H.E. Mr. Gary Koren, Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Croatia, visited the University of Rijeka Rectorate on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, where he was welcomed by Madam Rector, Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D.
At the beginning of the meeting, Rector Prijić-Samaržija briefly presented the University of Rijeka, mentioning membership in important European networks and alliances (YERUN, YUFE) and internationalization as one of the priorities, but also the desire to continue fruitful cooperation with the Embassy.
Since Croatia assumed the one-year presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) on March 1 this year, the meeting served as an opportunity to discuss various activities and training in the field of teaching and learning about the Holocaust and/or preventing anti-Semitism. An example worth mentioning is the cooperation within the Claims Conference University Partnership Program in Holocaust Studies. By participating in this program, the Department of History at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka became the only one in Croatia that offers courses on the history of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, fascism, and genocide at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Head of the Department of History, Assist. Prof. Goran Bilogrivić, Ph.D., and Lovro Kralj, Ph.D., briefly explained all the activities conducted with international partners and scholars.
Among the UNIRI constituents, the Faculty of Medicine and its Center for Proteomics have the most successful collaboration with Israeli HE institutions, which is in no small part due to Academician Stipan Jonjić, who was one of the first to establish cooperation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The collaboration resulted in the joint founding of Nectin Therapeutics, a company which deals with the development of smart drugs based on monoclonal antibodies that were developed in collaboration between Rijeka and Israeli scientists.
Even though Ambassador Koren never planned to pursue a diplomatic career, he has been doing it for 40 long years. He was an Ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and the Russian Federation, and just before accepting his post in Croatia, he was the Deputy Director General and Head of the Department for Eurasia and the Western Balkans at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As part of his stay in Rijeka, the Ambassador will also visit the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.