Israeli Silicon Valley entrepreneur donates $25m. to BGU

The gift will be used for the new Guzik Cultural Center, a multi-use complex on the north campus of the university.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). (photo credit: AABGU/A. LAVIN)
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).
(photo credit: AABGU/A. LAVIN)
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has received $25 million from Silicon Valley philanthropist and entrepreneur Nahum Guzik, the second largest in its history.


The gift will be used for the new Guzik Cultural Center, a multi-use complex on the university's north campus. The center will feature a state-of-the-art, 900-seat music hall, auditorium and an art exhibition area highlighting prominent artists.
“The Guzik Foundation proudly supports young musicians,” Guzik said in a statement. “The idea of a performing arts center on the BGU campus was on my mind for years; it’s an idea I had discussed with previous BGU presidents. Eventually in 2020, together with BGU President Daniel Chamovitz, we scheduled the architectural design and construction.”
"Nahum Guzik's long-standing support has been instrumental in BGU's development," Chamovitz said. “As we pass our golden jubilee, we are so pleased and honored that he is making it possible for us to build a world-class performance and conference facility. The cultural center will be an iconic space for an iconic university.”
Left to right: AABGU CEO Doug Seserman, Nahum Guzik, BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, Kira Makagon, Guzik Foundation trustee (Credit: Ben Gurion University of the Negev)Left to right: AABGU CEO Doug Seserman, Nahum Guzik, BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, Kira Makagon, Guzik Foundation trustee (Credit: Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
The first artist to be showcased will be Lev Syrkin, a prominent artist in both Israel and Russia and a good friend of Guzik. They came to Israel together in 1972, and Guzik has always been there for Lev and his family. Syrkin’s work will be permanently installed in the cultural center.
Guzik’s philanthropic work has benefited hundreds of young musicians, with quite a few of them having won international classical music competitions, including the Grammy Awards.
Guzik was trained as an engineer in Odessa, Ukraine, where he graduated with a master’s degree in radio communications. He then worked for years on defense research in Siberia and Novosibirsk. Afterward, he worked in video recording in Moscow.
At age 38 in 1972, he was able to immigrate to Israel, where he worked in television and video recording technologies for 10 months at a TV station in Jerusalem. He moved to the United States in 1973 and founded Guzik Technical Enterprises in 1982, utilizing his experience on test equipment for magnetic data recording, and is still president of the company.
According to BGU president emerita Prof. Rivka Carmi, “Nahum has had an extraordinary impact on the world with countless innovations that have helped greatly advance many types of electronics. But it is in Israel at BGU where his philanthropic legacy will be enshrined, as artists, students, visitors and world leaders come together at the cultural center that bears his name. I am honored to have known him for so many years and count him as a treasured friend.”