Ben-Gurion University and Fox Chase Cancer Center Partnership Symposium

Dr. Jeffrey Adams, president of Focus Biomolecules and cosponsor of the symposium; Dr. Robert Zipkin; Dr. Ken Harris, M.D.

Dr. Jeffrey Adams, president of Focus Biomolecules and cosponsor of the symposium; Dr. Robert Zipkin; Dr. Ken Harris

Researchers and interested supporters from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) recently met in a mini-symposium to report on some of the collaborative research the two institutions have been conducting. This program, which took place at Fox Chase, was entitled “Current Science, Future Goals and Shared Objectives.” It was the most recent of the many conferences and symposia the two research centers have conducted since formalizing an affiliation agreement in 2008 to join forces in the battle against cancer. This agreement was made possible by the Philadelphia Chapter of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University (AABGU), a nonprofit organization that supports BGU by raising awareness about the institution throughout the United States. [Read more…]

Israeli University Associates Honor Long-Time Bala Cynwyd Resident

Doron Krakow, Ernest Scheller, Jr., Marla and Dr. Robert Zipkin, Connie Katz and Jack R Bershad

Doron Krakow, Ernest Scheller, Jr., Marla and Dr. Robert Zipkin, Connie Katz and Jack R Bershad

— by Claire Winick

The annual tribute event of the Philadelphia Chapter, American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev honored Dr. Felix Zandman, of blessed memory, a long-time resident of Bala Cynwyd, at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Ruta Zandman accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, noted inventor, entrepreneur, industrialist and philanthropist, founder, chairman and CEO of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. of Malvern, PA. Two-hundred and fifty people attended the event.

The event also honored Wayne Woodman of Allentown, and Toni Young of Wilmington. Honoree Wayne Woodman, a national vice president of the American Associates, is an investment manager who served two terms as chairman of the Lehigh County Republican Committee. Toni Yong

Pennsylvania Senator Patrick M. Toomey
Pennsylvania Senator Patrick M. Toomey

Special guests included Israel’s Consul General Yaron Sideman, Congressman Charlie Dent, and Pennsylvania Senator Patrick Toomey who presented the award to his good friend, honoree Wayne Woodman.

An impressive leadership group was headed by Mid-Atlantic region chair, Jack R Bershad, Philadelphia chapter chairs, Marla and Dr. Rob Zipkin and tribute chairs, Reiko and Dr. Barry Kayne of Wilmington, Bonnie and Bobby Hammel of Allentown and Rose and Paul Astor, of Bala Cynwyd. Proceeds from the event were directed to fellowships for graduate students in Ben-Gurion University’s Israel Studies International Program. The tribute ad journal headed by Stanley Ginsburg of Bala Cynwyd and Connie Katz of Philadelphia, who with her husband Sam Katz is a past chair of the Philadelphia Chapter of AABGU, raised $135,000 of the nearly $2 million attributed to this campaign and event.

Among the highlights of the afternoon, were a key note address presented by Seth M. Siegel, author of the new best-selling book, Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World and a presentation by Doron Krakow, national executive vice president to the Mid-Atlantic region director Claire Winick in recognition of her 30th anniversary in this position. Among her accomplishments cited was raising 60 million dollars for Ben-Gurion University.

Doron Krakow, Toni Young, Wayne Woodman, Ruta Zandman and Seth M. Siegel

Doron Krakow, Toni Young, Wayne Woodman, Ruta Zandman and Seth M. Siegel

Bobby and Bonnie Hammel, Wayne Woodman, Reiko Kayne, Ruta Zandman, Toni Young, Rose and Paul Astor and Dr. Barry Kayne

Bobby and Bonnie Hammel, Wayne Woodman, Reiko Kayne, Ruta Zandman, Toni Young, Rose and Paul Astor and Dr. Barry Kayne

American Associates of Ben Gurion University 40th Anniversary


(left to right) Jeremey Kaplan, Cortnee Doll, Melanie Simon and Liza Mitgang, all students who have returned from studying at the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, attended the recent Philadelphia Chapter Tribute Brunch held by the American Associates of BGU of the Negev. Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.

