Over $4 Million Raised for Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Dr. Stuart and Lelaine Nemser; Dr. Robert and Marla Zipkin.

Dr. Stuart and Lelaine Nemser; Dr. Robert and Marla Zipkin.

The Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University (AABGU) held its largest and most important event of the year at the Fairmount Park Horticultural Center: the community tribute event, which raised over $4 million.

Honored at this year’s event and presented with the “Footprints in the Negev” award were Marla and Dr. Robert Zipkin of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and Lelaine and Dr. Stuart Nemser, of Wilmington, Delaware. In addition, Mid-Atlantic Region officers were installed. Finally, Jack R Bershad, Esq., was honored for 15 years of outstanding leadership, and Connie and Sam Katz were welcomed as new region co-chairs.

Sam and Connie Katz and Jack R Bershad.

Sam and Connie Katz and Jack R Bershad.

The money raised from the tribute event will support a variety of programs at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). Most importantly, with funds from the event, the university is now able to move forward with the planning of the Desert, Drylands and Desertification Conference, which will be held at the university’s Sede Boqer campus in November 2017. (The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification defines this term as “land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.”)

Past Philadelphia Chapter chairs Sam Greenblatt and his wife, Jodi, with Dr. Bruce Menkowitz.

Past Philadelphia Chapter chairs Sam Greenblatt and his wife, Jodi, with Dr. Bruce Menkowitz.

This important conference is hosted biennially by BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. It is organized in cooperation with the secretariat of the UN’s Convention for Combating Desertification, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and academic and environmental institutions from around the world. It is a significant global gathering of about 450 stakeholders from over 60 countries. These stakeholders include scientists, government and industry decision makers, representatives from international development aid agencies and others.

Sherrie Savett, Esq., an officer of the Philadelphia Chapter; Marvin Sharfstein; and Joni and Larry Bergen.

Sherrie Savett, Esq., an officer of the Philadelphia Chapter; Marvin Sharfstein; and Joni and Larry Bergen.

Located in Beersheva, in southern Israel, BGU is the youngest and most dynamic university in Israel. The American Associates, Ben-Gurion University believes that BGU is very important to Israel’s future. AABGU supports the university by showcasing its researchers at programs across the country and organizing fundraising events, like the Mid-Atlantic Region’s successful tribute event.

Photos by Bradford Glazier.

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