BREAKING: NYU Evacuates Its Tel Aviv Campus, Citing Travel And Safety Concerns

NYU has evacuated its campus in Tel Aviv in light of the violent situation currently heating up between Gaza and Israel. The university suspended its Tel Aviv program for the rest of the semester, and is currently considering whether to reopen for the spring term.

“But it is not a decision we need to make today or tomorrow,” John Beckman, the university’s vice president for public affairs, told NYU Local Sunday evening.

The campus’s 11 students, along with faculty, flew from Tel Aviv to NYU’s campus in London. Academic staff are working with the students now to determine how they will finish out the semester. Each of them have the choice to transfer to NYU’s campuses in London, Prague, Florence, or New York.

NYU administrators did not think the students and staff were in “proximate or imminent danger,” Beckman said. “We wanted to avoid a situation where the students would get to the end of the semester and have difficulties returning home.” 

But, given the “high priority we always place on student safety,” as well as their confidence that students would be able to complete their academic term elsewhere, “we thought this was the prudent course,” he said.

The mood on campus was disappointed but cooperative, according to Beckman.

The students expressed some disappointment at not being able to stay till the end of the semester, and the compressed timetable for making their goodbyes, but the group’s morale overall was good, and everyone understood the University’s reasoning and was cooperative.  They wanted to stay together as a group as they went to London, and we were able to make sure that happened.

Students accepted to study in Tel Aviv for the spring 2013 semester have been notified by NYU about the possibility that the campus may not reopen, according to Beckman, and the university has said it will let those students know when a decision has been made.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.


[Top image via, bottom image via @ohdonnell]

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    6 Comments

  1. Ben Ryzak says

    I’m one of the students accepted to the spring term in Tel Aviv and I have not heard anything from the university regarding updates of any sort. I am currently completely in the dark and this story is the first concrete information I’ve heard regarding the NYU Tel Aviv program in the wake of this conflict.

  2. Carolyn LaHorgue says

    I’m with Ben. I’ve been accepted to Spring term and there has been no communication with us whatsoever. I found out about the evacuation the day it happened from a friend who found the tweet pictured in your article, but this is the first time I’ve seen any of this information on an NYU website. I really would like to hear from the Global Offices.

  3. Tam marks says

    I think its too soon to tell you its cancelled. They dont know if a Big war will happen and wont tell you so soon. Have patience an maybe a back up plan like another Country

  4. ollie sam says

    What is NYU doing in Tel Aviv anyway? How can there be a campus with 11 students? Wasn’t it just yesterday that NYU announced it is closing Singapore? Seriously, you would think that NYU would concentrate on academic excellence, and not just dilute their reputation by thinking their reputation is based on the number of global campuses they have. Maybe NYU needs to put their efforts into fixing matters in NY like the dibacal at NYU Langone Hospital or trying to recreate the millions upon millions of dollars of lost research at Bellview, or maybe mending the relationship with their faculty after the horrible horrible NYU2031 plan that they shoved down their faculties backs. Seems like this University has no idea what it wants to be. Guess they have not heard of being the best at one thing, instead of being mediocre in many.

  5. Barnea Levi Selavan says

    I study in Tel Aviv University and travel from Jerusalem regularly.
    Protected space signs are still up on the walls. We did not stop classes. Classes are in full swing.
    Evacuation and leaving the country was a drastic move. The group could have held classes in a protected space, moved to an area out of range and taken the measure of the situation.
    Being In Israel close to the events gives students a perspective of reality which the media certainly does not. We live in a challenging world and need leaders and laypeople educated to make their voices heard.
    I hope NYU will rapidly restore its branch.