Enjoy unique
membership benefits

In return for fellows’ investment of time and energy, BGU invests in them: in their personal and philanthropic growth, their professional horizons, and their potential to make a measurable difference for Israel and the world.


International Connections
Fellows grow their circle of professional connections to include
business and community leaders from around the world.

Meaningful Friendships
Fellows meet like-minded people who share their core values,
commitments, and connection to the Jewish people and Israel.

Leadership Development
Fellows learn new ideas and best practices for becoming effective,
influential leaders in their professional and/or communal lives.

Access to BGU Leadership
Fellows participate in an exclusive evening event with BGU President
Prof. Daniel Chamovitz during their Israel seminar.

Unique Encounter with Israel
Fellows see an Israel that most others cannot, including tours of top
researchers’ laboratories, visits to innovative community programs,
and meetings with scholars, policymakers, and leaders changing the face of the Negev and Israel.

The Halutz Initiative
for Global Leadership
Cohort II
March 19-25, 2023

For questions about Halutz or to express interest in membership, contact the head of your local BGU association or email Jeff Kaye, Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development at BGU, at jeffkaye@bgu.ac.il.



Join an elite community
of leaders who are
learning to make a

Realize your capacity to help build a better world

The Halutz Initiative is an incubator for a new kind of pioneer: forward-thinking, entrepreneurial, socially minded supporters of Israel equipped with leadership qualities and a nuanced understanding of the most critical issues of the day. An immersive program led by scholars and scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) prepares a select group of promising individuals to turn their passions into practical solutions – for BGU, the Negev, Israel and the world.

The Halutz Initiative accepts exceptional individuals (in the age
range of around 30-50) who are committed to Israel and care deeply about social change. They are marked by intellectual curiosity and demonstrated leadership abilities, and are motivated to take part in a demanding yet rewarding one-year educational experience.

Fellows participate in a fully funded, week-long seminar held in
Israel in March of each year. Designed to deepen fellows’ knowledge of the most pressing problems facing Israel and the world, the seminar also exposes them to the innovative solutions developed at BGU. In addition, fellows join in three virtual group meetings: two pre-seminar sessions in November and January and one post-seminar
session in May.

Fellows share their knowledge of key issues and potential solutions
with bold thinkers, savvy investors, and business and community
leaders in their home countries. In this way, they build networks of
support for BGU research and activities and help advance a better
Israel and world.

The Halutz Initiative covers all fellows’ travel and related program
costs. Fellows should understand and be comfortable with the
expectations from them, recognizing that the program is both a
financial and time-intensive investment in them. They will not be
asked to commit to a philanthropic gift, but will be comfortable
with the expectation that they will repay this investment in some
manner in the future.

Suitable candidates should express their interest in applying to
the program to their BGU association chairperson or president.
He or she will submit a nomination proposal, together with an
applicant questionnaire and letter of recommendation, to BGU’s
Global Development Committee for review. Applicants are
interviewed between June-July, and letters of acceptance mailed
in September of each year.

Participate in a transformative
Israel experience

In keeping with David Ben-Gurion’s axiom, “Whoever seeks wisdom, south shall he go,” The Halutz Initiative Seminar turns BGU and the Negev into a platform for understanding Israel’s and the world’s most pressing problems – and their extraordinary potential.

Day 1 / Sunday, March 19, 2023
Arrival in Israel and welcome dinner at the home of Jeff Kaye,
Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development at
BGU, in the Jerusalem hills.

Day 2 / Monday, March 20, 2023
Meetings in Jerusalem with policymakers, community leaders,
and change agents for an overview of Israel’s most pressing
security, economic, social, and environmental challenges.

Days 3-5 / Tuesday-Thursday, March 21-23, 2023 Sessions at BGU’s Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva with leading researchers from the Faculties of Engineering, Health, Natural Sciences, and the Social Sciences and Humanities; the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology; the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev; the
Yazamut 360° center for entrepreneurship and innovation; the National Autism Research Center of Israel; and more.
There will also be sessions at Sde Boker’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, home to the world’s leading institute for water research and leading institutes for research in drylands agriculture and energy, as well as the School of Sustainability and Climate Change and the Ben-Gurion
Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism and
the Ben-Gurion Archives. There will be opportunities to meet
individually with BGU faculty working in specific areas of
interest. Finally, tours of programs in partnership with and for the
benefit of the Negev’s diverse communities.

Day 6 / Friday, March 24, 2023
A day at Sde Boker’s Isrotel Kedma, a desert-inspired luxury
hotel in the traditional Nabatean style. A chance for an
afternoon swim and spa, followed by Shabbat dinner and
discussions about issues explored in the seminar.

Day 7 / Saturday, March 25, 2023
Optional desert activities and walk to David Ben-Gurion’s
desert home. Also, a concluding session on translating
learning into action in fellows’ home countries.

Learn more about engagement
with Israel’s pioneering university

For more information about BGU, visit our website at
For questions about Halutz or to express interest in membership,
contact the head of your local BGU association or email Jeff Kaye,
Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development at BGU,
at jeffkaye@bgu.ac.il.

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