us at BSF are enormously proud that we could contribute to this achievement.

Yet for all the things we do well, we know there are things we can do better. We want to encourage more applications from women scientists, and more involvement with BSF from women in general. To that end, we have embarked on a major effort to recruit more women for our review panels. If you know of women who are well regarded in their scientific fields – and who would be willing to take time to be part of our evaluation panels – please send recommendations to me.  Our hope is that in the future, the percentages of women applying for BSF grants – as well as receiving them – will be much more reflective of the scientific contributions made every day by women in Israel, in the United States, and all over the world.

Now for the mixed emotions I mentioned above. As some of you may know, I have announced my retirement. I am so proud of BSF and how it has grown during the 16 years that I have had the privilege to serve as Executive Director. Yet I also look forward to spending more time with my family, and to whatever new adventures life has for me. I am grateful to our search committee members – Dr. Andrew Hebbeler (Chair), Prof. Avi Israeli (Vice-Chair), Prof. Chaim Cedar, and Ms. Kathy Campbell – for assuming the task of finding my replacement.

If you are interested in the position – or know somebody who is – there is still time to apply. While the applicant can be either an Israeli or an American, he or she must reside in Israel while in the position. Other requirements include:

  •    familiarity with the Israeli and U.S. academic research systems
  •    a PhD/MD or equivalent
  •    a proven scientific and administrative record
  •    experience in strategic program planning and management of multi-million dollar budgets
  •    excellent written and verbal communication skills in both English and Hebrew
  •    experience in negotiations with government agencies and other institutions (an advantage)


Applications, including curriculum vitae, summary of past accomplishments, and names of references should be sent to Dr. R. Haring (heni@bsf.org.il) by the October 2, 2019 deadline.

Rest assured, I will remain until my successor is selected, and I hope to spend time with him or her before I leave next October. I am looking forward to the year ahead. Together, let us make this a time of continued growth and success for BSF.


Yair Rotstein
Executive Director