Yoram Benbarak: Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Changemaker Planned Giving Donor and Alum Gives Back to the University that Helped Shape his Career
Yoram Benbarak B.S. ’71, M.S.’73 was an undergraduate student when computer technology was going through a momentous revolution that helped catapult Israel into its famed status as Startup Nation and a leader in innovation. The Technion was on the front lines. Distinguished Technion Professors Jacob Ziv and Abraham Lempel co-created the algorithm that serves as the basis for essential file compression currently used in computers and smartphones to send PDFs, videos, and music over the Internet. “That was a time of great change,” said Yoram, who studied under Prof. Ziv and was a student in both the first semiconductor class ever taught at the Technion and the first class ever in computer programming.
Yoram earned both degrees in the Technion’s most demanding faculty, Electrical Engineering. “It was tough, but tough is good. Tough makes winners,” he said. “The Technion gave me a top-notch education, an excellent profession, and tools to think and analyze well beyond the tuition I was charged. This education has contributed immensely to my success.”
Now he is returning the favor. “My gifts are my way of giving back to the institution that treated me so well,” he said.
Yoram is taking advantage of the IRS’s qualified charitable contribution rules, and starting in 2022 will also benefit from the required minimum distribution rules that allow him to donate annually directly from his taxable IRA to the American Technion Society (ATS) without incurring taxable income. “I like knowing I can help the Technion now.”
In addition, Yoram recently decided to leave a significant portion of his IRA to the ATS as part of his estate plan because he knows that each dollar from his IRA will go tax-free to the ATS. “I hope that my legacy will contribute to the Technion’s continued ability to excel.”