N BGU ews

News BGU
News BGU
‫גוריון בנגב‬-‫אוניברסיטת בן‬
S U M M E R 2 010
Save the date — Ben-Gurion Day, November 14, 2010
I BGU Voted “Best Place to Study” by Israeli Students
woman in Israel to earn a Ph.D.
Her degree is in clinical
biochemistry, focusing on the
process of chromosome division
in normal and cancer cells.
Avunie’s family immigrated
from Ethiopia to Beer-Sheva
in 1984 when she was seven
years old. She is now working
at the Immunology Laboratory
at the Soroka University Medical
Rachel Avunie, one of the University’s record 192 Ph.D. recipients, is congratulated by (l-r) Rector Prof. Jimmy Weinblatt,
President Prof. Rivka Carmi and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Prof. Shaul Sofer
Ben-Gurion University of the
Negev was voted the most
popular university in the
country, according to a recent
survey commissioned by
the National Union of Israeli
Students Research Department.
The survey was part of National
Students Day, which was
marked in May for the first time
in honor of the 280,000 students
in Israel.
The comprehensive survey
included thousands of students
currently studying in universities
and colleges who were asked
to grade, on a scale of 1-5, three
factors: academic level, level
of social services and a general
grade expressing their personal
recommendation and pride in
the institution at which they are
BGU received a grade of 4.32
from a possible five in the last
category, while the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem and TelAviv University received less
than 4. BGU also came first in
the second category and third in
the first category, coming out top
first time a national survey
has been conducted showing
a comparative picture of the
largest universities (not including
the Open University) and
academic colleges in the country.
In the past, graduate surveys
and local surveys have been
carried out, but this is the
The enthusiasm of the student
body was evident in the series
of graduations that took place in
May and June, culminating with
a record breaking 192 Doctoral
degrees awarded this year by the
Kreitman School of Advanced
Graduate Studies. Among the
recipients was Rachel Avunie,
the first Ethiopian woman to
earn a Ph.D. from BGU. She
is only the second Ethiopian
I Guilford Glazer School
Upgraded to Faculty
I Celebrating 40 Years of
Exceptional Growth
In total, more than 5,000
students graduated, broken
down as follows: from the
Faculty of Natural Sciences: 456
Bachelors, 80 Masters and 50
Doctorates; from the Faculty
of Engineering Sciences: 917
Bachelors, 249 Masters and 36
Doctorates; from the Pinchas
Sapir Faculty of Humanities and
Social Sciences: 1,447 Bachelors,
336 Masters and 36 Doctorates;
from the Faculty of Health
Sciences: 331 Bachelors, 174
Masters and 44 Doctorates; from
the Guilford Glazer Faculty of
Business and Management: 273
Bachelors, 675 Masters and 6
Doctorates; from the Blaustein
Institutes for Desert Research:
34 Masters and 7 Doctorates;
interdisciplinary studies, 12
4 7 8 24
I Prof. Hendrik Bruins
in Science Magazine
I American Immigrant Receives
Spitzer Prize for Unique Work at
Parents-Children Center
News BGU
I Yair Green Elected Chairman of the University’s
Executive Committee
Yair Green
Yair Green, Adv., has been
elected Chairman of the
University’s Executive
Committee. He replaces
David Brodet who recently
completed his third term,
having served 12 years in the
An attorney by profession,
Green is involved in a wide
range of public activities
on behalf of many higher
education and cultural
institutions in Israel. He has
served as a member of the
Planning and Budgeting
Committee of the Council for
Higher Education and is an
active member of the Boards
of Governors of the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, the
Weizmann Institute of Science,
Ben-Gurion University of
the Negev and the Jerusalem
Academy of Music and Dance.
Green is a member of the
University’s Executive and
Investment Committees and
since 2006 has served as the
Chairman of the Jerusalem
Academy of Music and Dance’s
Board of Directors. He also
served as legal advisor to the
Yeshaya Horowitz Association
for the advancement of
scientific and medical research
in Israel. In 1995 he founded
the Green Foundation for the
Enhancement of Studies and
Education and serves as its
president. The Foundation
nurtures and encourages
young people lacking financial
means to take up and/or
continue academic studies
in one of the institutions of
higher education in Israel by
awarding scholarships. He was
awarded Honorary Doctoral
degrees by BGU in 2006 and
by Bar Ilan University in 2008.
University President Prof.
Rivka Carmi stated that she was
“very pleased with this choice,
which will without a doubt
contribute to the development
of the University. Green is the
best man to replace David
Brodet who has contributed
so much to the growth of BenGurion University in difficult
and complex times. I have
no doubt that Yair’s excellent
skills, vast experience,
pleasant personality and his
commitment and devotion
will be the driving force in
implementing the University’s
vision and mission.”
“I enter this position with
awe and reverence,” declared
Green, “and with appreciation
and respect for all those who
served in this position before
me, especially David Brodet
who served in his humble way,
with wisdom, professionalism
and much success.”
I Dr. Michael Feige Wins Shapiro Prize for Best Book
Dr. Michael Feige, a member
of the University’s Ben-Gurion
Research Institute for the Study
of Israel and Zionism, has won
the annual Association for
Israel Studies Shapiro Prize for
the best book in Israel studies
published in 2009.
Published by Wayne State
University Press, Settling
in the Hearts: Jewish
Fundamentalism in the
Occupied Territories examines
the history, development and
ideology of the Gush Emunim
The award was presented at
the annual conference of the
Association held this spring in
Toronto, Canada. Feige was a
co-winner with Dr. Nir Kedar
from Bar-Ilan University for his
book Mamlakhtiyut. Hatefisah
He’ezrahit shel David BenGurion (The Official Civilian
Approach of David BenGurion), published by the
Ben-Gurion Research Institute
for the Study of Israel and
Zionism Press, 2009.
referred to as “Greater Israel.”
Feige looks back at the origins
of the movement within Israeli
history and traces the attempts
of the settlers to construct and
rationalize a home in what is
Feige is a sociologist and
anthropologist specializing
in Israeli society, collective
memory and political myth.
He teaches in the University’s
According to the award
citation, the book is an evenhanded “examination of the
generation of settlers born in
the territories, the children of
the so-called ‘new pioneers’
and the problems they pose;
and its discussion of the strong
identification with all of Israel
as their homeland exhibited by
the Gush Emunim settlers.”
Israel Studies program.
Together with Dr. Pnina
Mutzafi-Heller from the Jacob
Blaustein Institutes for Desert
Reseach, he is co-editor of
the academic journal, Hagar:
Studies in Culture, Politics,
and Identities.
The Shapiro Prize honors
the memory of Yonatan
Shapiro (1929-1997), one of
Israel’s most distinguished
and influential sociologists,
by recognizing outstanding
scholarship in the history,
politics, society and culture
of Israel and pre-1948 Jewish
I Honorary Professorship Presented to
Prof. Steven Schroeder
“You have wonderful stories
to tell, including the steep
drop in infant mortality
rates among the Bedouin,
the inclusion of non-Jewish
students and clinicians in your
health professions schools,
the progress on tobacco
control and many others,”
declared Dr. Steven Schroeder,
Distinguished Professor of
Health and Health Care at the
University of California, San
Francisco, speaking at the
graduation ceremony of the
Joyce and Irving Goldman
Medical School. “In the current
geopolitical situation, these
stories are compelling and
serve to distinguish you from
the other medical schools in
Israel,” he added.
At the ceremony Dr. Schroeder
was awarded a degree as
Honorary Professor in the
Faculty of Health Sciences
in recognition of “a man of
vision, a dedicated physician,
researcher and leader, former
President and CEO of the
prestigious Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, currently
head of the Smoking Cessation
Leadership Center and one
of the founders of the Health
Services Policy Analysis Center
at UCSF.”
