AABGU is creating a community of leaders committed to fulfilling David Ben-Gurion’s vision for Israel’s Negev region.

The AABGU Zin Fellows Leadership Program is an in-depth immersion into the issues involved in the continuing development of the Negev – the region’s history, topography, geography, demography, sustainability, and its unique place in the unfolding development of the State of Israel.

Each cohort consists of 15 to 20 outstanding current and future community leaders from across the United States who are between 35 and 50 years old and interested in a new and unique opportunity to be engaged in the future of Israel through their connection to the Negev region.

The program is comprised of two two-day seminars in the U.S. and one week-long seminar in the Negev to see and learn firsthand. The core teachers are BGU faculty members from the humanities and sciences.

Upon completion of the two-year program, each Zin fellow will have gained unique insight into the challenges that lie ahead and will have the opportunity to play a part in helping to overcome them.

See below for information about eligibility, applications, cost, and program dates.

Download the full program brochure to learn more about the program, including the curriculum and faculty members.

Eligibility and Applications

The men and women selected to participate as Zin fellows have demonstrated leadership abilities in their personal, professional and/or community lives. They are committed to Israel and its future, and are dedicated to the pursuit of a meaningful educational experience through the program.

Participation in the program is by application only. Nominations are coordinated through the AABGU regional offices.


The program is fully funded by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev through the generosity of several sponsors. All domestic and international travel, lodging, meals, and program expenses are covered. The only cost to participants is a $5,000 contribution to a class gift at the conclusion of the two-year program.

Cohort IV Program Dates

Summer 2017 Nomination and Application Process
Fall 2017 Zin Fellows Cohort IV Announced
January 2018 Orientation Conference Call
March 19 to 21, 2018 First Gathering (Florida)
November 12 to 14, 2018 Second Gathering (New Jersey)
March 23 to 28, 2019 Seminar in Israel

For more information, contact your AABGU regional office.