On February 15th the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) launched the Max Steinberg Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund. The program will provide scholarships to combat reservists and especially to lone soldiers who are studying at the University. The fund was conceived by the parents and siblings of Max Steinberg, a lone soldier from Woodland Hills who lost his life during Operation Protective Edge, while serving in the elite Golani 13 brigade. He was 24.
The Max Steinberg Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund was launched by AABGU Vice President Jessica Sillins at the Times of Israel Gala in New York City. The Steinberg family was one of three “Families of the Fallen” to be recognized during the event. “I am deeply touched by Max’s story – his determination to join one of Israel’s elite army units, and his love for Israel is an inspiration to us all. Equally moving is the commitment by his parents and siblings to create a living legacy in his name at Ben-Gurion University,” said Sillins.
The Steinberg’s will be part of the decision process to ensure that the receiving students mirror Max’s values and vision. “We are delighted to know that Max’s legacy will be connected to a university and scholarship program that grants opportunity and promise to the soldiers that have put their lives in harm’s way for the people of Israel,” said Max’s father, Stuart Steinberg. “We know that Max cared deeply for his fellow soldiers and that he would be whole-heartedly supportive of a program that allows soldiers to pursue their passions and create a great future.”
“Max made the ultimate sacrifice and we are forever indebted to him,” said Consul General Siegel. “His memory is a blessing for our people and continues to serve as an inspiration for all of Israel. Ben-Gurion University’s commitment to awarding scholarships to Israel’s most brave defenders is a deeply special way to honor the young men and women who commit their lives to defending the people and State of Israel.”
During Operation Protective Edge, more than 2,000 Ben-Gurion University students were called to military service. Recently, BGU was given an award by Israel’s Defense Ministry for its extraordinary services and assistance provided to student-soldiers.
BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi added, “The Steinberg family is memorializing Max in a way that will celebrate his life and his choices in perpetuity and will impact a widening circle of young people – an act that is truly worthy of admiration. Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, but they have turned this personal tragedy into an opportunity to do a greater good.”
“It takes $75,000 to provide a scholarship to one undergraduate student annually in perpetuity,” explained Ruth Flinkman-Marandy, an AABGU vice president and the campaign chair for the Southwest Region. “We hope to raise millions of dollars to enable multiple Max Steinberg scholarship recipients each year.”
Contributions to the Max Steinberg Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund can be made at http://www.aabgu.org/maxsteinberg.