As founding chair of the
Goldman Medical School’s
International Advisory Review
Committee (IARC), Schroeder
has been intimately involved
with the School and Faculty
since 1996. Recalling his first
visit in 1987, when he came
as a visiting faculty member,
Schroeder said, “It was a dusty,
aspiring, but underdeveloped
medical school and university.
The beautiful campus in which
Prof. Steven Schroeder (right) receives an Honorary Professorship
from Dean Prof. Shaul Sofer
you work today is an oasis by
comparison.” The event took
place in the presence of the
extended Goldman family.
Among the 70 new physicians
who received their degrees
at the ceremony was Hanna
Nebwani, now one of only four
women Druze physicians in
Israel, and Kayed Al-Athamen,
a Bedouin who earned a
certificate of excellence for his
academic achievements. Before
beginning his medical studies,
Al-Athamen participated
in the University’s Health
Cadets program for Bedouin
youth supported by the UJAFederation of New York.
I Honorary Doctoral Degree Conferred Upon
Philanthropist Eric F. Ross
The University conferred an
Honorary Doctoral degree
upon philanthropist and
businessman Eric F. Ross
in a ceremony at the U.S.
Holocaust Memorial Museum
in Washington D.C. in June.
Eric F. Ross
University President Prof.
Rivka Carmi addressed
Ross, saying that he is “an
inspiration. A man who has
overcome overwhelming
odds: losing home, country,
family and education, you
came to this glorious nation,
raised a magnificent family,
built a business empire and
committed your latter years to
Ross fled Nazi Germany in
1938 with only $10 in his
pocket. When he bid farewell
to his parents, hoping they
would one day meet again,
he could not have known
that they would be doomed
to perish in the Treblinka
extermination camp.
Ross has been involved with
the University for several
years and along with his
late wife Lore, who passed
away in February 2009,
has supported numerous
University programs, including
scholarships for students
in need, a lecture hall, a
wide range of community
service programs for the
disadvantaged in the Negev
region and other high priority
activities for which funding
was otherwise unavailable.
News BGU
I Prof. Zvi HaCohen Elected Rector
Noted researcher in microalgal
biotechnology Prof. Zvi
HaCohen has been elected
Rector, replacing Prof. Jimmy
Weinblatt who completed his
second four-year term in July.
polyunsaturated fatty acids
for pharmacological and
dietary purposes. His research
interests also include the
manufacture of biofuel from
Prof. HaCohen is the
incumbent of the Maks
and Rochelle Etingin Chair
in Desert Research at the
Jacob Blaustein Institutes for
Desert Research (BIDR) on
the Sede Boqer campus. His
main research is in the field
of microalgal biotechnology,
focusing on the potential
of microalgae to create
HaCohen holds a B.Sc. and
M.Sc. in chemistry from
Bar-Ilan University and
completed his doctorate
in organic chemistry at the
Weizmann Institute of Science
and post-doctorate at Harvard
Medical School in the U.S.
He serves as a member of
the University’s Intellectual
Property Committee and has
filled a number of positions
at the BIDR. In addition,
he serves as a professional
consultant to many groups and
organizations in his field and
is a member of the editorial
boards of several prestigious
journals including Annals of
HaCohen has published
dozens of scientific papers,
has been awarded research
grants totaling several million
dollars, has a large number
of patents to his name and
has edited three books, the
Prof. Zvi HaCohen
latest being Single Cell Oils.
He also serves as Chairman of
the Coordinating Council of
Faculty Associations.
I Prof. Hendrik Bruins in Science Magazine
In an article commissioned
by the prestigious Science
magazine, Prof. Hendrik
J. Bruins presents novel
implications related to
new developments in
the radiocarbon dating of
Pharaonic Egypt. For the first
time it is possible to relate the
Minoan Santorini eruption with
Egyptian Historical Chronology
solely on the basis of
radiocarbon dates. The article
was published in the June 18,
2010 issue of Science.
It appears that the eruption
preceded the 18th dynasty and
occurred during the Hyksos
Period. Moreover, conventional
associations of Egyptian history
with archaeological phases
at Tell el-Dab‘a, the ancient
capital of the Hyksos, located in
the northeastern region of the
Nile Delta, do not fit in terms
of radiocarbon dating. “Major
problems exist here in relation
to the Santorini eruption
between archaeological
dating, radiocarbon dating
and association between
archaeological strata in the
field and Egyptian historical
chronology,” he argues.
Bruins is a researcher in the
University’s Department of
Man in the Desert at the Jacob
Blaustein Institutes for Desert
Research and is affiliated with
the Department of Bible,
Archaeology and Ancient Near
Eastern Studies. His research
focuses on the 2nd millennium
In 2006 Bruins received the
Dutch Royal Award – Officer
in the Order of OrangeNassau – in the name of
Her Majesty Queen Beatrix
for achievements in policyoriented studies on drought,
hazard assessment and
contingency planning in
drylands, geo-archaeological
desert research and
innovative chronological
studies about the ancient
Near East. Bruins developed
novel geoarchaeological
research techniques,
pioneered excavations in
ancient agricultural terraces
in the Negev highlands and
discovered extensive tsunami
deposits in Crete (Palaikastro)
related to the Minoan Santorini
He also carried out research
at the Ein el-Qudeirat oasis of
north-eastern Sinai, associated
by some scholars with biblical
There, he became aware of
the vital need to measure
time in both archaeological
and environmental studies
with the same methodology:
radiocarbon dating. This was
the beginning of innovative
research in cooperation with
one of the most advanced
radiocarbon labs in the world
situated at the University of
Groningen in The Netherlands.
Several major archaeological
sites in Israel are currently
under investigation, as well as
rural desert sites in the Negev.
I Strive to be a Special Kind of Doctor
“You’ve had an education
that has prepared you to
pursue a career in medicine
that sees equal human worth
beyond borders, front lines,
skin shades, social stations
and religions,” physician
and Pulitzer Prize winning
journalist Dr. Sheri Fink
told this year’s graduates
of the Medical School for
International Health (MSIH).
“This is a very special medical
school, maybe unique in the
world for its international
focus,” Fink told them.
Fink was speaking at the
ceremony at which 47 students
from the MSIH received
their M.D. degrees. The
collaborative program with
Columbia University Medical
Center was established
specifically to train future
doctors to provide healthcare
for populations throughout the
The graduates, mostly from
the United States and Canada,
but also from China, Poland,
Russia, India, Nigeria and
Fiji, have gone on to do
their residencies at the most
prestigious medical centers
in the U.S. In addition to the
basic American-style medical
curriculum taught in English,
students also learn crosscultural communication,
nutrition in the developing
world, disaster relief,
population-based medicine
and responding to bioterrorism.
In her inspirational address
to the graduating class, Fink
related that she had missed
her own graduation from
Stanford School of Medicine in
1999 when, as a researcher for
Physicians for Human Rights,
she had gone to Kosovo
where ethnic Albanians had
been expelled by the Serbians.
The 42-year-old journalist/
physician received the
2010 Pulitzer Prize for
investigative reporting for
her comprehensive article
published in The New York
Times Sunday Magazine. The
story, “The Deadly Choices
at Memorial,” describes the
dilemmas facing medical
staffers at a New Orleans
hospital in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina.
“Experiencing war along
with medical school has
deepened your understanding
of the challenges you face
in realizing your idealistic
goals,” she told the graduates,
referring to the fact that this
class had experienced both
the Second Lebanon War and
Operation Cast Lead in Gaza,
during which missiles fell in
“Never forget that our
education doesn’t give us all
the answers,” she concluded.
