Digital edition

Spring 2023

Produced by the Department of Publications and Media Relations, Division for Public Affairs and Resource Development Jeff Kaye, Vice President | April 2023 | Chief Editor: Osnat Eitan | Editor: Elana Chipman | Editorial Staff: Maayan Hoffman, Hilla Shenhav, Ehud Zion Waldoks, Jacqueline Watson-Alloun, Robin Levy-Stevenson | Production: Noa Fisherman Photos (unless indicated otherwise): Dani Machlis | Design:


Cohort II of the Halutz Initiative for Global Leadership touring the Marcus Family Campus. Cover photo: Cohort II of the Halutz Initiative for Global Leadership pose for a group photo with BGU Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development, Jeff Kaye, and Chair of the BOG's Global Development Committee, Toni Young, in Sde Boker

38 Time for a Workout:

Sylvan Adams Upgrades BGU Sports Center

6 From the Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development 8 A New Kind of Pioneer: Halutz and Zin Programs Inspire the Next Generation of BGU Leaders 12 Notable Contributions 16 Ben-Gurion Award Celebrates Beautiful Israel 18 For the Negev, From the World: News from our Worldwide Friends

40 Ben-Gurion Archives Share Life, Legacy of Israel’s First PM 42 Seen on Campus: Notable Visitors to BGU This Year 46 Medical Simulation

Building Named for Rachel and Max Javit

4 From the President 5 From the Chair of the Global Development Committee

49 In Memoriam 50 BGU Associates Organizations


The North Campus, adjacent to the main Marcus Family Campus, is progressing rapidly, ensuring ample room for expansion in the coming decades – a luxury few Israeli universities possess. With several buildings in advanced planning stages and substantial progress on tunnels, the infrastructure center, and other vital infrastructure components, we are immensely grateful for the generous commitments of our friends towards these future developments. In these uncertain times, the Global Development Campaign's significance in advancing the wellbeing of the Negev, the State of Israel, and the world cannot be overstated. To achieve greatness, we must think big, which is why we've set an ambitious goal of raising $1 billion over a decade. I encourage you to share your ideas and insights that could benefit the University. I've initiated a similar process among faculty and staff, yielding outstanding results with more to come. My door is always open, and I'm eager for a brief chat or an in-depth discussion.

Dear friends, I am thrilled to celebrate the incredible achievements of the Ben-Gurion University global community. As a collective, we have the privilege of harnessing the wisdom and expertise of countless accomplished individuals. In this edition of BGU & You , we aim to nurture that sense of community by not only acknowledging your immense generosity, but also showcasing the amazing projects you've led or supported. Our extraordinary faculty, staff, students, and global community have positioned BGU at the cusp of a grand transformation. The objectives outlined in our Strategic Plan, initiated just a few years ago, are steadily materializing. After nearly a decade of planning, multiple IDF technology units are relocating to Negev bases, with many situated near the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva. Additionally, the Beer-Sheva Innovation District is flourishing, attracting an increasing number of partners and collaborators. Those who haven't visited recently will be astonished by the transformed streets surrounding the campus and the rapid growth of BGU.

Together, we will continue to transform the future.

Prof. Daniel Chamovitz President


At BGU we value the concept of “tikkun olam,” doing our part to improve the world for all people, and the concept of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” treating all people with justice and fairness. The BGU students I’ve met over the years inspire me by their desire to build a better world. We must ensure that BGU continues to educate students like them, even while the political turmoil continues, because this is the time when people with a vision and the skills to develop that vision are most needed. BGU is a place where Jews and Arabs, men and women, and religious and non-religious people from all parts of Israel study together and build the ties that will enable Israel to flourish as a vibrant society that meets the needs of all people in the 21st century. sustainability and global health – to name just a few, is improving life for people in the Negev, Israel and the world. BGU is a place where professors, researchers and students, as well as members of the Board of Governors, the Global Development Committee and the Halutz Initiative for Global Leadership, share our ideas and perspectives as we work together to develop innovative strategies that address global needs. In 2021, in recognition of the need to foster future BGU leadership, BGU is a place where cutting edge research in a multitude of disciplines – cybersecurity,

the Global Development Committee launched the Halutz Initiative for Global Leadership to connect young leaders from all over the world to the University. Following the success of Halutz I, we formed a second group. Our Halutz II cohort includes 15 talented men and women from 7 countries. After participating in two virtual meetings, they spent an extraordinary week at BGU in March 2023 and were enthusiastic about our programs and mission. If you know people who might be interested in joining future Halutz cohorts, please submit their names. For more than a year, under the leadership of President Daniel Chamovitz and Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development Jeff Kaye, the Global Development Committee, which includes lay leaders and top professionals from countries with a strong BGU presence, have been planning a major campaign to raise the resources needed to fulfill BGU’s goals for its next 50 years. You will hear more about the campaign in the coming year. When you do, please consider joining our effort. Each one of us can make an important difference. With your help, BGU will enable Israel to fulfill its role as a “light unto the nations.” With thanks,

Dear friends, I’m writing this letter at a very difficult moment in Israel’s history, early March 2023. Israel finds itself in a defining moment, facing challenges that threaten its continued existence as a democracy, as well as its connection to Jews of some denominations and to Jews of the Diaspora. As a vice chair of Ben-Gurion University’s Board of Governors and as Chair of the Global Development Committee, I want to thank all of you, our global leaders, and emphasize how grateful we are for your past, current, and continuing support of BGU. Many of us and our family members have stood by BGU and Israel from the beginning. We’ve provided financial support, as well as connections to world leaders and influence makers that have helped Israel become the successful, well respected country it has been. To maintain that position, BGU and Israel need us now more than ever. The power of political parties ebbs and flows. But the power of a BGU education gives our students the knowledge, skills and motivation to bring positive change to our planet.

