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

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