Noting that this class had
shown that resiliency is one
of the true keys to success in
global medicine, Director of
Dr. Sheri Fink
the MSIH Columbia University
program Prof. Richard
Deckelbaum praised the new
doctors for their ability to
manage adversity and said
he hoped they would carry
this ability with them into the
Prof. Mark Clarfield, who took
over as MSIH Director one
year ago, thanked his first
graduating class for their “hard
work, volunteerism and strong
sense of solidarity towards
your fellow classmates.”
I Prof. Stanley Rotman Honored
Prof. Stanley Rotman of the
Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering
has been elected a fellow
of the International Optics
and Photonics Society “in
recognition of his noteworthy
technical achievements.”
Rotman specializes in lasers,
hyperspectral signal
processing and target
Fellows of the International
Optics and Photonics Society,
known by its old acronym
of SPIE, are “members of
distinction who have made
significant scientific and
technical contributions in
the multidisciplinary fields of
optics, photonics and imaging.
They are honored for their
technical achievement, for
their service to the general
optics community and to SPIE
in particular.”
electrical engineering from
the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology before joining
BGU. For the last decade, he
has been developing stateof-the art hyperspectral data
analysis techniques for military
and industrial applications.
Rotman received B.Sc.,
M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
News BGU
I Cooperative Coral Project Holds Workshop
and attractive to coral reef
organisms and visitors.”
The workshop focused on
increasing biodiversity,
promoting sustainable
development of marine
habitats and ecotourism
and the urgent need for
preservation, and ended with
a joint dive at an experimental
artificial coral reef in Aqaba.
A researcher investigates the progress of one of the artificial reefs growing in the Red Sea
Increasing human pressures
could spell a dismal fate for
coral reefs worldwide and to
the communities that depend
on them. This is particularly
true in the Red Sea where the
coral reefs have suffered.
In April, Israeli and Jordanian
scientists marked three
years of joint research with
a workshop focused on the
restoration of coral reefs and
the development of artificial
reefs in the northern tip
of the Red Sea. Funded by
USAID – Middle East Regional
Cooperation program, the
project included scientists and
students from the University’s
Eilat Campus and the Marine
Science Station in Aqaba,
along with government
officials from both countries.
According to workshop
organizer Prof. Nadav Shashar
from the Eilat Campus, “We
wanted to focus on local
negative processes, such
as the loss of habitat and
the pressures of tourism. If
we understand the forces
shaping the structure and
community of coral reefs, we
can design artificial structures
that will be biologically stable
BGU’s Eilat campus offers a
unique B.Sc. degree in life
sciences in a combined marine
biology and biotechnology
track. The program, run in
cooperation with the National
Center for Mariculture and
the Interuniversity Institute
for Marine Sciences in
Eilat, offers studies in fields
related to natural sciences
as well as marine biology
and biotechnology, marine
sciences, mariculture and
marine ecology.
I Archive of Israeli Writer David Schütz Opened
Heksherim – The Research
Institute for Jewish and Israeli
Literature and Culture has
formally opened the David
Schütz Archive, containing the
personal papers of the noted
Israeli writer.
Schütz, who arrived in Israel as
a child refugee from Germany,
published his first book, The
Grass and the Sand, in 1978
at the age of 37 based on his
experiences as a child and
adolescent. His characters
struggle with the aftermath
of the Holocaust, suffering its
consequences in their dayto-day existence, often from
the standpoint of a child.
Schütz balances the more
metaphysical elements of his
writing with a solid grounding
in time and place.
In the 1980s and ‘90s, Schütz
wrote another eight novels,
including White Rose, Red Rose
and I Shall Wait Forever, for
which he won many awards.
In addition to his literary
activities, he produced several
movies and was a producer
and vice-president of the
Israeli Film Service.
The archive includes Schütz’
books, manuscripts, films,
research and critiques of his
work. Schütz’ books have
been translated into a number
of languages. Director of the
Heksherim Institute Prof. Yigal
Schwartz of the Department of
Hebrew Literature says there
is considerable interest abroad
for his work to be translated
into English as well, and he
hopes to begin this work in
the future.
I Guilford Glazer School Upgraded to Faculty
At a recent meeting of
the University’s Executive
Committee, a decision was
made to change the name of
the Guilford Glazer School of
Business and Management to
the Guilford Glazer Faculty of
Business and Management.
Established as a School in
1995, it was named in July
2007 through the generosity of
Guilford and Diane Glazer of
Los Angeles, California.
Since its establishment, the
Faculty has been in a process
of constant growth, including
the creation of a prestigious
Honors MBA program. The
Guilford Glazer Faculty offers
a wide range of programs
for Bachelors, Masters and
Ph.D. degrees. Two academic
centers operate within the
Faculty: the Bengis Center
for Entrepreneurship and HiTech Management, and the
Israel Center for Third Sector
Thousands of graduates
have been integrated at all
management levels within the
various sectors of the economy
and society in Israel and
around the world.
Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management
I An Honor to be Honored
University President Prof. Rivka Carmi (center) was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in May. The citation
noted her significant contribution in the academic world, in the fields of medicine and genetics, and in advancing the health and welfare of children and
adults in Israel through social projects. Other recipients included Dr. Miriam Adelson, Gideon Argov, Prof. Irwin Cotler, Mr. Baruch Ivcher, Mr. Idan Ofer
and Mr. Sami Sagol. (From l-r), IDC President Prof. Uriel Reichmann and Chairman of the IDC Board of Directors Oudi Recanati
News BGU
I Celebrating 40 Years of Exceptional Growth
Students from the Netivot Yoram School performing at the Opening Plenary Session
Over 300 board members and
guests gathered together for
the University’s 40th Annual
Board of Governors Meeting.
They came from more than
12 countries to learn about
the University’s exceptional
growth and plans for the
future. Under the theme,
“From Vision to Reality,”
guests had the opportunity
to see how the University
has transformed itself into a
world-class facility impacting
the lives of the residents of the
Traditional ceremonies such as
the unveiling of new names on
the Ben-Gurion and Founders
Walls were revitalized with
the dedication of the new
Negev Wall recognizing the
University’s most generous
supporters at various levels of
giving and the presentation of
a special 40th Anniversary gift
to members of the Ben-Gurion
Society. The impressive new
building for the Ilse Katz
Institute for Nanoscale Science
and Technology and stateof-the-art facilities were also
dedicated (see related stories).
Cultural highlights included a
performance by the Batsheva
Ensemble of Decadance
by Artistic Director Ohad
Neharin, with surprise
appearances by University
staffers, and the dedication
of the Arman Lithograph
Collection in the presence of
Corice Arman, France, at the
French Associates Institute for
Agriculture and Biotechnology
of Drylands on the Sede Boqer
In her address to the Opening
Plenary Session, University
President Prof. Rivka Carmi
highlighted the University's
accomplishments. Referring to
the daunting challenges she
has faced as President, Carmi
noted that despite all these
trials, “BGU’s achievements
during the past four years
are truly remarkable.”
She expressed her great
satisfaction and pride at
being able to overcome these
Roy J. Zuckerberg and Prof. Rivka Carmi thank outgoing Chairman of the
Executive Committee David Brodet (center) for his years of service
From vision to re
obstacles and “being part of
the professional team that
has brought the University
to where it is today. More
than anything they reflect
on the special pioneering
and idealistic spirit of the
University faculty and staff.
“I am grateful for all that you
are doing on behalf of BGU
and especially for the trust
you have placed in me,”
Carmi concluded. “I know
that without every single
one of you, we would never
have accomplished what we
have.” Marking the changing
of the guard, she thanked the
outgoing Rector Prof. Jimmy
Weinblatt for his eight years
of service and together with
Chairman of the Board Roy J.
Zuckerberg presented a gift
to outgoing Chairman of the
Executive Committee David
Brodet, while welcoming Yair
Green into the position.
In his final address to the
Board as University Rector,
Weinblatt explained that
during his tenure “BGU has
undergone very difficult
financial times ... Nevertheless,
we managed to meet our goals
of increasing the proportion
of our graduate students and
raising the quality of faculty,
students and research.”
