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A4BGU Gourmet Kosher Extravaganza Celebrates 20 Years

A4BGU Gourmet Kosher Extravaganza Celebrates 20 Years

February 14, 2023 - Summarized from February 26 marks A4BGU's 20th Gourmet Kosher Extravaganza. This year’s theme, “Beacon of Light in the Negev,” will focus on the cutting-edge advances in medical simulation happening at BGU.

Leadership, Awards & Events

Jewish Herald-Voice — February 26 marks the 20th Gourmet Kosher Extravaganza, sponsored by Americans for Ben-Gurion University. This year’s theme, “Beacon of Light in the Negev,” will focus on the cutting-edge advances in medical simulation that affect not only emergency care but every part of the medical field.

Deborah Bergeron, A4BGU Philanthropic Relationship officer

Deborah Bergeron, A4BGU Philanthropic Relationship officer, reflects on the past 20 years of the Gourmet Kosher Dining Extravaganza. “Ben-Gurion University has grown and is now the fastest-growing research university in all of Israel and is often called the ‘Oxford in the Negev,’” said Bergeron. “Our goal is to become one of the world’s most outstanding universities, in terms of research, teaching and contribution to society. We’ve moved from being a player on the Israeli scene to becoming a leader on the global stage.

“The idea for the Houston Gourmet Kosher Extravaganza began in 2002,” Bergeron said. “At that time, our local lay leadership and I were looking for a way to put this outstanding university on the local radar. Since Houston is a ‘foodie’ town and is known for its international cuisine, the idea of recruiting the top chefs in Houston to create their signature dishes in a kosher way seemed natural.

“We wanted our dinner to be inclusive for all of our community, so keeping it kosher was a great fit. Chefs working together and collaborating to create a gourmet evening was the first time an event of this type had been done in Houston. Getting an unknown event supporting a little-known Israeli university on the chefs’ radar was breaking new ground. Teaching all the chefs how to cook kosher was a first for all of them. We created the only gourmet kosher event of its kind in our city.

“Over the past 20 years, we’ve had over 60 chefs participate with us,” said Bergeron. “While we always have new chefs joining us, some chefs continue to return every year. They all enjoy the event, the camaraderie with fellow chefs and make long-lasting friendships. All the chefs see the value in supporting BGU and in raising scholarship dollars for our students. They became part of our BGU family.”

“I’m often asked why I’ve stayed with A4BGU all these years, and the answer is simple. I’ve stayed for 23 years because I believe in what I do. I believe in the students, scientists and professors. I believe if you are going to invest your dollars at an Israeli university, Ben-Gurion University is the best. We give value and results to our patrons and donors; provide a great volunteer experience; and what we do makes a difference that everyone in the world benefits from.”

“I’m so fortunate and blessed to be part of this institution. To be able to support a place that is inclusive of all and an innovative, game-changer on the global stage. BGU is a place that creates and develops things that we’ve never even thought about. From their staff, students, professors and researchers, to their technology and groundbreaking advances, BGU is an exceptional gem in the Negev.”

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