Avishay Braverman walks
from the construction site of the
new Business Management School.
offered creative leadership, he says.
Meanwhile, he took a position at the World Bank
in Washington, D.C. As a senior economist and divi-
sion chief, Braverman worked on four continents. He
focused on economic development and social justice.
Eventually, he was responsible for strategies affecting
the lending of $4 billion annually.
In 1990, Braverman got the opportunity he was
waiting for — the presidency of Ben-Gurion
University, with one campus in Beersheva and
another, 25 miles south, in Sde Boker. The latter is
the home of David Ben-Gurion, who died in 1973.
Only a person with great imagination could recog-
nize the potential of becoming president of a univer-
sity in the middle of the desert, and facing deep
Today, however, the university has a dizzying
number of new programs, institutes and world-class
"The influence of BGU is felt around the world,"
says former Detroiter Seth Moskowitz, executive vice
president of the American Associates of Ben-Gurion
University in New York City, with 10 offices around
the United States.
The "Beersheva model," which shows how to turn
a rural area into a thriving, university-centered one,
already interests other countries, he says, as does
BGU's successful math outreach program that uses
students and resources of the university in the poor-
er surrounding community.
Moskowitz adds that Professor Miri Amit, who set
up BGU's after-school math clinics for local com-
munity children, is now in New York City to train
teachers in Harlem.
When asked what he's most proud of as president,
Braverman speaks of two events that took place on •
campus last spring. Emotionally, he describes the
way the student community came together after the
death of one of its students.
"One of our best engineering students was killed
serving in the military reserves in Jenin in April,"
says Braverman. "So gentle, a leader — and he
believed we should withdraw from the territories. All
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