Guest of Honor Minister
of Education Gideon Sa’ar
delivered the welcome news
that after years of cutbacks
his Ministry was developing
a five-year plan to invest in
institutions of higher learning.
This, he assured the audience,
will mean more funds for
both universities and colleges,
particularly in the periphery.
Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik
Danilovich praised the
University for its commitment
to excellence and community:
“There is no other university
like it,” he declared, calling
BGU “a beacon of light of
development not only for the
Negev and Israel but for the
Out in the Field
Participants were able to
observe first-hand the close
cooperation between the
University and the Israeli Air
Force during an impressive
tour of the nearby Hatzerim
Air Force base, which houses
the IAF Flight School and its
academic program. During
their training at the flight
school, cadets also study at
BGU, graduating after three
years with their wings and an
academic degree. Commander
of the IAF Flight School Col.
Tomer explained that the
IAF is at the forefront of air
technology because of its
first-class manpower: “We not
Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar
only check flying abilities but
also the candidate’s character.
The pilot has to be smart,
educated, able to recognize
his own mistakes, good
academically and first and
foremost a good person.”
The group was also given
a special tour of an attack
helicopter squadron and
a fighter plane squadron
followed by a personal
discussion with cadets.
Capt. Uri, a Flight School
Commander and graduate
of the academic program
described the satisfaction that
pilot cadets derive from their
studies at BGU.
In a similar spirit, on Sunday
afternoon the Deichmann
Plaza was transformed
Board members help inaugurate the new Founders Wall. From l-r: Michel and Esther Halperin, Switzerland, Philip
Birnbaum, USA and Vera Turtel, Israel
News BGU
Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors Suzanne Zlotowski (fourth from left), UK, with Adelene Zlotowski and her son Louis-James (seated) and Kim Beckett
(right) meet with recipients of the Zlotowski Admission Award for Outstanding Students, and Academic Secretary Avraham Bar-On (standing right)
into a giant happening
that celebrated BGU’s very
special outreach and social
involvement programs,
including a specially built
Open Apartment to showcase
the University’s unique
programs in the community.
From the dozen children
playing guitars with their
student coach of the Meitar
Project to those learning
to make ice cream using
liquid nitrogen as part of the
Havayeda (a play on the
words meaning “fun” and
“knowledge”), the range of
programs on display provided
a small glimpse of what is
being done throughout the
region. Students from the
Keren Moshe Leadership
Program taught Ethiopian
adults Hebrew at one end of
the Plaza, while teenagers
from the HaBarvaz Theater
Group performed scenes
from the children’s opera
Brundibar written during the
Holocaust by an inmate of
Theresienstadt and presented
in English for guests at the
Other represented projects
included the student and
canine volunteers from the
Jacob Shochat, USA and Dr. Joe Agris, USA
Israel Guide Dog Center for
the Blind, the Department of
Biotechnology Engineering,
the Department of Geography
and Environmental Studies
and more.
The annual Student Evening
was sponsored by AABGU
members Sandra and Stephen
Breslauer, Dvora Ezralow,
Lis Gaines, Arline and Ben
Guefen, Carol Saal and Roy
J. Zuckerberg. The event
included the presentation of
Student Association Honorary
Memberships to ViceChairperson of the Board of
Governors Suzanne Zlotowski
and Vice-Chairperson of the
Executive Committee Aharon
Yadlin for their tireless efforts
to advance the welfare of the
student body.
An Atmosphere
for Learning
Nobel Laureate Prof. Baruch
S. Blumberg presented the
Zlotowski Annual Lecture
in the presence of Suzanne
and Adelene Zlotowski, UK.
Blumberg spoke on “Strategies
of Human Disease Control –
The Hepatitis B Programs.”
Prior to the lecture, Prof. Alon
Friedman of the Department of
Physiology and Neurobiology
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation H.E. Miguel Ángel
Moratinos fields questions from reporters
From vision to re
and the Zlotowski Center for
Neurosciences presented the
Zlotowski Admission Awards
for Outstanding Students.
Recipient Noa Dresner
expressed her gratitude on
behalf of all of the students.
Board members got a
glimpse of a novel out-of-thebox concept at the annual
Irene and Hyman Kreitman
Memorial Lecture. Medical
and communications industry
entrepreneur Dr. Martine
Rothblatt described her idea
for achieving lasting peace
in the Middle East – granting
U.S. statehood to Israel and
Palestine. Her lecture Two
Stars for Peace: Breaking the
Middle East Conundrum by
Going Outside of the Box
was introduced by Prof.
Raymond Dwek, FRS, Director
of the Oxford Glycobiology
Institute in the UK.
“This is one of the few
institutes in the world that
has the potential to play
a significant role in the
development of global
solutions in waste water
treatment systems and water
purification,” declared Prof.
Peter Fritz, Chairman of the
Scientific Advisory Board of
Riki Dayan, USA, dancing on stage with the Batsheva Ensemble
the Zuckerberg Institute for
Water Research, speaking to
guests at the Jacob Blaustein
Institutes for Desert Research
(BIDR). “What we really care
about is the future, and this
means our ability to include
the best and the brightest
on our staff,” said Prof.
Avigad Vonshak, outgoing
director of the BIDR. He
introduced some of the
Institutes’ most promising
researchers, including Hila
Ackerman, who talked about
her joint Palestinian-Israeli
project to restore extremely
polluted streams, and Dr.
Carol and Harry Saal, USA, with student at the community outreach fair
Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder of
the Department of Man in the
Desert, who is conducting
research on cultural-social
transitions of the Bedouin
“A little piece of Europe on
the edge of the Negev Desert,”
is how the new European
Union Ambassador to Israel
Andrew Standley referred to
BGU at the Symposium on
“The European Union, the
Middle East and the Jewish
Communities in Europe.”
Sponsored by the Centre for
the Study of European Politics
and Society, the special event
hosted leading European
personalities including Spain’s
Minister of Foreign Affairs
and Cooperation Ambassador
Miguel Ángel Moratinos,
and former President of the
European Parliament and
former French Minister of
Health Simone Veil.
“When Ben-Gurion made
the decision to declare the
State of Israel, why didn’t
European countries jump to
agree? There was some unease
amongst the Europeans,
Corice Arman, France, dedicates the Arman Lithograph Collection
News BGU
Abraham Ben David Ohayon and family, Switzerland, with recipients of the Ohayon Scholarships in the Department of Psychology
and there was – and still
is – a lack of understanding
and confidence,” explained
Moratinos. “My personal and
professional engagement
has been to try to overcome
this rift between Europe and
Israel, and I can assure you
that recently we have made it
much, much better,” he told
the audience.
Veil declared that she is still
amazed by the miracle of
peace in Europe. “After the
war no one believed that there
could be reconciliation with
Germany after three horrible
conflicts.” She continued:
“Even though I had to pay
a very high price for being
a Jew, I remain optimistic.
Israel’s vitality remains for me
a source of hope.”
The evening culminated with
the moving Honorary Doctoral
Ceremony (see related story)
and a magical performance by
Israeli performer David Broza
and the Spanish guitarist and
singer Javier Ruibal.
Alex Goren, USA, with students at the community outreach fair
Spanish guitarist and singer Javier Ruibal (left) and Israeli performer David Broza
To see more photos, click to www.bgu.ac.il/board
From vision to re
I Excellence Recognized
The Opening Plenary Session
provided the occasion for the
presentation of the President’s
Prize for Outstanding Scientific
Achievement and grants of the
Rich Foundation Program to
Promote the Status of Women
Scientists in the Academy.
