AABGU Supports University Students Impacted by War
October 28, 2014
NEW YORK, NY, October 28, 2014 — In response to an urgent request from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s president, American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) raised $1 million for a “Wartime Assistance for Students” fund to help those who served in Operation Protective Edge, volunteered in the community or were otherwise affected by the war.
During Operation Protective Edge this summer, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) was forced to close its campus to students for more than 50 days due to sustained missile attacks from Gaza. As many as 2,000 students, faculty and staff were deployed both in and around the Gaza Strip. Exams were canceled and many students lost the opportunity to earn needed income over the summer.
These students would have faced unanticipated financial need, creating additional stress and strain on themselves and their war weary families. AABGU has transferred $1million to BGU and the fund is now providing special scholarship assistance as the fall semester begins this week.
“BGU students serve in combat units in larger numbers than any other Israeli university,” explains Lloyd Goldman, president of AABGU. “We needed to assure these students that the American Associates has their backs and that they can focus on their studies without concern over lost income sacrificed in the service of their country.”
Typical of the community spirit at BGU, hundreds of students stayed in Beer-Sheva — facing constant sirens and missile threats — to volunteer, providing support and assistance to people in need throughout the city and the surrounding communities. The University also set up a special day care program on campus to provide extra support for faculty and staff without other recourse.
While BGU remained open to administrators, researchers and faculty, their work was compromised by the round-the-clock sirens and movement back and forth to the shelters, as well as by their unrelenting concerns about siblings, parents and friends called to active duty.
“We are honored to provide the much needed scholarship funds to these students and are grateful for the support of our friends throughout the United States who made it possible,” says AABGU’s executive vice president, Doron Krakow.
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. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) celebrates its 50th birthday this year, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond.
A. Lavin Communications