Toni Young Chair, Global Development Committee


with us to have greater impact, contribute to the development of a solution, or establish a legacy at the University, as each donor has done, places great responsibility on us. We take each gift seriously, taking care in implementing and reporting on funded programs; honoring the memory of those for whom a gift established a legacy here; recognizing each gift in a fitting manner in our publications and on tribute walls; achieving our goals for research and teaching excellence; and fulfilling the vision of David Ben Gurion, who believed that the country’s ultimate success was dependent on education, science, and moral integrity, and that the future of Israel would emerge from the Negev. Together, we have built something special, and the story of BGU’s progress over the years and its ability to fulfill its founding mandate to advance the development of Israel's southern region and serve as a catalyst for its growth on the grand scale in which it does so today – as a leader in the innovation ecosystem developing in Beer-Sheva as a result of industry-academia collaboration; a powerhouse in domains like cyber security, robotics, arid zone agriculture, solar energy, and water resource management; and a central force for inclusion in Israel by promoting access to education and supporting the academic achievement of underserved populations – is the story of the donors who have made this progress possible. It is our shared story, and in order to fulfill our dreams for the University and become the best BGU possible, we need to share it widely and reach out to the many people who don’t yet know BGU. I encourage you to promote BGU among your friends and in your community, share your BGU story with them and help them get to know the University and understand its vital role in the future of Israel and the future of the world, and invite them to visit us in Beer-Sheva. There are many ways to become involved at BGU. One of our newest avenues for engagement is the Halutz Initiative for Global Leadership, an immersive

Dear friends,

It is my great pleasure to present you with BGU & You , a magazine devoted entirely to you – our global community of supporters. We at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev value our donors – each and every one. Our family of supporters is diverse, with members from many different countries, with different perspectives, values, priorities, and issues that keep them up at night. Despite these differences, each of our supporters feels a bond with the University and believes that BGU is worthy of investment. Each sees the University as a vehicle for greater personal impact, a means of fulfilling cherished values, and a way of working toward a greater, collective purpose. Particularly in these challenging times, when the issues the world is facing can leave one pessimistic, weary, and fearful, Ben-Gurion University, as part of the solution, is a source of inspiration and a positive force: Our researchers are making inroads in their fields, and our students’ dedication to their studies is matched by their commitment to community involvement and entrepreneurship. And through your support, you our donors are also part of the solution and a source of inspiration. We are grateful for that support. Each gift to the University makes a difference and is appreciated. We believe that entrusting BGU and partnering


program that turns BGU and the Negev into a platform for understanding today’s global challenges and becoming part of the needed solutions. The second Halutz cohort is made up of 15 enthusiastic participants from seven countries, each of whom is new to the BGU family. In this immersive program, they gain knowledge and become vehicles for change. They also become ambassadors of BGU and Israel in their home countries, building new networks of support for BGU research and activities. I’m pleased to say that members of the first cohort have joined the Global Campaign Committee and are already involved in this important initiative to ensure BGU’s advancement in the next decade. In this issue of BGU & You you'll hear more about the efforts of the Global Campaign Committee and our global network of associates organizations and the many donors who are fueling these efforts. It’s a wonderful time to be at BGU where our values guide our efforts, reflect our optimism, and can serve as a rallying point in these challenging times. Your involvement is meaningful to us, and we’re glad to have you by our side as we embrace the future. I encourage you to be in touch and to visit the University; I can be reached at or +972-50-226 1206.

Yours sincerely,

Jeff Kaye Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development

A New

Kind of


Halutz and Zin Programs Inspire the Next Generation of BGU Leaders

Both programs sent cohorts to Israel in March this year to experience BGU for themselves and learn more about the University’s mission and impact while meeting with Israeli policymakers, community leaders and change agents for an overview of the country’s most pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges. “By exploring the Negev's history, geography, demography, economy and environment, Halutz and Zin fellows come to understand and appreciate the unique role that BGU plays in the unfolding development of the Negev and the State of Israel as a whole,” explained Jeff Kaye, BGU Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development.

Halutz and Zin fellows come to understand and appreciate the unique role that BGU plays in the unfolding development of the Negev and the State of Israel as a whole

Passion. Connection. Inspiration. These are just some of the words that participants in the Halutz Initiative for Global Leadership have used to describe their motivation. Together with the Zin Fellows Leadership Program launched in the US in 2012, these

programs are fostering a new generation of BGU partners who will help the University achieve the ambitious goals it has set for the next decade and beyond. Pioneer


A New

Kind of

“I am excited to be able to contribute to the fight against climate change through the program.”


Current national board President of A4BGU, Gary DeBode of New York, is a prime example of the effectiveness of these programs. Gary participated in the third cohort of Zin Fellows in 2016. The experience transformed him by providing a stronger connection to Israel and giving a new purpose to his volunteer work and philanthropy.