The President’s Prize for
Outstanding Scientific
Achievement was awarded
to two scientists – one for
basic research and one for
achievements in applied
Prof. Smadar Cohen, outgoing
Chair of the Avram and Stella
Goldstein-Goren Department
of Biotechnology Engineering
and incumbent of the Claire
and Harold Oshry Chair
in Biotechnology, was
recognized for her research
that led to the creation of an
innovative and pioneering
product in the field of cardiac
disease, an injectable device
designed to support cardiac
tissue damaged following
acute myocardial infarction,
thus significantly improving
cardiac function and survival.
Prof. Yoav Segev of the
Department of Mathematics
was recognized for
his contribution to the
classification of finite simple
groups. In particular, he has
proved the uniqueness of
the Monster group as well
as several additional large
Sporadic groups. He made
several major applications of
the classification to other areas
of mathematics.
The 2010 Rich Foundation
Program grants were
presented to 13 young women
faculty members who have
“demonstrated scholarly
promise in their respective
fields and who were
being recognized for their
noteworthy accomplishments
at a critical point in their
professional careers.”
The recipients were Dr.
Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf of the
Graduate Program for Science
and Technology Education;
Dr. Limor Aharonson-Daniel of
the Faculty of Health Sciences;
Dr. Shirli Bar-David of the
Mitrani Department of Desert
Ecology; Dr. Anne BernheimGroswasser of the Department
of Chemical Engineering; Dr.
Iris Har-Vardi of the Faculty
of Health Sciences; Dr. Louisa
Meshi of the Department of
Materials Engineering; Ronit
Milano of the Department
of Arts; Dr. Stav Rosenzweig
of the Department of
Management; Dr. Orly Sarid
of the Charlotte B. and Jack J.
Spitzer Department of Social
Work; Dr. Ella Segev of the
Department of Industrial
Engineering and Management;
Dr. Tzahit Simon-Tuval of
the Department of Health
Systems Management; Dr.
Michal Ziv-Ukelson of the
Department of Computer
Sciences and Dr. Amalia Ziv
from Interdisciplinary Studies
of the Faculty of Humanities
and Social Sciences.
I A Room of their Own
the student experience in that
city. Funded and built through
a partnership of the Jewish
Federation of Toronto, the
Rashi Foundation, Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev and
the Municipality of Eilat, the
project was made possible
with the generous support of
Brian and Avrona Schachter of
Toronto, Canada.
Avrona and Brian Schachter, Canada, at the Ben-Gurion Wall
A new dormitory building on
the University’s Eilat Campus
was dedicated during the
Board of Governors meeting.
The five-story building will
house 72 students and is
the first of a seven-building
complex planned to enhance
The ceremony took place in
the presence of the Schachter
family, members of the
Canadian Jewish community,
Mayor of Eilat Yitzhak Halevi,
Dean of Eilat Campus Prof.
Shaul Krakower, University
Deputy-Rector Prof. Yael
Edan and a delegation from
Brian Schachter praised
Toronto's commitment to Eilat
and noted that, "We believe in
the southernmost city in Israel
and its importance to the state,
and therefore develop projects
in the sphere of education,
health and renewable energy.”
Head of the Eilat Campus
Student Union Shirit Yaphet,
noted, “As a girl, I didn’t
even imagine the option of
an academic degree in my
birth city. It was clear to me I
would have to leave the city
in order to advance and study
at university. The opening of a
BGU campus in Eilat has given
me and other young people an
opportunity that a few years
ago seemed impossible.”
News BGU
I Investing in Nano in the Negev
Minister of Minority Affairs and former University President Prof. Avishay Braverman shakes the hand of Robert Equey, Switzerland, congratulating him and Alain
Kostenbaum, Switzerland, while their respective families look on
The Building for the Ilse Katz
Institute for Nanoscale Science
and Technology was dedicated
to the strains of a string trio
and gasps from the guests who
were seeing the magnificent
structure for the first time.
The five-story building is the
most complicated one that the
University has ever built. The
cutting-edge facility took years
to plan and build and is an
architectural masterpiece.
The asymmetrical structure
includes wide glass windows
and artistically structured
corridors. To provide an
environment appropriate for
nanoscale research, every
floor has been reinforced and
the labs completely protected
from the outside environment
through vibration isolation
techniques, electromagnetic
shielding and the maintenance
of constant temperatures.
“Many miracles will take place
here,” declared Minister of
Minority Affairs and former
president of BGU Prof.
Avishay Braverman, who
praised the “wonderful energy
and teamwork” of the builders,
researchers and donors who
worked together to realize this
“We are training some of
the very best, top-notch
professionals in this field,”
said University President
Rivka Carmi. “This Institute
produces cutting-edge basic
and applied research and
provides highly trained nanoscienitsts and engineers for the
Israeli economy. I salute all
the people who were involved
in the conception and
construction of this wonderful,
most complex facility.”
Just how complex was stressed
by Vice-President and Dean
for Research and Development
Prof. Moti Herskowitz who
noted that “designing and
building this facility has been
an enormously difficult task.”
“Nano is a four-letter word
that stirs everybody’s
imagination,” declared Prof.
Hanoch Gutfreund, a professor
of theoretical physics and
a member of the Academic
Committee of the Ilse Katz
Institute. “This is the scale
at which life processes take
place,” continued Gutfreund,
former President of the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem. “What
we are celebrating today is a
mature nanoscience institute
on a par with the best of its
kind anywhere.”
Adv. Robert Equey, who,
together with Adv. Alain
Köstenbaum of Switzerland
administers the Negev
Foundation, related that before
her death in 1999, Ilse Katz
instructed that “you have the
freedom to do what you like,
but it should be for the good
of science, the good of Israel
and the good of the Jewish
people.” Equey remarked
From vision to re
about the new building: “This
really is a vision that has
become reality.”
“Thank you for allowing us
to dedicate this very special,
state-of-the art lab in your
name,” President Carmi told
the Scheller family at the
dedication of the Roberta
and Ernest Scheller, Jr. Family
Surface Analysis Lab in the
Ilse Katz Institute building.
Ernest Scheller, Jr., U.S.A.
stressed that the donation
for the lab comes from a
family foundation. “I want
my grandchildren, Simon Leo
Peretz and Zari Ann Peretz,
to come here and see they
are part of this University.”
Scheller said that surface
analysis, which determines
the physical and chemical
properties of a surface, is
“the closest relevant scientific
discipline here to the products
that we manufacture in our
company Silberline.”
At the dedication of the Stan
and Ruth Elaine Flinkman
Microscopy Wing, President
Carmi noted that it would
certainly be one of the most
vibrant wings of the new
building. Carmi noted that
Ruth and her late husband
Stan Flinkman, U.S.A. were
one of the first supporters
of nanotechnology at the
University and thanked Ruth
for her vision and ongoing
support. A visibly moved
Ruth Flinkman said “I’m
overwhelmed by the beauty of
this building and the growth
of this university. My late
husband Stan would have
been thrilled to see what has
been accomplished.”
Unveiling the sign for the Roberta and Ernest Scheller, Jr. Family Surface Analysis Lab in the presence of Roberta and
Ernest Scheller, Jr. and Lisa Scheller Woodman and Wayne Woodman
Ruth Flinkman gets a helping hand from Ben Marandy (far left) and Prof. Ron Folman at the dedication of the Stan and
Ruth Elaine Flinkman Microscopy Wing
News BGU
I Garden Dedicated in Memory of Lillian Goodman
University President Prof.
Rivka Carmi dedicated a
garden in the memory of
Lillian Goodman of Chicago,
noting that “I knew Lillian for
only a few years, but for me
she was the embodiment of a
wonderful and loving person.”
Speaking directly to Larry
Goodman, Carmi called Lillian
“a straightforward person,
something honest that is hard
to find nowadays.”
