Since its inception in October 2012, Ayn Rand Center Israel (ARCI) has advocated Ayn Rand’s ideas in Israel and the Middle East. Led by founder and director Boaz Arad and co-founded by the Ayn Rand Institute’s (ARI) CEO Tal Tsfany, ARCI organizes events and lectures for student clubs and other organizations, as well as public courses. As ARCI approaches its six-year anniversary, it’s worth recognizing some of its recent achievements.

Ayn Rand Atlas Award

In May, ARCI hosted the third annual Ayn Rand Atlas Award ceremony at the Israeli stock exchange. The award is designed to raise public awareness and express appreciation for the start-up with the most outstanding technology, idea or product that creates exceptional value in Israel and around the globe. Candidates for the Atlas Award are companies chosen from among Israel’s most innovative and exemplary startups.

 

The winning company chosen by jury is granted a full-size replica of a bronze sculpture of Atlas brandishing the world. The original sculpture, created by internationally renowned sculptor Richard Minns, has a market value of 100,000 USD. The award is presented at a prestigious ceremony attended by leaders from all sectors of the Israeli business world. Yaron Brook, ARI’s chairman of the board, and Michael Kauffman, CEO and co-founder of Karyopharm Therapeutics, were among the keynote speakers in attendance.

 

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked on the event, saying: “Israel has become a powerhouse of technology and innovation, home to thousands of startups founded by some of the world’s most brilliant minds. These companies play an important role in strengthening the Israeli economy and in improving the lives of millions of people across the world. I commend the Israeli entrepreneurs being honored tonight for their ingenuity and dedication.”

 

Innoviz Technologies was selected as 2018’s top innovator. Innoviz’s groundbreaking technology enables autonomous vehicles to sense their surroundings with unparalleled clarity and accuracy, even at long distance, in varying weather and light conditions.

 

ARCI and Ayn Rand’s Public Awareness

The annual Atlas Award presentation is just one of the many high-profile ARCI initiatives that are gaining traction in Israel. Further proof of this came on June 7 when Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, published an article titled “Ayn Rand Is Coming Back into Our Lives, and That’s Not a Good Thing” by Ziva Sternhell. Although the overall tone of the article is not positive, it is important to note that one of Israel’s leading publications finds it necessary to address the global impact of Ayn Rand’s ideas. In fact, Sternhell acknowledges in the article that “[Ayn Rand’s] name is suddenly appearing in Israeli academic institutions: among others, the Literature Department in Bar Ilan University awards scholarships in her name, and the Weizmann Institute cooperated with the Ayn Rand Centre on organizing a series of public lectures for International Darwin Day.”

 

All of this is a testament to ARCI’s efforts over the years to increase public awareness of Ayn Rand in Israel and the Middle East. Thanks to ARCI, Ayn Rand is coming back into the lives of many, and—Haaretz’s article notwithstanding—it is, in fact, a very good thing!