After just a few years on the A4BGU board, Gary was asked to succeed Toni Young as its President. Thanks to the Zin Program, Gary felt ready. “The program provided me an in-depth understanding of the first Prime

Minister’s vision, the importance of the Negev to the future of Israel, and the remarkable work of the University in higher education, research and venture entrepreneurship,” Gary recounts. The programs prepare select groups of promising individuals to turn their passions into practical solutions – for BGU, the Negev, Israel and the world. They serve as an incubator for a new kind of pioneer: forward-thinking, entrepreneurial, socially-minded supporters of BGU and Israel, equipped with leadership qualities and a nuanced understanding of the day's most critical issues. The second cohort of Halutz fellows, who hail from around the globe, arrived in Israel in March for


an intensive week-long seminar, which, like the Zin program, entails tours and meetings with leading BGU researchers and diverse Negev residents. Toni Young, chair of BGU's Global Development Committee, explained that the result is a “cohesive group of informed leaders who return to their communities equipped with the tools and excitement to share what they learned about Israel and the Negev and inspire continued engagement with Ben Gurion University of the Negev.” Lola Damski, a Halutz fellow from Belgium, noted that the program taught her about being a role model, “showing the way and getting people to follow you,

while taking into account the diverse views of different people.” Sam Wattenbergh from Belgium added that a "true connection between people from different cultures and backgrounds is something that will let people become better leaders.” For others, the program provides concrete knowledge and a pathway to effect change. “I am fascinated by how the Negev has been cultivated using advanced irrigation systems and agricultural methods. I have read how every precious drop of water is directed at the plant it is nourishing and how Israel teaches other countries how to conserve water

in this way,” explained Dr. Natalie Lancer from England.

“BGU plays a huge role in the climate change arena,” Wattenbergh added. “I am

excited to be able to contribute to the fight against climate change through the program.” Lancer summed it up nicely: “Ben-Gurion University inspires young leaders with pioneering modern Zionist spirit to keep the desert blooming.” We look forward to working together with these inspiring young leaders to advance BGU’s goals and make a difference in the world.

"Ben-Gurion University inspires young leaders with pioneering modern Zionist spirit to keep the desert blooming."

Cohort VI of the Zin Fellows Leadership Program at BGU


A significant bequest from Rachel and Max, z”l Javit was made to name the Rachel and Max Javit Medical Simulation and Classroom Building. The building includes a state-of-the-art simulation center and teaching spaces, which dramatically impact healthcare training, education, and research in Israel.

Michael Sonnenfeldt and Katja Goldman made one of the largest single gift commitments in the history of Americans for Ben-Gurion University, which established the Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change , the first of its kind in Israel. Through innovative research and solutions, the new school builds on BGU’s decades long experience of developing groundbreaking technology to combat climate change.

A generous lead grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will support the construction of the state-of-the art Helmsley Computer Science Building on the North Campus. Thanks to a generous gift from the Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation, construction of the Drahi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Building on the North Campus is underway.

* Every effort has been made to ensure that the information here is accurate and comprehensive, and reflects the wishes of individual donors.


Launch of the Aliyah to Academia Program, October 2022

A lead gift from the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation will support the construction of a dormitory complex on BGU’s Sde Boker campus, benefitting the growing Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change and serving a critical need for more housing in the desert.

The Aliyah to Academia – Assistance Fund for Students Affected by the War in Ukraine (in collaboration with A4BGU) received support from: Keren Kayemet LeYisrael (KKL-JNF); the World Jewish Congress, thanks to the assistance of Dr. Yuri Kanner, Vice President of the World Jewish Congress and President of the Russian Jewish Congress; Irina Nevzlin, President of the Nadav Foundation and HaBogrim; Alberto Moskona; and Ilya Lifshits. Thanks to their generosity, we were able to assist numerous new Olim from Russian speaking countries.

The ICL Group honored the late Nitzan Moshe, a beloved ICL executive and engaged BGU alum, by contributing to the Nitzan Moshe Center for Energy and Sustainability and naming an auditorium. The David and Janet Polak Foundation provided a generous grant to establish and name the National Artificial Intelligence Resilience Laboratory. This first of-its-kind, joint BGU/Cyber Bureau R&D lab will focus on strengthening the resilience of artificial intelligence-based models to cybersecurity attacks.


Harvey and Mireille Katz made a generous gift to name a Debriefing Room in the Rachel and Max Javit Medical Simulation dedicated places for students and faculty members to discuss their medical simulation experiences, view recordings, and optimize learning outcomes. A gift from the Rivka Rosenzweig Endowment Fund - Rav-Chai Foundation of Israel will enable BGU to grant scholarships to blind or visually impaired undergraduate students who are in need of financial assistance. and Classroom Building. Debriefing rooms provide

The Eileen and Ira Ingerman Family Foundation established an endowment in honor and memory of Ira M. Ingerman, which will provide the Ira M. Ingerman, z”l Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The prestigious prize will encourage and recognize entrepreneurship and innovation at BGU. The Yahel Foundation in Memory of Y.L. Recanati together with the Chernichovsky family, named a teaching auditorium in memory of Prof. Dov Chernichovsky, a world renowned economist of health and a founder of the Dept. of Health Systems Management at the University.

The UJA–Federation of New York has graciously undertaken to support the Benin Scholars Program at BGU. The program, founded by Albert Benin in honor of his parents, Rachel and Selim Benin, and managed by the UJA– Federation of NY – Israeli branch, provides extensive support for outstanding Negev students from disadvantaged backgrounds in STEM programs. Prof. Vladimir Zelman, MD, PhD established the Prof. Vladimir Zelman, MD, PhD Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at BGU’s Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School.

