On Wednesday, September 5th, National and Regional Board members, donors and friends of the Canadian Associates of Ben Gurion University gathered at the home of National Board President, Gary Fine and his wife Tamara to meet and mingle with Ben Gurion University President, Professor Rivka Carmi. It was President Carmi's first official trip to Canada since becoming President of the University and along with a similar visit to Montreal she met with supporters, press and community leaders to demonstrate her and the University's support for the recent positive changes at the Canadian Associates of BGU. About 40 people attended the parlour meeting at the Fine's home which was the perfect setting for such an event. The evening was also attended by Professor Eilon Adar, head of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at BGU, who was in Toronto to speak at a community CABGU event and also meet with supporters and the press.
The host and National President, Gary Fine welcomed everyone and introduced Pres. Carmi, after which she spoke about recent and upcoming developments at the University's 3 campuses. She emphasized her passion for being able to bring to fruition former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's dream to have this University be an integral component in the development of the Negev desert in southern Israel. With the upcoming move of various Israel Defence Force bases and departments to the Negev, BGU is preparing for significant growth. The building of a high tech park adjacent to the Be'er Sheva campus, being within range of rockets emanating from Gaza, and dealing with a varied faculty and student base, are just some of the issues keeping her very busy lately. Toronto Region Board Chair, Jordan Cohen, eloquently thanked Pres.Carmi and the Fines for an enjoyable and informative evening, after which Canadian Associates National Executive Vice President, Mark Mendelson recapped the highlights of Pres. Carmi's trip to Montreal and Toronto. He also summarized the many new initiatives happening at CABGU which includes a new website, a national mission to visit BGU in the fall of 2013, a new direct mail campaign, and he also gave updates from across the country.