(JTA) — Chicago philanthropist Larry Goodman has contributed $3 million to a housing and community involvement program at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Goodman started the program, which provides housing to students in exchange for community involvement, 30 years ago. The program at the Beersheva university was recently renamed the Lillian and Larry Goodman Open Apartments Program.
The pledge from the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundation will enable the acquisition of 10 more apartments to house 30 additional students by October.
In lieu of paying rent, selected students live in underprivileged neighborhoods and dedicate at least eight hours of service per week. Students provide local children and adults with a range of activities and services from teaching, planning holiday gatherings and counseling to assisting with house painting or repairs.
Currently, 104 students reside in 63 apartments.
“We must instill the concept of giving back to the community in our young people,” Goodman said in a statement. “This program encourages communal engagement that is of benefit to both the students and the families they mentor.”
Goodman is a member of the Board of Governors of Ben-Gurion University, where he also received an honorary doctorate.