— by Bonnie Squires

American Associates, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU), held its Philadelphia Chapter 40th Anniversary Tribute Brunch, honoring Charlotte and Dr. Carroll Weinberg, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sunday, November 11.  More than 170 friends and supporters of AABGU came to celebrate the 40th anniversary  of AABGU,  including six American students who have spent either a semester or an entire year at the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program at BGU.

Sam and Connie Katz, co-chairs of the Philadelphia Chapter of AABGU, presented the Tikkun Olam Award to Charolotte and Dr. Carroll Weinberg for their decades of supports for the university.

The family of the late Harry Dozor, founder of AABGU, Dr. Rick Dozor, his mother Shirley Dozor and his son Harry Dozor, named for his late grandfather, received  a special Dreidel sculpture award for their continuing support.

Ambasssador Barukh Binah, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC, delivered the keynote address.

More after the jump.
(left to right) Dr. Carroll Weinberg and his wife Charlotte were honored by Philadelphia chapter co-chairs Connie and Sam Katz with the Ben Gurion University Tikkun Olam Award at a Tribute Brunch in Philadelphia in the Weinbergs’ honor.
Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.

Among the American Friends of Ben Gurion University gathered at the Tribute Brunch were (left to right) former PA State Senator Bob Rovner; Ambassador Barukh Binah, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Israel, who gave the keynote address; and Jack Bershad, AABGU Mid-Atlantic Region Chair.
Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.


Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg, Dottie Wasserman and Ann Waldman.
Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.


(seated) Murray Shusterman, Billy and Carole Stamps, and Aimee Katz.
Photo Credit: Bonnie Squires.


Honoree Charlotte Weinberg, her sister Rosalie Davison, and Marilyn and Bob Birnhak.
Photo Credit: Bonnie Squires.

Ben-Gurion Univ. Prof. Wins Elkeles Prize in Medicine


— Andrew Lavin

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Professor Ron N. Apte has been awarded the 2010 Samuel and Paula Elkeles Prize for Outstanding Scientist in the Field of Medicine.

Professor Apte is chairman of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology and Immunology and vice dean of the Basic Sciences division in the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences.  He is also the Irving Sklar Chair in Endocrinology and Cancer and a member of the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev.
Apte’s major field of research involves inflammation in malignant processes.  Approximately 15 percent of cancers are connected to inflammation, which typically result in organs where chronic inflammation has occurred.  For example, patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are more prone to cancer than the general population.

The pioneering studies of Apte’s group demonstrated the feasibility of intervening in malignant process by neutralizing inflammatory components in the “normal” microenvironment of a tumor. They also detailed the basic concepts underlying such treatment.

Inflammatory cells affect proliferation and invasiveness of malignant cells through the secretion of cytokines, which include Interleukin-1 (IL-1), the molecule that has been studied for years by Apte’s group.  The group has demonstrated the involvement of IL-1-mediated inflammation in tumor invasiveness and metastasis.  IL-1 causes tumor expansion because it suppresses the immune system and nourishes a tumor’s blood vessels.  Apte’s group treated tumor-bearing mice with a specific inhibitor of IL-1, known as the IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-Ra), and succeeded in weakening the tumor’s invasiveness.

IL-Ra, in its generic form Anakirna, is a medication that efficiently alleviates symptoms of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease.

Apte joined the BGU Faculty of Sciences in 1981 and has served two full terms as vice dean, as the vice dean of Student Affairs, and as the vice dean for Graduate Studies.  Since 2008, he has been the vice dean for Basic Science Affairs.

Apte has been a member of the board of the European Cytokine Society since 1989 and has served on the board of its journal, “The European Cytokine Network”.  He was also president of the Israel Immunological Society from 1996 to 1998.

Apte has served as a charter member of the International Cancer Microenvironment Society (ICMS) and as an editorial board member of its journal “Cancer Microenvironment”.   Prof. Apte has published more than 80 papers in the fields of immunology, tumor biology and cytokine biology.

The Samuel and Paul Elkeles Prize for Outstanding Scientist in the Field of Medicine was established 23 years ago.  The Jewish National Fund (JNF) administers the endowment as the executive trustee of the will and awards the prize annually.   Apte Elkeles Info.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in 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 is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev. For more information, please visit www.aabgu.org.