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Discover our recently published local magazine from Winnipeg featuring articles about BGU and Winnipeg’s recent Luncheon Gala Honouring Marjorie & Morley Blankstein. Find out more...

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Wartime Assistance for Students Fund

BGU establishes $1 Million Special Wartime Assistance Scholarship Fund
BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi Operation Protective Edge has entered its fourth week and as many as 1,000 students and faculty of BGU have been called up for IDF reserve duty. The extended call to combat in Operation Protective Edge has left students, many of whom are members of elite combat and engineering units, unable to finish the spring semester or work over the summer.

The University has created a $1 million campaign to assist students in the reserves, many of whom have families, to minimize the economic impact of their service on their studies and enable them to wrap up the spring semester without financial concerns.

Students from BGU are at a distinct disadvantage compared to other students in Israel due to the University’s cancellation of all academic activities during the Operation. Whereas most reserve soldiers will have to simply “catch up” to students who didn’t serve, at BGU they will be expected to return to the classroom with their classmates as if they had not just spent at least one month on active duty. For BGU students, the challenges will be greater and the limits on their time more pronounced.

The Special Wartime Assistance Scholarship Fund will enhance the extensive services already available to returning students and aid those who might have trouble covering tuition and expenses.

“I am determined that not a single one of our students will drop out of their studies because of this conflict,” declared BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi.

Carmi has turned to friends of BGU all over the world at this difficult time to contribute to the “Special Wartime Assistance Scholarship Fund.”
BGU Student Reservists And Emergency Volunteers Need Your Help!
This letter was sent out in July to our supporters.

As you are probably aware, Ben-Gurion University has been closed to students and will remain closed indefinitely. This is the time of year when spring semester exams are normally scheduled, so while there are generally few classes taking place, almost all of our students have unfinished academic obligations.

The University remains open to administration and faculty, though their work is compromised not only by the periodic sirens and movement back and forth to the shelters, but also by their unrelenting concerns about children, siblings, fathers and friends who have been called to active duty - or who are already on active duty through their compulsory service. They also carry the burden of their responsibilities for younger children, aging parents, the sick and the infirm, who all require special attention throughout the crisis.

As in each such case, our students are volunteering in huge numbers to provide support and assistance to those in need throughout Beer-Sheva and the surrounding communities that have been affected. In addition the University is preparing to set up a special daycare program on campus to provide extra support and assistance to those faculty and staff without better recourse.

For the first time, rockets fell in Eilat where we have a campus and sirens have also been heard in Sede Boqer. While they have been few and far between thus far, they have nonetheless drawn another previously safe haven into the fray. With 40,000-60,000 reservists having already been called to active duty, and others waiting for a possible emergency call-up (TSAV SHMONEH) many of our students are now with their units on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip. With BGU students serving in combat units in larger numbers than those of any of Israel's universities, we are once again bearing a significant share of the load. We can and should be most proud.

The implications of all this include the inability of many of our students to work and earn income critical to their studies and to their lives; the uncertainty of the exam schedule will create even more difficulty for those who need to work.

President Rivka Carmi has asked that we provide $1,000,000 in special assistance for these students, and for that I ask for your help. We are also ramping up our efforts to secure a donor for the desperately needed Rager Avenue Security Gate (at a cost of $1.6M US). This gate is the main vehicular entrance to campus and it is woefully inadequate as a means of shelter to those who are working on campus and those passing through in the event of a Tzeva Adom (alert for incoming rockets). Once again a concrete sewer pipe has been positioned at the gate to provide them with immediate refuge. A state-of-the-art, secure entryway is critical and we can no longer afford to wait to get it built. If you or someone you know has an interest in helping us with the gate, please let me know as soon as possible.

There's also a desperate need for 3D echocardiogram equipment to assess wounded soldiers at Soroka Hospital ($300,000 each).

I will keep you posted regarding further developments. In the meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with our extended BGU family and with all the people of Israel.


BGU Students Stay in Beer-Sheva to Volunteer

Children playing at an impromptu day camp set up by student volunteers for the children of the hospital workers in Beer-Sheva (Photo Ben Sales) After Israel’s latest round of fighting with Hamas in Gaza broke out last week, Pney-Gil joined hundreds of BGU student volunteers who stayed in the conflict zone past the end of the school year to assist city residents in need. The volunteers have helped out in hospitals, delivered supplies to the homebound elderly and disabled, and assisted with post-trauma care. Read more...

BGU Students Reflect on the War

BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi with student volunteers and children in an ad-hock day camp in a shelter at BGU As Operation Protective Edge continues in Israel, Hillel Israel gathered stories of several students impacted by the conflict. Read more...

Students Bolster the Home Front

Hundreds of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev students have been inspired by the situation to lend a helping hand and a smiling face to the residents of Beer-Sheva and the reserve soldiers called up to the Gaza border. Hundreds of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev students have been inspired by the situation to lend a helping hand and a smiling face to the residents of Beer-Sheva and the reserve soldiers called up to the Gaza border. Read more...

BGU students and faculty answer call to volunteer

BGU students and faculty answer call to volunteer Students from the Department of Emergency Medicine at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, future paramedics, have been volunteering at the Beer-Sheva Magen David Adom station since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. Dr. Oren Wacht, who organized the volunteers, has in the meantime been called up for reserve duty. Read more...

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