CABGU fulfills its mission by raising funds and awareness for the University across Canada, showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research from the desert for the world.

Activities include educating individuals, foundations and media about the University’s ground-breaking research through a series of exciting, informative communications, educational programs and events, featuring BGU’s world-renowned faculty. CABGU promotes the pioneering spirit of Israel’s founders that continues to flourish in the vast desert wilderness of the Negev.





Dr. Yaron Wolfsthal, Head of IBM's Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Beer-Sheva

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - We've Only Just Begun

Happy New Year from BGU

How Fragile is the Glass Ceiling?Rivka Carmi at TEDxBGU



Dalhousie, Ben Gurion University collaborate on brain, spine research.

Dalhousie University in Halifax and Ben Gurion University (BGU) in Be’er Sheva have announced a “trailblazing research relationship” to help find answers to the complexities of the brain and spinal cord. Six professors and researchers from BGU, along with Dan Blumberg, the university’s vice-president and dean for research and development, were in Halifax on Nov. 16, to announce the collaborative effort with their counterparts from Dalhousie.
Brochure >>

A sellout crowd of more than 500 people was enthralled by Bill Browder’s account of the events stemming from his business dealings in Russia – the murder of his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, the subsequent adoption of the Magnitsky Act in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and many other countries, and his personal commitment to enforcing sanctions against those who violate human rights.

Well-known Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay moderated a discussion between Browder and The Hon. Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former Minister of Justice, current Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and Browder’s partner in the establishment of the Magnitsky Act in Canada. Among Cotler’s many accolades is an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, conferred in 2016.

CABGU would like to thank the generous sponsors of this very special event, which raised funds for doctoral scholarships in Human Rights Studies at the Pinchas Sapir Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at BGU.

“Ben-Gurion” Level:

Larry & Margaret Nachshen
Crowe BGK
Felicia & Arnold Aaron Foundation
Dym Family Foundation

“Beer-sheva” Level:

Bissell Family Foundation
Reuben Croll
Gordon & Penny Echenberg
Robert Elman
Roslyn Plotnick Margles
Dundy & Lyon Sachs
Sandra & Allen Quallenberg
Marilyn Takefman
N & J Richer Foundation
Dorel Industries
Robert Raich & Marlene Gilfix-Raich
Maimonides Hospital Foundation

“Sde Boker Campus” Level:

Mark & Edna Mendelson & Family
Cheryl & Richard Levy
Miriam Fertsman
Scotia McLeod/Robert Moore

“Eilat Campus” Level:

Brenda & Sam Gewurz
The Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation
Alta & Harvey Levenson
Black Lantern Holdings
Peggi Cohen & Dr. Mark Rabinovitch
Leesa Steinberg
Bill Lassner
Anthony Croll
Joseph Gurandiano
Future Electronics
Leslie Beck
Mitzi & Mel Dobrin Family Foundation
Judith & John Lechter Foundation
Peter Fraenkel
Gerald Kandestin
SCP Science
The Henry & Berenice Kaufmann Foundation
Barbara & Melvin Schloss
Aaron Drazin

A private dinner was held on April 28 in recognition of top-tier event sponsors – for photos please click here.

To visit the Evening with Bill Browder photo gallery please click here.

Read more about Bill Browder here and here.

Photo credits: Howard Kay



Dr. Orna Berry, Israel’s Chief Scientist and Director of the Industrial Research and Development Administration (1996-2000) and most recently Vice-President, DELL-EMC Centres of Excellence and R&D, described in depth how Ben-Gurion University (BGU) has fueled the rapid growth of Israel’s Negev region. A nexus of outstanding faculty, highly-qualified students and motivated tech investors, BGU has become the backbone of progress in the South.

The facts are impressive – At Beer-sheva’s Advanced Technology Park, a venture that includes the most important names in cyber security, AI, datascience and machine learning, BGU graduates make up 60% of the current workforce. With the move of the Israel Defence Forces’ elite intelligence units into the Negev, BGU’s contributions will be more vital than ever – soldiers will be able to pursue their education while they serve and the University will provide invaluable expertise.

What are the underlying themes of this remarkable modern Zionism? According to Dr. Berry, Israel will gain its global market share through quality and collaboration.