The first cohort of Benin Scholars at the Program’s launch, November 2022


Dedication of the Prof. Dov Chernichovsky Auditorium

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation (Israel) continued its substantial support of BGU in three main areas: the Rothschild Ambassadors program, the Ariane de Rothschild Women Doctoral Program, and the Rothschild Cube. Intel Israel provided a generous gift that will fund research and scholarships. Minrav Group, Israel generously established the Minrav Group Scholarship Fund in Memory of Avraham Kozinski, designated for students of civil and environmental engineering. A generous donation was made by Eytan Stibbe to support the African Studies African Sustainable Communities MA Program and the Tamar Golan Africa Centre. A generous pledge was made by Sami Sagol to establish the Sagol Medical School for International Health, a four-year medical school program emphasizing health and wellness. Howard Schulman, z”l, a longtime supporter, left a generous bequest to BGU in his will. In his lifetime, he supported numerous University priorities, including water and cybersecurity research, scholarships, and the Homeland Security Institute. Apple Israel made a generous donation in support of scholarships for electrical engineering students.

Jeff and Holly Ullman made a generous contribution to establish the Ullman Fund for Interdisciplinary Recruitment. This innovative fund will enable BGU to recruit one new faculty member in computer science, software and information systems engineering, or a related field, whose research interests overlap with other faculties and/or departments at the University. A generous gift from Miriam Roland will support a new partnership between Concordia University in Montreal and Ben Gurion University of the Negev. The gift will fund sustainability pilot projects led jointly by Concordia’s Next-Generation Cities Institute and BGU’s Goldman Sonnenfeldt School for Sustainability and Climate Change.




L-R: Rector Prof. Chaim Hames, Hanna Rado, Prof. Nachum Finger, Gila Bellaish, Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Eran Doron, Prof. Alon Chen, Lester Crown's representative Linda Epstein, and President Chamovitz


The BGU community celebrated the seven winners of the 2022 Ben-Gurion Award at a moving ceremony on the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva in November. The award is given on Ben-Gurion Day, which is marked on the 6th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, the anniversary of David Ben-Gurion’s death, commemorating his leadership and heritage as one of the architects of modern Israel. "You, the recipients of the Ben Gurion Award, [are] Israelis who spark admiration, who are the extraordinary fulfillment of a deep devotion to contributing to the country over many years, of real caring for our future as a state and a society. You are the beautiful Israel, a symbol of notable excellence, each in their field," said President Isaac Herzog in a video address.

many decades to aid students and support research and teaching at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev," and admiration "for his unstinting commitment to the development of the Negev and the resilience of the State of Israel." Shortly before handing over leadership of the IDF, Lt.-Gen. Kochavi was honored for his historic contribution to the future of Israel as the Chief of Staff who signed off on moving the IDF's communications and intelligence branches south to the Negev. During the ceremony, he spoke about the IDF's morality. "The IDF teaches professionalism and values," Kochavi said. "Israeli citizens can sleep peacefully most nights of the year because of our success, which derives from our professionalism. I said we also teach values… I say this with full confidence from meeting my counterparts worldwide and my deep understanding of the IDF: The IDF is an exceedingly moral army!" "Ben-Gurion would be happy to discover that his vision for the University, which he defined with the words 'a beacon of information and knowledge to the Negev, to Israel and the nations of the world,' is the one guiding the academic, scientific, and societal activities of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev," Herzog concluded.

the Weizmann Institute of Science and a graduate of

Ben-Gurion University; Lester Crown, a philanthropist and businessperson from Chicago; Eran Doron, head of the Ramat Negev Regional Council; Prof. Nachum Finger, former Rector of BGU and one of the founders of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management; Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, former IDF Chief of Staff; and Hanna Rado, a social and business entrepreneur. Lester Crown was recognized for his deep commitment to the State of Israel and his understanding of the roles of education and research in strengthening the Israeli nation and society. Crown’s representative in Israel attended the ceremony on his behalf. The award scroll included appreciation for Crown’s “magnanimous contributions to countless worthy causes around the world," gratitude "for everything the Crown Family Philanthropies have done over

The seven winners included Gila Bellaish, a former high school principal; Prof. Alon Chen, President of



FEB 2022 BOG Honorary Chairman Nessim Gaon Celebrated The Swiss Friends of BGU marked the one hundredth birthday of Nessim D. Gaon, z"l shortly before his passing. Gaon was an Honorary Chairman of the University’s Board of Governors and recipient of a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University.

Nessim Gaon, z"l celebrated his 100th birthday with granddaughter, Arielle Herzog Hadida, BGU representative to Switzerland. Photo: courtesy

MAR 2022 Social-Economic Forum Visits BGU A delegation from the Social Economic Forum of the Israeli Manufacturers Association and Business Roundtable Israel, led by CEO Einat Zinger-Dan, visited BGU in March to discuss strategic collaborations between the University and the business sector in preparing students for today’s job markets. The Forum recently made a significant contribution toward those goals.

Members of the Social-Economic Forum of the Manufacturers Association with President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz and Yamit Shannon-Mizrahi, Director of Global Partnership Development & Donor Relations

APR 2022 Zin Fellows Leadership Program VI Launched in Baltimore The sixth cohort of Zin Fellows gathered at the Pearlstone Retreat Center near Baltimore for their inaugural in-person gathering.

