Dafna Meitar-Nechmad

Chairwoman of the Board of Governors    

Chairwoman's Message


In my greetings last year, I was upbeat: Israel celebrated its 75th anniversary and TAU marked the successful completion of a 10- year, $1 billion campaign. What a difference a year makes. Now both the country and the university community are reeling from the relentless pain of Oct. 7 and the Israel-Hamas war. It is hard to find words that provide comfort and encouragement. But in spite of this difficult situation, I say we can and should be hopeful, even optimistic. Israel is a strong nation and Tel Aviv University is a strong institution. Our fate is intertwined and we will prevail.


Drilling down, look at the remarkable ways Tel Aviv University can contribute to “restarting” the Startup Nation, and not just scientifically and technologically, but also socially. Let’s begin with our own campus community that is a national model for pluralism, open dialogue and fair chances. At Tel Aviv University, all groups in society – women, men, Jews, Arabs, secular, religious, periphery, disabled – can thrive and fulfill their academic and career dreams. A country that embraces the talents and creativity of all its citizens cannot help but succeed!

In response to the strong wave of antisemitism and anti-Zionism sweeping the world, Tel Aviv University can also help. We can provide a safe haven and outstanding academic experience for Jewish students at our Lowy International School. TAU can also bolster academic exchange and collaboration with leading universities globally – giving more students and researchers abroad an alternative, positive view of Israel.


Whether we are expanding student enrollment or introducing new study and research programs – all these require an optimistic frame of mind. We must believe that, in the same way that TAU has propelled Israel forward from its earliest days, we will do so again. This will be my message when I resume my travels and meetings with our Governors, friends and alumni after the war: Are you optimistic? Join us. Here's hoping for the immediate return of the hostages, the rehabilitation of the wounded and a happy homecoming for evacuees.




About Dafna


Dafna Meitar-Nechmad is the Chairwoman of the Tel Aviv University (TAU) Board of Governors. This comes following a four years' term as the Co-chair of TAU’s global Campaign which under her leadership raised over 770 million dollars worldwide. Dafna decided to fully devote her time and energy to the nonprofit sector following a flourishing law career as a corporate lawyer and partner at the Israeli law firm of Meitar Law Offices, with expertise in commercial, corporate and telecommunication law.


Co-founding the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund in 2003, where she serves as president ever since, was the first of Dafna’s clear and practical statements as to the importance of philanthropy in her life. The fund supports education and culture in Israel and abroad.


In 2014 Dafna initiated and founded the Institute for Law and Philanthropy at TAU, putting philanthropic policy and research on Israel’s socio-economic agenda. Her involvement in its steering and management committees, and in the management committee of the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Legal Studies at the TAU Law Faculty since its inception in 2005, proves her hands-on involvement in her philanthropic endeavors.


Among her many philanthropic roles over the years Dafna has served as:  chairperson of the Israeli Opera Friends’ Association (2005 to 2012); board member of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) since 2014 including co-chairing the annual conference in Atlanta in 2017, as well as opening the doors to more Israeli and American philanthropic collaborations and most recently her contribution to the establishing of Keshet, the first-ever Israeli donor advised fund, and as a member of Committed to Give, an initiative of key Israeli philanthropists to encourage and support giving by high-net individuals on their journey to becoming active social investors.


Dafna’s philanthropic accomplishments reach beyond the borders of Israel. She is the first and only Israeli to be on the Metropolitan Opera’s Managing Director’s Committee (2013-2017) and on its Advisory Committee since 2017 and a member of the International Director’s Council of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.


As a philanthropist and a woman, Dafna is deeply concerned with gender inequality and so, following the Covid-19 crises, she initiated a Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Group at JFN with the goal of adding a gender lens to their own practice as well as encouraging other philanthropists and foundations to do the same.



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