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Texas Donors Announce Endowment to Support Zin Fellows

Texas Donors Announce Endowment to Support Zin Fellows

May 29, 2015

Leadership, Awards & Events, Press Releases

Houston community leaders and longtime supporters of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU), Arline and Ben Guefen, announced a $200,000 endowment commitment and matching gift program in support of the Greater Texas Region’s participation in AABGU’s Zin Fellows Leadership Program.

The Zin Fellows is an innovative two-year program designed to create a community of “next generation leaders” committed to furthering David Ben-Gurion’s vision for Israel’s Negev region. Zin Fellows receive in-depth immersion into issues relevant to the Negev and its development. The curriculum is led by two faculty members from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). Participants from the Greater Texas Region will be called Arline and Ben Guefen Zin Fellows.

Arline and Ben Guefen-low res“It’s very important to us to help create leaders that will continue our passionate work for BGU and the State of Israel,” the Guefens explain. “We invite others to consider a gift to the Greater Texas Region’s Zin Program that we will match to ensure the Greater Texas Region’s and the University’s future.”

Ben, a retired businessman and entrepreneur, has played a major leadership role in AABGU’s Greater Texas Region along with Arline since 1997. In May 2009, Ben was elected to AABGU’s national board, where he currently serves as secretary. In 2011 he was elected to the University’s board of governors. Ben was awarded AABGU’s David Ben-Gurion Leadership Award in 2004.

Arline’s commitment and passion for Ben-Gurion University has played a most important role in the development of this region. She has been chair of its annual gala, mentor and most recently a co-chair of the region for the past two years. Also, her passion for helping others and especially children has led her to work with and assist children with cerebral palsy.

The Guefens are proud members of Ben-Gurion University’s Negev and Living Legacy Societies. For the past several years, they have helped spearhead development of the Living Legacy Society, an extraordinary group of individuals who have made a legacy or planned gift on behalf of Ben-Gurion University during their lifetimes.

AABGU’s Regional Director Deborah Bergeron remarks, “Arline and Ben are continuing their commitment to our local community and worldwide Jewry. By supporting the Zin Fellows program, they are creating a legacy of leaders who are knowledgeable and insightful and will be able to assist their communities and Israel with the issues that lay ahead.”

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. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications