BGU to Bestow Honorary Doctorates and the BG Negev Award on Ben-Gurion Day

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will bestow honorary doctorates and the Ben-Gurion Negev Award on eight remarkable individuals on Ben-Gurion Day. Commemorating the passing of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, Ben-Gurion Day will be marked on November 23 this year.

The seven individuals are: Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, jurisprudence scholar Prof. Ruth Gavison, computer scientist Prof. Shafi Goldwasser, Communication Studies founder Prof. Elihu Katz, artist Sigalit Landau, pianist Menahem Pressler, and architect Moshe Safdie. Prof. Amos Richmond will receive the Ben-Gurion Negev Award.


This year, the University will also bestow the President's Award for the first time. The inaugural recipients will be Eliezer Carmel and Devorah Tomer.


Ruvik Danilovich Ruvik.jpg

is the eighth mayor of Beer-Sheva. Born and raised in Beer-Sheva, he began his career at Ben-Gurion University's student union and founded the “Horizon" political group on campus. He was appointed a deputy mayor at just 27 and went on to become the youngest mayor elected in the city's history at 37. Danilovich is a remarkably  energetic and forward-thinking mayor who has spearheaded the process of turning Beer-Sheva from a dusty backwater to a modern metropolis. He is a strong proponent of equality between men and women. His party list is half men and half women and a majority of municipal corporations are directed by women.

Photo Credit: Michel Amzaleg 


Prof. Ruth Gavison Ruth.JPG

is an eminent legal scholar and activist. She is the Haim H. Cohn Professor of Human Rights (Emerita) at Hebrew University. She was awarded the Israel Prize in Law in 2010 and was admitted to the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities in 2015. She is the founder of Metzilah, the Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought. She is also a co-founder of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).


Photo Credit: The Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities



Prof. Shafi Goldwasser Shafi.jpg

is the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She has won the A.M. Turing Award, the Gödel Prize, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive science. She is one of the pioneers of complexity-based cryptography and the incoming director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley.


Photo Credit: Jason Dorfman



Prof. Elihu Katz Elihu.jpg

is the founder of communication studies in Israel, the founding director of Israeli Television and the founder of the Institute of Communications at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is a professor emeritus. He is an Israel Prize laureate and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy


Sigalit LandauSigalit.jpg

is a globally recognized artist in a variety of mediums such as sculpture, painting, video and performance. Her work has been exhibited at international institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and she represented Israel at the Venice International Art Biennial twice. She is a knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters.

Her art touches on personal, historical, political and ecological subjects such as homelessness, banishment, the relationships between East and West, victim and victimizer, and decay and growth.

Photo Credit: Yotam Frum  



Menahem Pressler Elihu.jpg

is a world-renowned pianist. He is a founder of the Beaux Art Trio and has played on the world's most prestigious stages. He has been nominated for six Grammys, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded the German Cross of Merit and the rank of Commander in the French Order of Arts and Letters. Hungarian composer György Kurtág wrote three solo piano works especially for him. Pressler teachesat Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where he is Distinguished Professor of Music and the Charles Webb Chair.

Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve



Moshe Safdie Moshe.jpg

is a preeminent architect, urban planner, educator, theorist and author. His work can be found around the world, from the new terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center at Yad Vashem, Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, The United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, to name just a few.


Photo Credit: Stephen Kelly


Ben-Gurion Negev Award

Prof. Amos Richmond Amos.jpg

is a founder of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the founder and former director of the Institute for Desert Research at Sede Boqer which became the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. He also established the Algal Biotechnology Research Laboratory and was the first dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. He is a recipient of the Ben-Gurion Prize.



Photo Credit: Yonatan Bloom



President's Award 

Eliezer Carmel Eliezer.jpg

is the former head of Open Market Operations at the Bank of Israel and the former CEO of Nesuah Investment House. He is the external director and chairman of the investment committee for Ayalim mutual funds management and has been an external financial consultant to the Port Authority, the Postal Authority, the IDF Savings Fund, and others. He is a longtime member of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Board of Governors Executive Committee.

Devorah Tomer Devorah.jpg

is a former colonel in the IDF. She served in the Hagana from 1946-1948 and then served in the IDF and the Ministry of Defense from 1950-1975. She is also a former deputy director-general of Bank Hapoalim. She is a longtime member of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Board of Governors Executive Committee.