Zin Fellows Leadership Program Cohort VI and staff. L-R: Liz Kershner, BGU Prof. Arieh Saposnik, Lenore LaVine, Louis Reinstein, Jason Williamson, Susan Szafir, Peter Yolles, Lisa Douglass, Dan Israel, Seth Harlem, Cippy Klionsky, Shane Stein, Melinda Goldrich, Benjamin Diament, Julie Gothard, David Schuman, Michael Rolnick, Dallas Dishman, Noah Tratt, Jordan Sarick, Carol Milewich, Doug Seserman, Stephanie Aaronson, and BGU PhD student Talia Gorodess. Photo: Liz Kershner


MAY 2022 Celebrating the Remarkable 2 Americans for Ben-Gurion University’s (A4BGU) largest virtual event to date had a successful return in 2022 with Celebrating the Remarkable 2: Climate-Saving Science . The star studded program was hosted by actress, producer and activist Noa Tishby, and featured an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the documentary film, Who Are the Marcuses? More than 120 organizations from across the United States joined the celebration as community partners to help promote the event. The program has been viewed online over 90,000 times.

President Emeritus of BGUF Harold Paisner (center) received the 2022 President’s Award from President Chamovitz and Chairman of the Board of Governors Lloyd Goldman at the 52nd Annual Board of Governors Meeting in recognition of his many years of dedicated service advocating for BGU in the UK

MAY 2022 New President for BGUF

Ann Berger became President of the Ben-Gurion University Foundation (BGUF) in the UK succeeding Harold Paisner, now President Emeritus. Ann is CEO of Rosetrees Trust, key supporters of transformative medical research at BGU. We wish Ann the best of luck.

Celebrating the Remarkable 2 was covered by various publications across the US. Image: A4BGU


L-R: Ann Berger, President of BGUF and CEO of Rosetrees Trust; Richard Ross CBE, Chairman of Rosetrees Trust; Dr. Vineeth Rajkumar, Head of Research at Rosetrees Trust; Liv Sperber, Director of Global Development, English Speakers, BGU. Photo: courtesy


Future is Now launch party. L-R: Mark Mendelson z”l, BGU Canada CEO; Eric Beutel, National Treasurer; Gary Fine, past National President; Tamara Fine, Toronto board member; Mitchell Oelbaum, past National President; Naomi Oelbaum, Toronto chapter co-President; and David Dulberg, Toronto co-President. Kneeling: Shimmy Wenner, Executive Director, Toronto region. Photo: courtesy

MAY 2022 Toronto Chapter launched Future is Now Gala BGU Canada’s Toronto chapter hosted The Future is Now Gala launch party at the home of Tamara and Gary Fine. The event featured Dr. Oren Wacht, Academic Director of the Field Family Foundation Medical Simulation Center at BGU. The event kicked off the fundraising campaign for The Future is Now Gala featuring Michael J. Fox. Dr. Wacht gave a brilliant presentation and showcased some of the technology from the Medical Simulation Center. This was one of the first in-person events to be held post-COVID in Toronto. It was extremely refreshing to be able to see our volunteer leaders in person.

BeBGU co-President Philippe Mauchard advances the BGU cause in Brussels. Photo: courtesy

JUN 2022 BeBGU Touts BGU Climate Tech Belgian Friends of BGU (BeBGU) partnered with the Embassy of Israel in Belgium and Luxembourg for the "Climate Tech in Israel" BeBGU, presented an overview of Israeli climate tech innovations, as well as the BGU-Belgian connection. BGU's Prof. Ariel Kushmaro presented his research on biological CO 2 capture using photosynthesis of microalgae and calcium carbonate. event in Brussels. Philippe Mauchard, co-President of


22 Ben-Gurion Gala for Sustainability and Climate Change. L-R: Si Brown, Past President of the BC & Alberta chapter; Mark Mendelson, z"l, BGU Canada CEO; Martin Thibodeau, Regional President RBC Royal Bank; BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz; Jack Altman, BGU Canada National President and David Berson, Executive Director, BC & Alberta chapter. Photo: Wendy D

JUN 2022 BGU Canada Vancouver honors Martin Thibodeau BGU Canada in Vancouver held its first gala event in decades. The Ben-Gurion Gala for Sustainability and Climate Change at the Fairmont Pacific Rim honored RBC Royal Bank Regional President, Martin Thibodeau and his leadership in supporting BGU, Israel and the Jewish community. With honorary Co-Chairs, Lorne and Melita Segal, the event featured BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz as its keynote speaker and raised $600,000 to create the RBC Research Fund in Sustainability and Climate Change at BGU. The gala was presented by the Kingswood Group of Companies, with the VIP reception sponsored by InstaFund. Other major sponsors included Arnold and Anita Silber, Harvey and Jody Dales, ABC Recycling, Dayhu Group of Companies, Horatio Kemeny, Adam Korbin and Isabella Bertold, Quay Pacific Property Management and Peartree. After receiving the Ben-Gurion Canada Award for Leadership, Martin Thibodeau announced a major gift to the RBC Research Fund from RBC Royal Bank.

JUN 2022 Montreal Main Event Two hundred and fifty guests gathered for the annual Montreal Main Event featuring a “Night at the Opera” with young performers from the Atelier Lyrique of the Montreal Opera. Cantor Gideon Zelermyer of Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim curated the musical program.

BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz gave a videotaped overview of BGU’s strategic plan and Vice President Jeff Kaye was in attendance to thank BGU supporters in the community. All funds raised were earmarked for the Goldman Sonnefeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change.

