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. [Read more…]

The Philadelphia Roots of a Garden in the Negev Desert

Dr. Alton Sutnick and BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi. Photo from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Dr. Alton Sutnick and BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi. Photo from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

David Ben-Gurion’s vision for “making the desert bloom” was further fulfilled when an area outside the Ben-Gurion University’s (BGU) Faculty of Health Sciences was dedicated as Mona’s Garden. The dedication, which was in memory of Dr. Mona Sutnick, took place during the annual gathering for the BGU Board of Governors meeting. [Read more…]

AABGU Sponsors Update for Israel’s Health System‏


(from left) AABGU national vice-president and Philadelphia Chapter board member Dr. Al Sutnick, AABGU Philadelphia vice-chair and Health Sciences committee co-chair Dr. Rob Zipkin, and Dr. Jay Bloch

A discussion of health and social justice in Israel was just what the doctor ordered at a reception in Jenkintown, sponsored by the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU). BGU Professor Nadav Davidovitch spoke about Israel’s public and private healthcare systems and compared them to proposed changes in the United States under President Obama’s new initiatives. In addition to Israel’s four major public health consortiums, there is also a growing private sector for those who can afford the cost of treatment. Joining Prof. Davidovitch on the program was Prof. Michael Yudell, director of Drexel University’s new program in Public Health ethics and a collaborator with Prof. Davidovitch on a NIH-sponsored study on autism, ethics and history. Prof. Yudell also writes the blog “The Public’s Health” for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

More details after the jump.


(from left) Drexel University Professor Michael Yudell; BGU Professor Nadav Davidovitch; AABGU Philadelphia Chapter board member and host Shirley Tauber; BGU researcher Uri Schwed; and Dr. Rob Zipkin

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) aims for sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision, creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. With some 20,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel’s southern desert, BGU considers itself a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev.

American Associates of Ben Gurion U. Welcome Israeli Consul General


Israeli Consul General Yaron Sideman is welcomed to the American Friends of Ben Gurion University of the Negev reception in his honor by hostess AImee Katz and her daughter Kathy Katz-Hall. Photo by Bonnie Squires.

— by Bonnie Squires.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, held a reception to welcome the new Mid-Atlantic Region Israeli Consul General, Yaron Sideman.  Aimee Katz, of Bala Cynwyd, hosted the event, with Julia and Steve Harmelin, Esq., serving as co-hosts.  Derek Gillman, President and CEO of the Barnes Foundation, spoke briefly about his pride in the fact that limestone from the Negev had been selected as the building material for the new museum on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Sideman had served previously in Lagos and in the New York Consulate.  He told the large group assembled about cooperative ventures between America and Israel, going on right now, particularly with military forces.

The Consul General talked about Israel’s concerns, regarding the Arab Spring and the unrest and uncertainty in the region.  During a question and answer period, he spoke of Turkey’s trying to gain favor with other Muslim countries, asserting that the break in relations between Israel and Turkey was initiated by the latter.

More after the jump.


Derek Gillman (right), President and CEO of the Barnes Foundation museum, introduced the new Mid-Atantic Region Israeli Consul General, Yaron Sideman, pointing out the architects of the new Barnes museum selected granite from the Negev for the new building. Photo by Bonnie Squires.

He also said that Tunisia, the country which initiated the overthrow of dictators in Arab countries, had benefited from Israel’s support in prior years, although he was not certain what Israel is doing currently or can do to assure the transition in Tunisia to a democratic state.

A few years ago, the American Associates had spent time in Tunisia before going on to the Negev in Israel.  The president of Ben Gurion University, Dr. Rivka Carmi, is a geneticist who has done much research on the occurrence of Fragile X Syndrome in communities of Tunisian Jews from Djerba who have migrated to Israel.

Connie and Sam Katz, co-chairs of the Philadelphia region’s AABGU, were unable to get back to Philadelphia in time for the reception because of Hurricane Sandy.  But the Charlotte and Dr. Carroll Weinreb, who will be honored at an AABGU brunch on November 11 at the Ritz- Carlton in Philadelphia, were delighted to be congratulated by Consul General Sideman at the reception.  Sideman will also be at the brunch and will be joined there by the Honorable Barukh Binah from the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.


Julia Harmelin (right) represented her husband, Steve Harmelin, Esq., who was traveling and could not make the reception. Photo by Bonnie Squires.




Irwin and Adele Lipton were delighted to be part of the crowd which welcomed Consul General Sideman. Photo by Bonnie Squires.




Murray Shusterman, Esq., was delighted to meet the new Israeli Consul-General. Photo by Bonnie Squires.




(Left to right) Consul General Sideman chats with hostess Aimee Katz and friend of AABGU committee Dottie Wasserman before Sideman spoke at the reception in his honor. Photo by Bonnie Squires.