Mar. 24, 2014

Pictured above: Jusidman Family members with (from right to left) Prof. Rivka Carmi, Itzik Turgeman, Amira Haim and Ruvik Danilovich.

The cornerstone laying ceremony for the NIS 30 million Jusidman Science Center for Youth was held Sunday in the presence of Daniel Jusidman (after whose family the center will be named) of Mexico and his family, Rashi Foundation Director-General Itzik Turgeman, BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich and Ministry of Education Southern District head Amira Haim. 

The center will be completed in a year and a half and was made possible through the joint initiative of the Rashi Foundation, the Education Ministry and Beer-Sheva Municipality who believe that creating a science center will catalyze the development of the South. The initiative took shape thanks to the important contribution of the Daniel Foundation and BGU.  

The building will be erected next to the Kreitman Building and the Aliya Gate on the Marcus Family Campus and will include engineering and life sciences laboratories, classrooms, an auditorium and a special classroom for experiments on the roof of the building. This project joins the continuing development of science and technology education in Beer-Sheva to offer pupils a connection to academia in general and science and technology in particular and to offer access to information and advanced equipment alongside professional instruction. 

BGU President Rivka Carmi noted in her address that building the center is an expression of the University’s long-term commitment and contribution to improving science education, development of excellence among youth and making higher education accessible to all of the socio-economic levels of the population of the South. The center which will be built in the center of the campus will enjoy the leading academic infrastructure in the country – researchers and students alike – and without a doubt will be a national model for academic involvement in bequeathing science in general and developing the next generation of Israeli scientists in particular. 

Rashi Director-General Itsik Turgeman commented, “Creating the Jusidman Science Center for Youth in the South reflects the importance the foundation ascribes to developing scientific and technological excellence amongst youth in Beer-Sheva, the Negev and all across Israel. This structure is another link in the chain of activities that the Foundation has undertaken to develop science including dedicating a new sciences building at Tel-Hai College last week, and in the South – the creation of the Carasso Science Park, running the Ilan Ramon Center and additional activities of MadaDarom for children and youth of all ages.” 

The mayor added, “This is a true investment in the human capital of the Negev – it is the right investment and secures the future of Israel.” Danilovich thanked all of the partners and especially the Rashi Foundation for their initiative. 

Amira Haim of the Education Ministry added her congratulations and noted that the center would provide equal opportunities for Negev youth and would be the basis of a new community of excellent teachers. 

Jusidman concluded by saying that their focus has become educational projects and of all of the nine projects in which they are involved philanthropically in Israel, this is the one they are most excited about.

“It is the most complex and requires the most coordination of various elements. It is brick and mortar but we also found great people to run it. It is a great concept and we have the best partners,” he declared.