Night at the Opera in Montreal. L-R: BGU Canada CEO, Mark Mendelson, z”l; Jeff Kaye, BGU VP for Public Affairs & Resource Development; Janis Levine, Montreal Board Member; Sam Cordes, BGU Canada COO; Peggi Cohen-Rabinovitch, Montreal chapter President; BGU Canada National President Jack Altman; Larry Nachshen, Montreal Board Member; Jack Dworkind, Chair of the Main Event 2022; and Simon Bensimon, Executive Director, Montreal & Ottawa. Photo: Howard Kay


JUN 2022: The Mexican Friends of BGU hosted BGU’s Prof. Sigal Abramovich on her visit to Mexico. L-R: Alejandro Grinberg, BGU Director of Resource Development, Latin America, Spain and Portugal, Prof. Abramovich, and Jacobo Mekler, President of the Mexican Friends of BGU, with Mexican Senator Xochitl Galvez. Photo: courtesy Amigos Mexicanos

JUN 2022 Jacobo Mekler Welcomes BGU Supporters in Mexico Jacobo Mekler, President of the Mexican Friends of BGU organized an evening for 50 people hosted by longtime supporter Jose Tabachnik at his Mexico City home. The event was also attended by Israeli Ambassador Zvi Tal. Mekler discussed his experience at BGU’s 52nd annual Board of Governors meeting.

Jacobo Mekler, President of the Mexican Friends (L), at an evening hosted by Jose Tabachnik. Photo: courtesy

JUN 2022 BGU Canada Winnipeg Holds Summer Events BGU Canada’s Winnipeg chapter was busy last summer. An event held in June commemorated the Munich massacre with the screening of the film After Munich , produced and directed by Canadian filmmaker, Francine Zuckerman. And later in the summer, there was a great turnout for the Negev Classic Golf tournament.

CTV Winnipeg News Anchor Maralee Caruso with After Munich producer Francine Zuckerman. Photo: courtesy


JUN 2022: The Negev Classic Golf Tournament returned to Winnipeg in the summer following a long hiatus due to COVID. Photo: courtesy

AUG 2022 A4BGU Hosts Water to Wine Event in Aspen Guests enjoyed a tasting of fine wines from the Negev desert, followed by a discussion with President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz and A4BGU CEO Doug Seserman, with recorded remarks from BGU’s viticulturist extraordinaire, Prof. Aaron Fait.

JUL 2022 CCJJ Visits Sde Boker The participants of a youth

leadership tour organized by the Geneva Jewish Community, visited BGU’s Sde Boker campus and the Ben-Gurion Archives, where they participated in a seminar on what makes a good leader.

JUL 2022: An inaugural meet-up for BGU alumni in the UK was held in London, with a strong turnout of BGU graduates from a wide range of professions, including three couples who met at BGU! Photo: courtesy

Amis Suisse


AUG 2022 Swiss Friends mark 125 th Anniversary of the First Zionist Congress Arielle Herzog Hadida, BGU representative to Switzerland, as well as many BGU friends, participated in the celebratory 125 th commemoration of the First Zionist Congress in Basel, where Swiss Jewish leaders met with the President of Israel Isaac Herzog and numerous Israeli dignitaries.

L-R: Nahman Shai, former Israeli Minister for Diaspora, BGU honorary PhD Sylvan Adams, and Arielle Herzog Hadida, BGU’s Representative to Switzerland, in Basel. Photo: courtesy

AUG 2022 Toronto Chapter Marks Dedication of Autism Neuroimaging Lab

BGU Canada’s Toronto chapter hosted a brunch to honor the unveiling of the plaque for the Milton (Mickey) z”l and Frimette Snow Lab for Autism Neuroimaging. The ceremony celebrated the Snow family's donation to Prof. Ilan Dinstein’s Autism Neuroimaging Lab at BGU. Frimette Snow spoke about her late husband Mickey and family friend Barry Lipson offered special remarks from former CEO of BGU Canada, Mark Mendelson z”l. Prof. Dinstein, Director of the Azrieli National Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research at BGU, spoke about the latest breakthroughs in autism research, while, through the magic of Zoom, the plaque located at Prof. Ilan Dinstein’s lab in Beer-Sheva was unveiled by Jeff Kaye, Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development.

BGU Canada Toronto chapter guest of honor, Frimette Snow, with Prof. Ilan Dinstein at the dedication of the Milton (Mickey) z”l and Frimette Snow Lab for Autism Neuroimaging. Photo: courtesy


SEP 2022 Argentine Friends Honor Israeli Ambassador Nava Rubenzadeh hosted a luncheon in honor of Israel's new Ambassador to Argentina, Eyal Sela. The event was attended by US Ambassador Marc Stanley, former Argentine Ambassador to Israel, Mariano Caucino, senior political leaders including Patricia Bullrich and Rogelio Frigerio, and members of the Argentinian Jewish business community Adrian Werthein, Davis Sutton and Tomas Hess.

Ambassadors and dignitaries at a luncheon hosted by Nava Rubenzadeh (center), President of the Argentine Friends of BGU. Photo: courtesy

Amigos argentinos

SEP 2022 Halutz Program Promoted in Argentina Nava Rubenzadeh, President of BGU’s Argentine Friends hosted an event showcasing BGU at her home in Buenos Aires. The event featured current and past Halutz fellows and was attended by local community leaders, including Daniel Berliner and Gustavo Rabinowicz.

Halutz fellows Hernan Najenson (left) and Agustín Rotsztain (center) at an event at the home of Nava Rubenzadeh, (2nd from left). Photo: courtesy

Students from the Geneva Jewish School completed a program on entrepreneurship sponsored by the Swiss Friends of BGU. Photo: courtesy

SEP 2022 BGU Entrepreneurship Featured at the Geneva Jewish School The Swiss Friends of BGU organized a seminar on entrepreneurship at the Geneva Jewish School, Beit Yossef Girsa. Tair Koren and Shir

Levy from the University’s Yazamut 360° Entrepreneurship Center spent a week teaching classes on how to create a startup, what makes a good startup, and why Israel is a startup nation.