The new garden is located
next to the Zlotowski Student
Center and includes a sloping
path, flowers and a number
of shade trees, one of which,
Carmi noted, was planted
specially for Lillian, “and will
last forever.” Larry Goodman
is a long-time member of
the University’s Board of
Governors and serves as
national chairman of the BeerSheva Foundation.
During the dedication
ceremony, Goodman related
that Lillian, his wife of 60
years, had accompanied him
on every trip to Beer-Sheva
since 1958 except two, for a
total of 60 trips. “We met when
I was in the service. I could
have never made it without
her. Lillian supported me in
every way throughout our life
together,” he said.
The Lillian and Larry
Goodman Foundations has
made a significant impact
on the quality of life in BeerSheva, supporting many
cultural, educational and
transit projects including the
Beer-Sheva North/University
train station, the Goodman
Theater and Acting School of
the Negev and the Goodman
Family Administration Building
Larry Goodman, USA, at the dedication of the Lillian Goodman Garden
for Engineering Sciences
at BGU. Also attending the
dedication was the former
mayor of Beer-Sheva Yaakov
I Goldstein-Goren International Prize Announced
Prof. Eliezer Schweid, author
of Criticism of Modern Secular
Culture (Hebrew, Magnes
Press, Jerusalem, 2008)
won the Goldstein-Goren
International Prize for the Most
Important Book in Jewish
Thought, 2007-2009. The
announcement was made at
the Opening Plenary Session
by Prof. Haim Kreisel from the
Goldstein-Goren Department
of Jewish Thought.
According to the prize
committee, the book
“brilliantly analyzes the moral,
spiritual, social and political
situation of the Jewish People
in the State of Israel in light of
the process of secularization
undergone by the Western
world in the last several
hundred years. It deals with
the current crises and suggests
solutions to mend the society
based on the view that Jewish
secularism should be anchored
in Jewish tradition and must
not alienate itself from the
normative aspects of the
Jewish religion.”
Schweid is Israel’s leading
philosopher and one of the
world’s leading researchers
in the area of Jewish thought.
He was born in Jerusalem in
1929, completed his doctorate
at the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem in 1963 and from
then until 2007 taught there
in the Department of Jewish
Thought. In 1994 he was
awarded the Israel Prize,
and received an honorary
doctorate from the Jewish
Theological Seminary in
1996 and from Hebrew
Union College in 2007. He
has published 40 books and
countless articles.
Schweid’s book was
chosen from among the 80
philosophical and scholarly
books submitted for
consideration for the prize,
which is awarded every three
years to the best recent book
in the field of Jewish thought
published either in English or
From vision to re
I New Laboratory to Facilitate Research in
Biological Implications of Radiation
The Jerry J. Cohen
Radiobiology Laboratory,
under the direction of
Prof. Brenda Laster of the
Department of Nuclear
Engineering, was dedicated
on the Tuviyahu Campus.
The Laboratory will facilitate
research on the biological
effects of exposure to lowdose ionizing radiation and its
application to improve cancer
The Department of Nuclear
Engineering is the only such
department in Israel. Speaking
at the ceremony, Laster
referred to the dedicated early
nuclear scientists working
there “who understood the
absolute need to bring the
young nation into world
class, cutting-edge nuclear
science. I find it admirable
that Jerry, fully aware of the
magnificence of the Marcus
Family Campus, wanted his
name here, in these historic
buildings, where the medical
and biological applications of
nuclear science might serve
the interests of the Israeli
Jerry Cohen, USA, unveils the sign outside the Jerry J. Cohen Radiobiology Laboratory with the help of son Steven Cohen
and Prof. Rivka Carmi
“I think this lab makes a firm
statement that here at BGU,
this discipline of nuclear
science is alive and kicking,”
declared President Prof. Rivka
Carmi. “I believe that the
research in this field will now
be much more significant,
and that we can use it for the
betterment of people’s lives.”
that since the use of nuclear
weapons on Japan in World
War II, much time and
money has been dedicated to
determining harmful effects of,
and protection again radiation,
since the assumption was
that all dose levels, no matter
how tiny, were harmful.
However, he noted, beginning
in the 1960s there have been
studies “which have shown
that low-dose radiation is
not only benign but can also
be considered beneficial in
In his remarks Cohen, himself
a nuclear engineer, explained
He explained that he first took
notice of Laster’s research
work in papers reporting
results of her studies showing
a pronounced retardation of
tumor growth in mice exposed
to low doses of radiation.
Cohen said he believes that
the new laboratory will
provide an opportunity to
make significant progress in
demonstrating the beneficial
uses of low-dose radiation.
Laster is an authority on lowdose ionizing radiation and
its associated immunological
effects that may have the
potential to offer protection
from the effects of radiological
accidents or terrorist nuclear
attacks. Her research also
includes studies in cancer
radiotherapy through
brachytherapy (injecting tiny
radioactive rods directly into
the tumor).
As one of the first scientists to
use intense electromagnetic
radiation beams emitted by
synchrotron light sources as
a biomedical research tool in
cancer radiotherapy, Laster
is an active member of the
SESAME Project (Synchrotronlight for Experimental Science
& Applications in the Middle
East) located in Jordan.
News BGU
I Honoring Outstanding Accomplishment
From l-r: Dr. Martine Rothblatt, H.E. Simone Veil, Prof. Peter Fritz, Minister of Minority Affairs Prof. Avishay Braverman, Abraham Ben David Ohayon, Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, and Toby Mower
Six outstanding individuals
were awarded honorary
doctoral degrees
acknowledging their impact
on the world, while former
University President and
Minister of Minority Affairs
M.K. Prof. Avishay Braverman
was honored with a Lifetime
Achievement Award.
Abraham Ben David Ohayon
was recognized as “a
successful businessman, scion
of a prestigious family, part
of the once-thriving Jewish
community of Morocco, who
went on to play an important
role in the Jewish community
in Geneva, Switzerland; in
acknowledgement of an
entrepreneur and developer
for whom environmental
protection and quality of
life are guiding principles;
in honor of the founder and
chairman of the Abraham Ben
David Ohayon Foundation
in his country, who devotes
his time and energy to
supporting education, welfare
and medical research as an
active expression of traditional
Jewish values instilled from
childhood; in appreciation
of a fervent Zionist who
encouraged the immigration
of the Jews of Morocco to the
State of Israel that is so dear to
his heart; and with profound
gratitude to a member of
the Ben-Gurion Society and
a member of the Board of
Governors of Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev for his
dedicated efforts to promote
scholarship and teaching at
the University by establishing
the Abraham Ben David
Ohayon Behavioral Sciences
Complex, and for his support
of researchers and students
who study the mysteries of
the human mind and offer aid
to those who suffer, for the
benefit of all humankind.”
Prof. Peter Fritz was honored
as “a brilliant scientist in the
fields of hydrology and hydrochemistry, whose contribution
to research and development
of the use of stable isotopes
in the study of environmental
issues in water sciences has
furnished his colleagues
with invaluable tools for the
analysis and understanding of
a wide range of phenomena;
in recognition of a prolific
scientist who has laid the
foundation for using oxygen,
nitrogen and carbon stable
isotopes in environmental
hydrology to protect water
quality; in acknowledgement
of an honored academic
who has taught generations
of students and researchers
and has held many key
positions, including scientific
advisor to the government
of Germany; with profound
esteem for a true friend of
the academic community
in Israel for his efforts to
strengthen research ties
between Germany and Israel
and the advancement of joint
projects on environmental
issues; and with gratitude for
his contribution to Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev as
a member and chairman of
the Scientific Advisory Board
of the Zuckerberg Institute
for Water Research, guiding
it towards new heights of
academic excellence as one of
the leading research institutes
in Israel and the world.”
