Joining Ben Gurion University Board of Governors.

Dovi Frances
4 min readMay 17, 2023

My full speech at the University’s 53rd Board of Governors Assembly.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Distinguished members of the Board of Governors,

It feels as if only yesterday I was running from one building to another rushing to yet another economics class at the Kreitman building, as if only yesterday I was roaming back and forth between the Zlotowski student center and the Cummings plaza hoping to catch a glimpse of Shiran, a beautiful contemporary art student I was very much in love with.

Today, almost twenty years following my graduation, I stand before you as the newest and youngest Israeli-born member to join this esteemed board. Hoping to give back even half as much as I received here at Ben Gurion.

It is a humbling privilege to address you all at this Annual Meeting, surrounded by individuals whose generosity has played a vital role in shaping the future of Ben Gurion University.

The time has come for us to take a swift action so allow me to put pleasantries aside and cut to the chase.

Dovi Frances speaking at Ben Gurion’s 53rd Board of Governors meeting upon being conferred into the Board of Governors. Photo Credit: Ben Gurion University.

Today we will speak truth with one another.

This cannot be and will not be one of those polite speeches that none of you will remember the moment my time here on stage is up.

These are challenging times globally, almost two decades of uninterrupted growth supported by record low interest rates have come to a screeching halt.

The predictable world we lived in is now a chaotic place where the world population in most countries is declining rapidly impeding economic growth,

Where globalization has ended and where an unstable climate sends shock around global supply chains impacting all global enterprises and our lives on this planet.

We ought to fear not — Where there’s an illness — There is also a cure in plain sight.

The advent of science and technology through revolutionary inventions like CRISPR, Quantum Computing, Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning allows us to solve many of the challenges our society now faces.

If you think we have five to ten years to contemplate how to incorporate Artificial intelligence into our syllabus you are being overly optimistic.

We have about three years before we will be considered laggers and our programs obsolete.

We now have not only the responsibility to give back but also the tools to turn Ben Gurion into a world leading institution incorporating the studies and the usage of Artificial Intelligence into most of our facilities.

May I also propose we rush to launch an AI program attracting the brightest minds in this nation.

They say Torah will go forth from Zion. I say Torah will go forth from Ben Gurion.

I have outlined why NOW but why US and why Ben Gurion?

In Peter Thiel’s book “Zero to One,” which I recommend reading, he discusses a question he likes to ask during job interviews to gauge a candidate’s original thinking.

The question is:

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

I’ll repeat:

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

May I share mine with you?

They always say “you get what you give” and they are absolutely wrong.

Through supporting education in this particular institution — you get 20 thousand times more than what you give — every year. 20 thousand students and the countless lives alumni like myself touch throughout our distinguished careers.

The family name inscribed on the signage at the entrance to each of your buildings and libraries may fade with the passage of time but your pure intent will remain there forever through the souls who went through each building and cathedral.

My truth is that while we are all mortal, paving way for others to be successful through the best education one can obtain — is as eternal as time itself.

Giving is not an easy task. Surely many of us are at risk of becoming desensitized to the countless asks for donations and contributions.

My friends, allow me to make this clear, I was not asked to donate, I have asked to give back.

I consider it my responsibility, my true calling and one of the mere few actions I can take in this life to influence the course of life of others — at mass scale.


We barely said a word about Israel and about zionism, like realtors that always sell the amenities and features but never talk about the strength of the foundation of the house which we all seem to take for granted.

So I will conclude this speech by a quote from our name sake, David Ben Gurion:

A homeland is not bought with money, is not won by the sword, it is to be earned by the sweat of your face.

These times call for this board of governors to unite around the notion of further advancing our innovative and our technological competitive edge.

We better get to work!! The clock is now ticking faster, exponentially faster.

Thank you for your time today.



Dovi Frances

Dovi Frances is a financial services entrepreneur and founding partner of Group 11, a venture capital firm based in Los Angeles, California.