Holocaust survivor leaves $17.5 million to Ben-Gurion U.


NEW YORK (JTA) – The estate of Holocaust survivor and philanthropist Eric Ross left $17.5 million to Ben-Gurion University through its American association.

Ross, a prolific businessman, donated about $250 million to numerous causes over the course of his life. He and his wife, Lore, funded scholarships, capital projects and community service programs at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 2010, BGU recognized Ross’ philanthropy by presenting him with an honorary doctorate.

“Eric Ross was a quintessential American Jewish success story,” said Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University. “He escaped the Nazis, arrived with nothing and built a company that would become a pioneer in plastics with his own two hands.”

Ross, who died in September 2010, left a similar amount as the BGU bequest to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Golda Och Academy, a Solomon Schechter day school in West Orange, N.J.

A resident of South Orange, N.J., and West Palm Beach, Fla., he was the founder of a Newark, N.J., company that eventually became the AlphaGary Corp.

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