Bertold Fridlender

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Bertold Fridlender
Bertold Fridlender.jpg
Bertold (Tolo) Fridlender

(1942-10-02) October 2, 1942 (age 81)
Santiago, Chile
  • Master's degree in biochemistry
  • Doctorate in microbiology and clinical immunology
Alma mater
  • University of Chile
  • University of California
  • Gregorio Fridlender (father)
  • Stella Freidlander (mother)

Prof. Bertold (Tolo) Fridlender (born October 2, 1942) is currently the President of Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem (HAC), a position he has held since August 2012. Prior to this, Prof. Fridlender founded and managed the B.Sc. degree program in biotechnology at HAC, the first program in this field in Israel.

Early life

Fridlender was born in Santiago, Chile, to Gregorio and Stella Fridlender, and grew up in the town of Quilpué, the capital of the Marga Marga Province in Chile’s Valparaiso region. The family's connection to Jewish culture was reinforced during frequent visits to Valparaiso, where there was a small Jewish community and where Fridlender was exposed to Zionist and Jewish activity.

Academic studies

Fridlender excelled as a young student and graduated high school at the early age of 16. Immediately afterward, he began his academic studies at the University of Chile where he completed a master's degree in biochemistry (1965). Fridlender then completed his doctorate in microbiology and clinical immunology in 1969 at the University of California, Los Angeles, at the age of 27. Fridlender subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey. He later achieved the status of Senior Professor at the University of Chile. In 1972, Fridlender began working for 4 years in Buenos Aires in the laboratory of Professor Frederico Leloir, a Nobel Prize laureate for chemistry. Fridlender has authored more than 50 publications in highly regarded academic journals.

Israel and the Biotech Industry

In 1976, Fridlender immigrated to Israel with his wife Rosy and their three children. During the first years, he served as a visiting lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Subsequently, Fridlender turned to the private sector, believing that Israel should further develop the biotechnology industries. In his first position in the industry, Fridlender established the department of viral diagnostics at Ames-Yissum, Ltd., and eventually became the scientific director of the company. In the following years, Fridlender served as CEO of a number of biotech start-ups, and he advised and served as a director of several biotech companies in Israel, Italy, and the US. From 2005, and until today, Fridlender is a Visiting Professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and is well-known for his academic and industrial experience in herbal medicine and biotechnology, encompassing the areas of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food supplements.

Fridlender was the lead researcher in the Bio-Explore Project – an EU-funded research project for the identification of Mediterranean plants with medicinal properties. He currently heads an on-going project financed by Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture focusing on the medicinal properties of plants found in Israel.

Hadassah Academic College

In 2004, Fridlender established and managed the Department of Biotechnology at Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem, the first program for undergraduate studies in this field in Israel. He served as Chairman of the Department until August 2012, when he was appointed President.[1]. Since taking office as President of HAC, the number of students in degree programs and various pre-academic courses has increased from 2,100 to more than 4,200 today[2] . Moreover, a number of new degree programs were initiated during his tenure including Social Work (B.S.W.), Economics and Accounting (B.A.), Behavioral Sciences (B.A.), and Management of Service Organizations (M.A.). Fridlender initiated and expanded the College's "Machar" Program (for the ultra-Orthodox) dedicated to incorporating members of the ultra-Orthodox sector into higher education. Today, HAC has the largest ultra-Orthodox program in Israel and currently encompasses some 800 "Haredi[3]" students, men and women, in both pre-academic and academic degree programs[4] Fridlender spearheaded the establishment of HAC’s Research and Development Authority, headed by Prof. Michael Berman, to stimulate research and development among the Faculty. The Research Authority has created research grant opportunities and opened doors to research funds from Israel and around the world. The Research Authority encourages HAC staff to both participate in, and lead, various studies supported by the EU[5], the Israeli Science Foundation, and more, in addition to interdepartmental research collaborations.

During his years of leadership, HAC’s Career Management Center was established to grant students and graduates a distinctive edge in the job market. The Center provides services to a growing number of students and fresh alumni on both the main and ultra-Orthodox campuses by providing workshops, establishing relationships with employers, and facilitating job placements.

Fridlender currently resides with his wife Rosy in Mevaseret Zion just outside Jerusalem. He has three children: Marcelo (1966), Tzvi (1969), Jessica (1974), and seven grandchildren.

In the media

External link


  1. "Prof. Bertold Fridlender begins to serve as President of HCJ | Hadassah Academic College". Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  2. "4,000 Students Enrolled at Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem". Jewish Business News. 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  3. "Meet The Diverse Students Of Hadassah Academic College In Jerusalem". The Forward. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  4. "President's Note - Strauss Campus". Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  5. "The Oculus Project has Started at the College | Hadassah Academic College". Retrieved 2020-03-04.

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