H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos
received the degree in
acknowledgement of “a
distinguished statesman,
Minister of Foreign Affairs
and Cooperation of Spain,
From vision to re
who is leading his country
towards a bright future
by promoting security,
democracy and peace; with
esteem for an indefatigable
diplomat, recipient of many
honors, who has represented
his country throughout
the world with sincere
dedication; in recognition
of the first European Union
Special Representative
for the Middle East Peace
Process, who has worked
with true commitment for a
peaceful end to the conflict;
in profound appreciation of
a veritable friend of the State
of Israel, founder of the Casa
Sefarad-Israel – a unique
institution which promotes
the contribution of Jewish
culture and heritage to the
history of Spain, who has
invested his time and energy
in enabling Israel to join the
EU Framework Programme for
Research and Technological
Development and in initiating
the United Nations resolution
designating an International
Holocaust Remembrance Day;
and for his uncompromising
struggle in promoting mutual
understanding between
the State of Israel and the
European Union in general,
and Spain in particular,
and the strengthening of
cooperation for the benefit of
the next generation.”
Toby Mower was honored as
“a woman who has devoted
her life to helping and
supporting others in their
darkest hours; with gratitude
to a proud and involved
member of the Jewish
community of Baltimore,
who plays a central role in
many Zionist organizations
in the United States, acting
from a sense of commitment
and faith in humanity; in
recognition of her significant
contribution towards the fight
against alcoholism and other
substance abuses and the
rehabilitation of those who
have had the misfortune to
fall into the abyss of these
addictions; in honor of a
member of the Ben-Gurion
Society and a member of
the Board of Governors of
Ben-Gurion University of the
Negev, who together with
her husband established
a scholarship fund for
students and the Dr. Morton
and Toby Mower Chair in
Shock-Wave Studies; and
in acknowledgement of an
experienced registered nurse
who is actively contributing
towards fostering the next
generation of nurses and is
a dedicated partner in the
community-oriented ‘spirit
of Beer-Sheva,” working to
promote health, welfare and
respect for the individual.”
Dr. Martine Rothblatt was
recognized as “a brilliant
attorney who has played
a transformative role in
numerous spheres; with
esteem for a pioneering
entrepreneur who reimagined the role of satellite
communications and launched
a whole new industry and
who, as a visionary lawyer
and legal consultant, led
international efforts to obtain
endorsement for space-based
services and direct-to-person
satellite radio transmissions,
as well as for the International
Bar Association’s biopolitical
project to develop a draft
Universal Declaration on
the Human Genome and
Human Rights for the United
Nations; in appreciation of
a compassionate founder of
the biotechnology company
United Therapeutics
Corporation and director of
medical research foundations
who has contributed greatly
to the development of
innovative and life-saving
medical treatments and who
constantly poses new ethical
challenges to those involved
in the field worldwide; in
recognition of the author of
many books and articles, for
an active involvement as the
founder of the World Against
Racism Foundation and its
virtual museum; and in honor
of a heartfelt commitment
to promote equality and
tolerance between peoples
and to advancing scientific
research in the Negev.”
H.E. Simone Veil was honored
as “a highly accomplished
leader who, as Minister of
Health and Social Affairs in the
French Government, strove
to promote social justice and
democracy in her country;
in recognition of a Jew who
survived the horrors of the
Holocaust and rose to become
President of the European
Parliament and leader of the
Liberal Democrat and Reform
Party, who harnessed her
expertise and inexhaustible
energy in public service as
a Member of Parliament,
where she dedicated herself
to championing issues
pertaining to the environment,
public health and human
rights; in acknowledgement
of a resolute stateswoman,
a member of the prestigious
Académie française, who
filled many key positions in
her country and in the global
arena, including as Honorary
President of the Fondation
pour la Mémoire de la Shoah,
and who has received many
international honors for her
work; and with esteem for her
steadfastness in promoting
gender equality and human
respect and the revolutionary
legislation granting women the
right to decide on their own
bodies, among other laws,
which left an indelible mark
on the history of her country.”
Prof. Avishay Braverman was
acknowledged with a Lifetime
Achievement Award in
recognition of “a courageous
visionary whose steadfast
dedication and loyalty over
the years has invigorated
the University through its
unprecedented academic
and physical development,
enabling it to pursue research
to the highest pinnacle; in
deep appreciation of the
unstinting efforts of a true
friend and farsighted leader in
realizing the vision of Israel’s
founding father and first
prime minister David BenGurion, who believed in the
potential of the Negev, with
the University at its heart; and
in gratitude for his noteworthy
contribution to the country’s
future, imbuing its students
with an eagerness to seek
new horizons, further the
boundaries of knowledge and
create a new reality of peace
and prosperity.”
News BGU
I Prof. David Newman, New Dean of the Pinchas
Sapir Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
has been the chief editor of
The International Journal
of Geopolitics. He is known
internationally for his work
on borders – both in Israel,
as well as with academic
colleagues and governments
throughout the world. He
replaces Prof. Moshe Justman.
Prof. David Newman
Prof. David Newman has been
elected Dean of the Pinchas
Sapir Faculty of Humanities
and Social Sciences. Newman
is a political geographer
who, for the past ten years,
Newman was one of the
founders of the Department
of Politics and Government
at BGU, serving as the first
Department Chairperson
from 1997-2003, and was
then instrumental in the
establishment of the Centre for
the Study of European Politics
and Society, with the generous
support of the Ben-Gurion
University Foundation in the
UK. Newman has also been
involved in Track II political
discussions and negotiations
between Israelis, Palestinians
and other regional participants
for 20 years.
Newman grew up in the UK
and immigrated to Israel in
1982 following the completion
of his doctoral studies at the
University of Durham.
As a Leverhulme Professor at
Bristol University, England,
(2006-2008), Newman played
a leading role in the defense
of Israeli universities and the
academic community in the
face of a proposed academic
boycott. He continues to
engage in meetings with
heads of British universities,
aimed at dealing with
boycott related activities, as
well as developing stronger
research cooperation between
Israeli and British academic
I Prof. Miri Amit, New Dean of the University's
Eilat Campus
The new dean of BGU’s Eilat
Campus is mathematician and
mathematics educator Prof.
Miriam (Miri) Amit. Director
of the Center for Science and
Technology Education, Amit
will be assuming her new
position in August. She is
replacing Prof. Shaul Krakover
who is completing his tenure
Amit has developed a blend
of qualities that integrate
academic excellence with
community payback. She
created and launched the
“Kidumatica: the Youth
Mathematics Forum” project
more than a decade ago that
cultivates talented students
of diverse backgrounds
throughout the Negev.
Before coming to BGU,
Amit served for more than
ten years as the National
Superintendent of Mathematics
in Israel's Ministry of
Education, overseeing school
curricula, national testing and
mathematics education
She received her B.Sc. and
M.Sc. from the Technion – the
Israel Institute of Technology,
and her Ph.D. from the
Department of Mathematics
and Computer Sciences at
BGU. Amit’s research has been
published in highly acclaimed
journals and she has written
four books on math and
science teaching, and learning.
In her commitment to the
community and promotion
of academic excellence,
Amit has directed outreach
programs for the enhancement
of math and science teaching
in the Negev. She is the
recipient of numerous awards,
including the Guastella Award
for the advancement and
empowerment of math and
science education, the British
Council Award for Leaders in
Mathematics Education and
the International Organization
for Women in Mathematic
Education Award for research
on gender in mathematics.
Prof. Miriam (Miri) Amit
Regarding her new role,
Amit says “I believe it is a
mission of the highest national
importance to make the Eilat
Campus an international
center of academic
I Prof. Pedro Berliner, New Director of the Jacob
Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research
Prof. Pedro Berliner
Noted expert on dryland
agriculture Prof. Pedro
Berliner has been appointed
the new director of the Jacob
Blaustein Institutes for Desert
Research (BIDR) replacing
Prof. Avigad Vonshak.
