The Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering was dedicated on Sunday in the presence of senior University administration, faculty, students and members of the Goldstein-Goren family, including: Alexander M. Goren, President of the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University; Viviana Goren Khazzam, President of the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation; Micaela Goren Monti; James Goren, and representatives of the younger generations.
Speaking at the ceremony, University President Prof. Rivka Carmi noted that members of the Goldstein-Goren family have been visionary benefactors of the University, generously enabling education and research through the donation of: the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Humanities Building; the Goldstein-Goren Department and International Center of Jewish Thought; the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Scholarship Endowment Fund; and now the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering.
“Your family has been part of the BGU family almost since its creation,” she said. “Your father's commitment to Israel and the Negev was unwavering. It has been my privilege to know you all and see how you are memorializing your parents’ legacy with the naming of this department.” “You’ve made a wonderful investment in a young and promising department that you can rely on to grow and deliver. I’m sure you’ll be proud,” she added.
Rector Prof. Zvi Hacohen noted that the Goldstein-Goren family, “recognized us when we were nothing. There are not enough words to express our thanks for recognizing our potential.” The Goldstein-Gorens were among the first donors to BGU in the early 70s. Alexander Goren explained how the department was the perfect way to honor both of his parents’ personalities. “My father would have liked that it is a department of young Jewish scientists and a platform for international prominence. My mother would have liked that it is not too Jewish and it is forward-looking,” he said.
The Department Chair Prof. Razi Vagu and the former chair Prof. Smadar Cohen lauded the Department's exceptional researchers and students. "We are the youngest such department in Israel," explained Cohen, "but already many of our graduates are already holding faculty positions at other universities." Cohen, whose algae-biomaterial is already in clinical trials in the United States for therapeutic treatment of cardiac patients, added, “This is really one of the new frontiers of science.”
At the ceremony, members of the family received scrolls that read: "May this Department provide a fitting environment for students, teachers and researchers as they seek to extend the boundaries of knowledge, giving impetus to progress in the cutting-edge field of biotechnology engineering, thereby improving the human condition and contributing to enhanced quality of life."
Above: The dedication ceremony at Ben-Gurion University on Sunday with members of the Goldstein-Goren family and senior administration.