Letter to the Editor

On “Retirement as a Stage in the Academic Life Cycle”

Robert Rockaway, January 2015

To the Editor:

By law in Israel everyone employed in the public sector must retire at age 67. Of course, this does not include politicians, some of whom seem to go on forever. At Tel Aviv University, where I taught from 1971 until my retirement in 2008, most retirees continue to have offices and secretarial help. All of us are on departmental and university
mailing lists, and we are kept informed about upcoming conferences, visiting lecturers, campus events, department seminars, and faculty meetings. And we have access to all the university’s libraries, archives, and research facilities. Those among us who continue to research and publish or deliver papers at conferences receive a generous study fund as a supplement to our pensions.

Although I am retired, I continue to teach in the university’s international student program. This is something I have done since I came to the university. The international student program hires regular university faculty members to teach their specialties and pays them to do so. Teaching in this program keeps me in touch with the university as well as with students. It also motivates me to read new material and to incorporate what I learn into my lectures. This semester I have students from China, Japan, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Poland, the Ukraine, Belgium, the USA, and Canada in my class.

While I now have more time for leisurely breakfasts in my favorite café, I also have the time to explore other fields of history. I have found my retirement to be more rewarding and fun than I imagined.

Robert Rockaway
Tel Aviv University (emeritus)


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