The Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations in Skokie, Illinois, have announced a pledge of $3 million to the Israel-based Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to expand a program that provides housing for students in exchange for community services.
Through BGU's Open Apartments Program, select students are placed in apartments in low-income neighborhoods, where they provide services and activities such as assisting with house painting and repairs or planning holiday gatherings. The funding will be used to boost the number of apartments in the program from sixty-three to seventy-three and the number of student participants from 104 to 134 by October 2012.
In recognition of the gift, BGU has renamed the initiative the Lillian and Larry Goodman Open Apartments Program. Goodman, a commercial real estate entrepreneur, currently serves on the board of governors at BGU, from which he received an honorary doctoral degree.
"We must instill the concept of giving back to the community in our young people," said Larry Goodman. "This program encourages communal engagement that is of benefit to both the students and the families they mentor."