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Ben-Gurion University Creates Garden in Memory of Lillian Goodman

Ben-Gurion University Creates Garden in Memory of Lillian Goodman

August 3, 2008

Negev Development & Community Programs, Social Sciences & Humanities

Ben-Gurion University has created a public garden in memory of Lillian Goodman who passed away last November.

To be known as the Lillian Goodman Garden, the venue encompasses 3,800 square feet and features trees and flowers, walking paths, and benches. Since the state’s creation, Lillian and Larry Goodman, of Highland Park, have been staunch supporters of Israel and share Ben-Gurion’s vision of revitalizing the Negev.

On May 11, the garden was dedicated in a ceremony that took place during the 40th Board of Governors meeting at the university.

“The garden was created as a gesture on the part of BGU President Rivka Carmi as a token of love, respect and friendship for Lillian and Larry who have been such devoted supporters of not only Ben-Gurion University, but of the entire community of Beer-Sheva,” said Judy Rosen, director of Great Lakes Region American Associates of BGU.

Close to 100 friends and associates of the Goodmans attended the dedication ceremony, during which a plaque memorializing Lillian was unveiled.

Married for more than 60 years, the Goodmans made over 60 trips to Israel since 1958. Through the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations, established in 1994, the couple has endowed numerous cultural, educational and transportation projects in the city. These include the Beer-Sheva North Ben-Gurion University Train Station, the L & L Goodman Theater and Acting School of the Negev, and numerous play parks and dance studios in the region.

The Goodmans have been longtime supporters of the Chicago-area Jewish community, including the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. In May of 2008, the Lillian and Larry Goodman Conference Center, at the headquarters of JUF/JF, was dedicated in their honor. The conference center is the central meeting place for the JUF/JF meetings, including the board of directors.

Additionally, the Goodman Foundation sponsors the Modern Israel History Studies Program for some two dozen Jewish overnight camps through the JCC Association, a program first launched at JCC Camp Chi.

The garden in Lillian’s memory is centrally located on the Marcus Family Campus. Hundreds of students walk through the garden daily, enjoying the shade its trees provide—a wonderful tribute to a woman dedicated to making the world a better and more beautiful place.