Berliner, a member of the
Wyler Department of Dryland
Agriculture and incumbent
of the Benjamin Schwartz
Chair in Agricultural Biology,
was born in Buenos Aires,
Argentina. He earned his
undergraduate and graduate
degrees at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem. He
was the founding director
of the Wyler Department
of Dryland Agriculture and
is a member of the French
Associates Institute for
Agriculture and Biotechnology
of Drylands.
Since 2006 Berliner has
served as the Director of
the Blaustein Center for
Scientific Cooperation that
coordinates the post-doctoral
program of the Institutes
and scientific collaboration
with other institutions of
higher learning and research
centers worldwide. He has
been a member of the Israeli
delegation to the Conference
of the Parties of the UN
Convention for Combating
Desertification, served as
an advisor to the Israeli
Ministry of Science and the
Chief Scientist’s Office and
is a member of the Global
Network of Dryland Research
Berliner's main research
interest is the efficient use of
water in rain-fed agricultural
systems and planted forests
in drylands. He has studied
and developed the techniques
that make use of flood waters
for the irrigation of orchards
and forests planted in arid
zones, with a focus on the
evaporation of water from
the surface of bare soils and
between the rows of crops.
He is involved in the
development, testing and
modeling of agricultural
techniques that increase
the water use efficiency of
crops and planted forests. In
addition to BGU, he has held
a research post in South Africa
and was a visiting professor in
Spain, Japan and Mexico.
I Prof. Ayala Malach-Pines, New Dean of the
Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management
Prof. Ayala Malach-Pines has
been elected Dean of the
Guilford Glazer Faculty of
Business and Management.
An organizational and clinical
psychologist, Malach-Pines
received the President’s Award
for Excellence in Scientific
Research in 2008. She is
replacing Prof. Arie Reichel.
an internationally recognized
researchers on topics such
as stress and burnout in
multinational virtual teams;
psychological and cultural
aspects of entrepreneurship;
and psychological
determinants of career
choice in management and
Pines, who served for six years
as head of the Department
of Business Administration,
is a pioneer in the study of
burnout and couple burnout
in dual-earner families, and
She is the author of ten books
published in a number of
languages, including, Falling
in Love: Why We Choose the
Lovers We Choose, Burnout
Measure, Couple Burnout:
Causes and Cures, Romantic
Jealousy: Causes, Symptoms,
Cures, Experiencing Social
Psychology, co-authored
with Christina Maslach,
and, more recently: Career
Choice in Management
and Entrepreneurship and
Handbook of Research
on High-Technology
Entrepreneurs, co-edited with
Mustafa Özbilgin of the United
Prof. Ayala Malach-Pines
In 2008 she received
BGU’s President’s Prize
for Outstanding Scientific
Achievement marking the 60th
anniversary of the State of
News BGU
I University Marks 40th Anniversary with
Series of Public Events
The University’s Zlotowski Dance Troupe gave two public performances
A colorful six-kilometer march
through the city’s central streets
marked the kick-off of the
University’s 40th anniversary
celebrations in Beer-Sheva.
Nearly 2,000 University
employees, students and guests
participated in the event, which
celebrated the University's
involvement in the community
and its impact on the Negev.
Groups from Soroka University
Medical Center, Magen David
Adom and Maccabi Health
Services also participated.
Accompanied by jugglers and
clowns and a truck carrying a
DJ, the marchers were cheered
on by school children and
Beer-Sheva residents along the
route. University President Prof.
Rivka Carmi led the parade
together with Vice-Chairman
of the University’s Executive
Committee Aharon Yadlin.
Former University President
and Minister of Minority Affairs
Prof. Avishay Braverman
and Beer-Sheva’s Mayor
Ruvik Danilovich greeted
the marchers before they set
off. The day culminated with
lunch and entertainment at the
University Sports Center.
The parade was one of a
series of 40th anniversary
events, including a dinner
for University pensioners, an
evening of poetry and literature
organized by the Department
of Hebrew Literature and
two performances by the
University’s Zlotowski Dance
Celebrated author and BGU lecturer Etgar Keret (right) joined Prof. Nissim
Calderon and singer Rona Kenan for an evening dedicated to Israeli culture to
mark the University’s 40th anniversary
Scenes from the 40th anniversary March: top left, the award winning team from the Division of Finance; top right, the long view; bottom, the University’s senior
management leads the way, l-r, Dr. Michael Sherf, Director of Soroka University Medical Center, Aharon Yadlin, Prof. Rivka Carmi, Prof. Avishay Braverman,
Adv. Yair Green
News BGU
I American Immigrant Receives Spitzer Prize for
Unique Work at Parents-Children Center in Sderot
The Spitzer Prize for Excellence
and Innovation in the Field
of Social Welfare 2010 was
awarded to Antonina Rosa
Naveh for her innovative work
at the Parents-Children Center
in Sderot. Established with
the support of the Ministry of
Welfare and Social Services and
administered by the Gvanim
Association, the Center is an
integral part of the welfare
services in Sderot.
Presented by Dr. Orly Sarid,
the head of the award
committee and a member of
the Charlotte B. and Jack J.
Spitzer Department of Social
Work, the citation noted that
Naveh was being recognized,
“for creating novel programs
for families and children at risk
through an ongoing dialogue
with organizations in the local
and the wider community”
and “for adapting and tailoring
novel therapeutic programs for
families in Sderot, in light of
the ongoing security burden
on personal, familial and
community resources.”
Created nine years ago, the
Center for Children and Parents
at Risk in Sderot provides
specially tailored programs for
families and children at risk.
Naveh developed a personalized
approach that nurtures the
empowerment of parents
through engaging them as
partners in the process of the
This has proven to be critical
in Sderot, a town that has been
under missile fire for the past
nine years.
Born in Germany in 1947,
Naveh grew up in the United
States. In 1978 she immigrated
to Israel with her husband
and her daughter. Today she
is the mother of two children
and grandmother of two. She
graduated from SUNY Albany
with a B.A. in German Literature
and received her Masters-Degree
in Social Work from Boston
University in 1973.
In her remarks, Naveh noted that
Sderot is a “city of immigrants
who are still rooted in a much
more traditional culture,” and
she particularly thanked the
families that “keep us on our
toes.” She read from a poem
titled, “Once” that noted that
“Once upon a time people lived
and living was healing; today
people need healing to live.”
The Prize, donated by the late
Jack and Charlotte Spitzer of
the United States, is awarded
biannually as an expression of
the commitment of the Spitzer
family and the Department of
Social Work to the development
of social services in the Negev.
At the same ceremony, the
Frannie Ackerman Prize was
awarded to Lee Peikes. Created
in memory of Department
founder Frannie Ackerman, who
strongly believed that academic
Dr. Orly Sarid (left) presents the Spitzer Prize to Antonina Rosa Naveh
research had to be rooted in
community involvement, the
Prize is granted in recognition of
“the student whose field work
practicum was outstanding in its
Dean of the Hunter College
School of Social Work, Prof.
Jackie Mondros commended
the students for their decision
to study social work and noted
that Hunter College and BGU
share the important qualities that
make for great social workers: “a
commitment to excellence and
innovation, with the persistence
to never give up.”
Receive [email protected] Online
To subscribe, send an e–mail to
[email protected]
and it will arrive directly into your inbox.
Produced by the Department of
Publications and Media Relations
Editor: Faye Bittker
Text: Patricia Golan
Translation: Jacqueline Watson-Alloun
Photos: Dani Machlis, Oded Antman,
Carl Cox, Yotam From, Wolfgang MotzafiHaller, Shay Shmueli, Eugene Nestorovsky
Design: www.image2u.co.il
Further details of the research projects
described here may be obtained from:
[email protected], Tel: 972-8-646-1753
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
P.O.Box 653, Beer–Sheva 84105, Israel
www.bgu.ac.il, Vol.9 No.2