Ah Shod Der Gelt: Eric Ross Estate Donates $17.4 million to American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


eric-rossAmerican Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) recently received a $17.4 million bequest from the estate of businessman and philanthropist Eric Ross of South Orange, New Jersey and West Palm Beach, Florida.

In recent years, Ross and his late wife Lore made frequent gifts to BGU. They supported numerous Ben-Gurion University programs, including scholarships for students in need, capital projects, as well as community service programs for disadvantaged residents of the Negev region. An outgrowth of their extraordinary personal relationship with BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, M.D., they also made numerous contributions to the President’s Discretionary Fund.

Ross rose from humble beginnings, fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938 with only $10 in his pocket and arrived in New York on what is now infamously known as Kristallnacht. He started what became an extremely successful business, manufacturing plastics and vinyl products for the flooring industry, as well as compounds for the medical industry. Ross later sold it and began his second career as a philanthropist. He gave away much of his fortune in his lifetime, determined to contribute to the greater Jewish community.

Over the course of his life, Ross donated approximately $250 million. Education became his philanthropic passion. When Ross was awarded a prestigious honorary doctoral degree from BGU in June 2010, he said, “What does this honorary doctorate mean to me? Well, considering that I never went to college and was forced out of school in 1933 at the age of 14, and have now received the University’s highest honor, I have not yet digested it.”

“Eric Ross was a quintessential American Jewish success story. He escaped the Nazis, arrived with nothing and built a company that would become a pioneer in plastics with his own two hands,” says Doron Krakow, executive vice president of AABGU. “But his story is even more noteworthy for the direction it took into philanthropy. His remarkable bequest will assist countless BGU students and help the University achieve one of its major goals: to provide access to higher education for all.”

During the honorary doctorate ceremony that took place at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Prof. Rivka Carmi praised Ross, stating, “You are an inspiration. A man who has overcome overwhelming odds: losing home, country, family, and education, you came to this glorious nation, raised a magnificent family, built a business empire, and committed your later years to philanthropy.”

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. This university is one of the staunchest bastions of destructive Israeli leftism. Can you imagine if this guy and otherss like him would support talmud Torah instead of destruction? Maybe Moshiach would already be here.

  2. To have all that money and to donate it to the most radical leftist university in Israel, is very sad and sickening. Ben Gurion Un. is infamous for their hatred of religious Jews, of Israel, of Torah and of everything that is right and holy. There are so many wonderful charities to give to – to feed the hungry, yeshivot, the sick, the poverty in Israel, etc. But, instead this is where the money is thrown to, so that their professors can indoctrinate their students with more hatred of Yisroel.

  3. And which Jewish/Torah/Frum organizations had any kesher with him? Why would you expect differently? (BTW Ben Gurion university if a popular caucus for left-wing philosphy and anti-israel propaganda.)

    I going to assume when more research & investigation is made you will find that there are other ‘smaller & less significant’ donations to Torah organizations.

  4. Doron Krakow, executive vice president of AABGU,says it all, “…arrived with nothing and built a company that would become a pioneer in plastics with his own two hands”. It is clear that Krakow and Ross have no idea where he got those hands…Nebuch.

  5. The leftists in BGU are brothers-not enemies. When so many yidden in eretz yisrael are forced to compete for mall security and other low-paying jobs, I am thankful to Mr. Ross for making an investment in the financial future of acheinu bais yisrael.

  6. Before you criticize someone, know all the facts. Mr. Ross was a prolific giver of charity to the jewish community here in the US. He gave money to Shuls, Yeshivas, JCC’s, Jewish Federation’s and was the largest individual contributor to the US Holocaust Museum in Wash.DC. I know this not because I knew him personally but because I took the time to Google his name and learn a little more about him.
    Comment #3 was right on the money. We are very quick to judge people.To comments #1 and #2. I hope people are not so quick to judge you.

  7. The title to this article overflows with jealousy and greed. Not only can a man bequeath his money to whomever he wishes, but to besmirch an entire organization without basis, is reprehensible.

    BGU, happens to be joined to SOROKA medical center in Beer Sheva which is one of the largest hospital in Eretz Israel serving ALL of the Negev with over 1200 beds, many clinics and countless specialists.

    The university itself employs many ‘FRUM’ Professors. The fact that Chareidi Jews don’t take advantage of a premier university for their higher learning or vocational training is their loss.

    In addition many ‘Frum’ Doctors practicing in Israel and in the US owe their education to Ben-Gurion University, and SOROKA.

    That there are leftists in BGU, sure. All universities have them. But to paint the whole university with its 15,000 students and faculty; many of whom love Eretz Israel and are on active reserve duty every 12 months, with the brush of ‘leftist extremism’ reeks of ignorance and Sinas Chinam.