May. 14, 2015


Above: BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi with Shlomo Yanai, Vice Chairman of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation

The Rothschild Cube – Center for Effective Social Action celebrated its gala opening on Wednesday evening at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The Rothschild Cube, which houses a first-of-its-kind social simulator, is unique in Israel and the world. A joint initiative of BGU and the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, the center was inaugurated in the presence of Shlomo Yanai, Vice Chairman of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation during the 45th Board of Governors Meeting. 

“The Rothschild Cube increases the effectiveness of social initiatives by means of training, mentorship and the development of knowledge, using a new social simulator featuring innovative technologies,” explained Edna Batan, the director of the program. 

“This isn't the first in Israel, this is the first in the world. Non-profits face a lot of challenges – usually unsuccessfully – so they need to improve effectiveness. The Rothschild Cube is designed to help face this challenge. The integrated system uses the most advanced simulators and the most simple of methods – actors role-playing. The combination of hi-tech and low-tech will help us help others,” said Dr. Hagai Katz, the center’s academic consultant, at the ceremony. 

“I am personally invested in the event since both my son and daughter are graduates,” Yanai remarked.  

“What is the secret of the family's success? Innovation and entrepreneurship combined with effective implementation - the same rationale behind this new social simulator. They helped build this nation through the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA). Now, the endowment is dedicated to higher education and BGU is a strategic pillar in a more social future,” he declared. 

“Groups are already knocking on our door to visit this unique, one-of-a-kind facility. We have built a state-of-the-art infrastructure and we will continue to study how to do it effectively and monitor our impact,” said BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi.  

“The Rothschild Cube seeks to enhance social-civil action in Israeli society by offering various models of training that introduce participants to the field of social entrepreneurship, providing them with the tools and skills necessary based on case-study techniques, while connecting academic research to practical fieldwork,” Batan continued. “We bring groups of all ages and expose them to a series of dilemmas that raise a variety of social issues.” 

Eleven curricula were created specifically for the simulator in consultation with leading experts. The Rothschild Cube acts as an incubator of social action and guides social entrepreneurs from the initial planning stages to the implementation of the concept, providing managerial and financial tools, up-to-date knowledge, professional mentorship and personal empowerment. 

The program targets social leaders and entrepreneurs, agents of change, decision makers and activists from the business and nonprofit sectors. 

The Rothschild Cube is under the auspices of the University’s Department of Community Action.  

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