SEP 2022 High Turnout for A4BGU Board Meeting in NYC More than 85 board members joined the three-day Americans for Ben-Gurion University’s Annual Board Meeting in New York City. As a part of the program, the board members watched an exclusive screening of the documentary Who Are the Marcuses? Board members also attended the launch of the Institute for Future Technologies, an exciting New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) – BGU partnership.

Leadership of BGU, NJIT and A4BGU at the inauguration of the Institute for Future Technologies. Photo: Peter Labrozzi


Launch of the Aliyah to Academia Program. L-R: Dr. Yuri Kanner, Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, Prof. Louisa Meshi, head of the Program, Shifra Kirshenbaum, Yitzhak Ohana and Miri Cohen Adelstein of the Ministry of Absorption, Orly Zuckerman of the Jewish Agency, Natali Grad of the Ministry of Absorption, Jeff Kaye, BGU VP for Public Affairs and Resource Development. Bottom, L-R: Keren Samo of the Ministry of Absorption, and Alona Kushnir, Director of Impact Partnerships, Global Russian Speakers

OCT 2022 Aliyah to Academia Program Launched Leaders of Israel's Russian speaking community and officials from the Ministries of Education and Absorption participated in the celebratory launch of “Aliyah to Academia,” a one-year program aimed at enabling new immigrants from Russian-speaking countries to immediately start their university education.

NOV 2022 BGU Canada Montreal Screens After Munich Some 120 people gathered at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal for a special screening of the documentary After Munich marking the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 summer Olympics. In addition to Francine Zuckerman, the film’s Canadian director and producer, the audience was treated to a Q&A session moderated by Prof. Csaba Nikoleyni of Concordia University, with the Consuls General of Israel and Germany.

L-R: Simon Bensimon; Jack Altman; Paul Hirschson, Consul General of Israel in Montreal; Francine Zuckerman, After Munich director; Susanne Aschi-Glesius, Consul General of Germany in Montreal; Peggi Cohen-Rabinovitch, Montreal Regional President, Prof. Csaba Nikolenyi (Concordia University), and Mark Mendelson, z"l. Photo: courtesy

BGU Canada delivered an inspiring speech, as did Dr. Oren Wacht, Director of the Field Family Foundation


NOV 2022 Toronto Proclaims Future is Now On Sunday, November 6, BGU Canada’s Toronto chapter hosted The Future is Now Gala . It had been over 20 years since our organization hosted a mass event in Toronto, and it was a huge success. The evening, with close to 700 in attendance, featured a fireside chat with iconic actor Michael J. Fox, moderated by Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet Hockey Night in Canada. BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz

Medical Simulation Center at BGU. The event raised over $900,000 toward the new Rachel and Max Javit Medical Simulation and Classroom Building at BGU. We set up three medical simulation exhibits that guests were able to touch, enabling them to understand how the manikins simulate real life health issues.

The Future is Now Gala in Toronto. L-R: Sam Cordes, COO of BGU Canada; Shimmy Wenner, Executive Director, Toronto region; BGU President Chamovitz; Eric Beutel, National Treasurer; Mark Mendelson z”l, former CEO of BGU Canada; Noami Oelbaum, co-President, Toronto; and David Dulberg, co President, Toronto. Photo: courtesy


NOV 2022 “His Vision…Our Movement” Tribute Brunch in Philadelphia The 2022 A4BGU “His Vision…Our Movement” Tribute Brunch raised significant donations to support the Ben-Gurion Annual Fund, which provides the University with resources where they are most needed. The Philadelphia chapter honored Sylvia A. Brodsky, Lana R. Pinkenson and Barbara Epstein Sivan, chapter officers and long time generous benefactors. The Delaware chapter honored Ellen and Bob Meyer, Esqs., also chapter officers. Mid-Atlantic Chairs, Connie and Sam Katz, Philadelphia chapter Chair, Sherrie Savett, Esq., Delaware chapter Chair, Dr. Barry Kayne, as well as keynote speaker, Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, also attended. Tribute co-Chairs, Nina Appel, Carol Rothschild and Marla and Dr. Rob Zipkin led the way towards a very successful outcome both in gifts and attendance.

2022 A4BGU Tribute Brunch. L-R, standing: Sherrie Savett, Philadelphia chapter chair, Sam and Connie Katz, Mid-Atlantic co-chairs. Seated are the honorees: from the Delaware chapter, Ellen and Robert Meyer and from the Philadelphia chapter, Barbara Epstein Sivan, Sylvia A. Brodsky, and Lana Pinkenson. Photo: Christopher Brown

NOV 2022 Ottawa Chapter Comes in Support of Medical Simulation The BGU Canada Ottawa chapter also hosted Dr. Oren Wacht, Academic Director of medical simulation at BGU. Forty people gathered at the home of Susannah Dalfen and Jonathan Malino for an informative evening presenting cutting-edge research and teaching in the field of medical simulation. Natalie Stern and Eva Stelzer added their creativity and time to make this evening a great success.

NOV 2022 French Friends Hold Ben-Gurion Grand Online Chess Tournament Over 150 players from around the world, including a large number of BGU students, participated in the second annual online chess tournament organized by BGU’s French Friends. The competition was open to chess players of all levels, ages and countries, under the supervision of international master Vincent Rif. All proceeds from the event were designated for student scholarships.

