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Amb. Ronald S. Lauder Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Amb. Ronald S. Lauder Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

November 24, 2009

Press Releases

BEER-SHEVA, November 23, 2009 – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev awarded American Jewish leader and philanthropist Hon. Ronald S. Lauder an honorary doctoral degree today. The event was held as part of the University’s annual Ben-Gurion Day commemorations that mark the passing of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.


At the same ceremony, honorary doctorates were presented to four Israelis: physicist Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund; dancer and choreographer Rina Schenfeld; social activist Prof. Alice Shalvi; and journalist Haim Yavin.


The Ben-Gurion Negev Prize was presented to the head of palliative care in the Negev, Dr. Yoram Singer of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences.


University President Prof. Rivka Carmi praised the honorees as “outstanding examples of people, who in their accomplishments and achievements symbolize the best of the State of Israel.”


A former U.S. ambassador to Austria, Lauder maintains a deep commitment to his heritage within a mosaic of charitable and professional endeavors reaching around the world. He established the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, a philanthropic organization that is dedicated to rebuilding Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe.

The foundation also supports student exchange programs between New York and various capitals in Central and Eastern Europe.


Lauder is former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, former president and now chairman of the Jewish National Fund, chairman of the International Public Committee of the World Jewish Restitution Organization and president of the World Jewish Congress. 


He also serves as chairman of the Jewish Heritage Council; director of the International Board of Governors of the International Society for Yad Vashem; member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and member of the board of directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

He is also a member of the board of directors of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; member of the board of trustees of the Anti-Defamation League; member of the board of Trustees of The Abraham Fund; chairman of the board of Trustees of the Sakharov Archives at Brandeis University and member of the International Board of Governors of the Tel Aviv Museum.

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.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications
516-944-4486
alc@alavin.com