Ottowa chapter event in support of BGU’s Rachel and Max Javit Medical Simulation and Classroom Building. Photo: courtesy

BGU Italia


NOV 2022 Benin Fellows Scholarship Program Launched Mr. Itzik Shmuli, CEO of the Israeli office of the UJA Federation of New York, visited BGU to launch the first cohort of the Benin Outstanding Fellows of the Negev Program. The program, founded by Albert Benin in honor of his parents, Rachel and Selim Benin, aims to improve opportunities for students from a variety of backgrounds who excel in STEM studies. Thirty highly successful students from high schools throughout the Negev region will receive scholarships as well as social and academic support, enabling them to focus on their studies and succeed.

Italian event on agricultural sustainability. L-R: Prof. Aaron Fait, MP Elisabetta Strada, and Andrea Jarach, President of BGU Italia. Photo: courtesy of Andrea Jarach

NOV 2022 Italian Friends Host Agricultural Sustainability Event The Italian Friends of BGU (BGU Italia) hosted an agricultural sustainability conference in Lombardy, supported by the Israeli Embassy in Italy. The event, organized by Ms. Elisabetta Strada, regional member of parliament for Lombardy, and Andrea Jarach, President of BGU Italia, was attended by over a hundred people, and featured BGU guest speaker Prof. Aaron Fait of the French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. Prof. Fait, an Italian-born biochemist and an expert in plant chemistry-ecology, presented his research on fruit crop response to arid climates and how wine grapes can be grown in desert conditions.

NOV 2022 Ben-Gurion Day Celebrated Virtually in the US A4BGU’s launch of Ben-Gurion Day in the USA was featured on the Jewish Broadcasting Service and included more than 15 partners nationwide. Over 350 people tuned in to watch an exclusive tour of the new Cyndi and Max Mintzberg Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism Building and The Ben-Gurion Archives along with an interview with David Ben-Gurion’s grandson, Mushi Ben-Eliezer.

President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz and Itzik Shmuli, CEO of the Israeli office of the UJA Federation of NY gaze at the future North Campus building site


NOV 2022

Prof. Noam Weisbrod speaking at the home of Lisa Field. Photo: Jilli Spear

BGU Canada CEO Mark Mendelson's Sudden Passing On November 14th, 2022 the BGU community in Canada, Israel and around the world received the devastating news that BGU Canada CEO Mark Mendelson passed away suddenly at the age of 73. Mark was a larger-than life figure who was adored and admired deeply by everyone who crossed his path. As the CEO of BGU Canada from 2010 to 2022, Mark was a passionate fundraiser and devoted advocate of Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He spent years deepening support and awareness of the University. Mark was a friend and ally to the many people who met him along his journey. May his memory be for a blessing.

DEC 2022 The Remarkable BGU: Sustainability and Climate Saving Science Lisa Field hosted a beautiful reception at her home in Beverly Hills followed by a talk with Prof. Noam Weisbrod, Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, on how BGU has become a trailblazer in desert technology and a leader in water research.

DEC 2022 The Negev Comes to Long Beach Longtime BGU supporters Jim and Liz Breslauer hosted a wonderful reception for Prof. Noam Weisbrod, Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. Pictured: Jim Breslauer. Photo: courtesy


BGU Canada CEO, Mark Mendelson, z”l, at last year’s Board of Governors meeting


DEC 2022 ICA Botanical Garden Dedicated in Sde Boker The ICA Foundation (Baron Maurice de Hirsch) dedicated a spectacular botanical cactus garden at BGU’s Sde Boker campus in honor of the Foundation's retiring President Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen. The entire board of the ICA Foundation from the UK and Israel, ICA President William Cohen, and CEO Zeev Miller attended the ceremony and enjoyed lectures by leading researchers whose research is funded by the Foundation.

Prof. Noam Weisbrod, with the ICA Foundation's retiring President, Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen

DEC 2022 Mandel Social Leadership MBA Program Goes to Paris The French Friends of BGU hosted the international module of the Mandel Social Leadership MBA Program, supported by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation-Israel, in Paris. These future leaders of the public and nonprofit sectors immersed themselves in issues of French society and enjoyed the magic of the city.

Students from the Mandel Social Leadership MBA program in Paris. Photo: courtesy Amis Français


JAN 2023 John Molson School of Business International MBA Case Competition After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Montreal chapter of BGU Canada once again welcomed the BGU MBA Team competing in the annual JMSB ICC (Concordia University) in Montreal. Over three days, the team competed in 5 intensive cases, presenting to a panel of judges representing local, national and international businesses based in Quebec. BGU was the only Israeli university at the competition.

Standing, L-R: Jack Altman, BGU Canada National President; Peggi Cohen-Rabinovitch, Montreal Regional President; Simon Bensimon, Executive Director, Montreal. Seated, the BGU annual JMSB ICC team, L-R: Gregory Gelfenbuym, Stephanie Kebudi Cemal, Sari Berkowitz Malihi and Naama Mor-Yosef. Photo: courtesy

Dana Gavish introduces BGU’s Yazamut 360° Entrepreneurship Center to the President’s Israeli Circle

JAN 2023 Inaugural Meeting of President’s Israeli Circle President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz hosted a festive gathering of 21 special guests – leaders in various fields of Israeli society – at his home, followed by a tour of the Marcus Family Campus, and a view of the developing ecosystem and innovation district.

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