Yael Berry-David, Orna Berry’s daughter, recounted how fourteen years ago, as a young mother new to Beer-sheva, she gradually noticed stirrings of cultural activity in the city. As she became involved in the art, music and theatre scene, she realized that participating in these areas made the prospect of remaining in Beer-sheva not only palatable but attractive. She has remained committed to nurturing culture in the region and is particularly proud that a play from Beer-sheva’s Fringe Festival was performed recently in Montreal.

To read more about this event, click here.

On June 26, CABGU paid tribute to outgoing Montreal Chapter President, Larry Nachshen.  In addition to a heartfelt letter from BGU President, Prof. Rivka Carmi, friends and members of the Board offered personal testimonials about Larry, his dedication to BGU, selflessness, kindness and humour.  Larry was presented with a beautiful piece of Iron Age pottery.
Photo Credits: Howard Kay


On Wednesday, June 27, CABGU sponsored a special screening of the award-winning Israeli documentary “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue”.  This intimate look at the life and times of one of Israel’s greatest leaders was made in close cooperation with the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel & Zionism at BGU.  Close to 100 people gathered at the Mayfair Theatre to enjoy this incredible film.  Special thanks to Nathalie Stern, long-time supporter of BGU, for this wonderful initiative. We look forward to many more events in Ottawa.

On July 5, the Montreal Chapter organized an interactive get-together with six scholars from the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism.  These are incredible opportunities to interact with world-class scholars from BGU. A special thank you to Gail and Simon Mendelson for hosting us in their home.

On June 6, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University introduced Dr. Deborah Toiber to a Winnipeg audience of 170 as the Keynote Speaker in a panel discussion about Alzheimer’s disease. Principal Investigator in the Department of Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University, Dr.Toiber has expertise in the study of brain damage and aging-related neurodegeneration, specifically DNA damage and sirtuins, a class of proteins which link aging and metabolism.

Dr. Toiber’s lecture was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Benedict Albensi, which presented the many facets of Alzheimer’s disease.

The panel:

– Benedict Albensi, moderator, who received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Utah’s Medical School and continued with post-doctoral studies at Georgetown University, has an impressive list of research achievements, including the development of MRI methods to investigate brain cognition, the role of the protein complex NF-kB in understanding memory and the mechanisms of deep-brain stimulation. Dr. Albensi is Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, a Principal Investigator at St. Boniface Hospital Research, a core member of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Manitoba and holds the Everett Endowment Fund Chair and the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair at St. Boniface and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba.

– Norma Kirkby, panellist, joined the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba in June 2002 as Program Director. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Norma is a professional Home Economist  –  her personal objective is to assist individuals and families to live successfully. As Program Director she is responsible for the Society’s vision for client services, family, professional and public education and advocacy.  Norma’s desire is to empower people impacted by dementia to experience the greatest possible quality of life.

– Born in Bergen-Belsen after the war, panellist Rose Popeski came to Canada when she was 2 years old. After her graduation in 1967 from the University of Manitoba with a B.Sc. in pharmacy, Rose worked as a pharmacist for 50 years. Both of Rose’s parents developed Alzheimer’s in their late 80’s and she became their primary caregiver. Her parents did not wish to move into a home because they wanted to stay together; her father recently passed away and, with Rose’s help, her mother still lives at home.

The panel discussion and Q & A was followed by a reception catered by Schmoozers.

CABGU is grateful to St. Boniface Hospital for providing the venue for the event, and to its co-sponsors, Jewish Child and Family Service and the Winnipeg Jewish Business Council.

Read a wonderful article in our local Jewish newspaper

Research Without Borders: Health has no Borders… And Research is Limitless

As leading research institutions, St. Boniface Hospital and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have established that knowledge serves us better when transferred and combined by collaboration.
Our researchers are working towards the same end goal – to change the face of health care as we know it, and to overcome today’s most debilitating diseases and conditions.
Two heads are most certainly better than one, and our areas of research expertise complement each other. It will be the sharing of ideas that enables us to make advancements faster and with resources that span over oceans.

With a thriving and active Jewish community in Winnipeg, and a distinct link to our heritage at St. Boniface Hospital, we would like to bring our communities together to support collaborative research initiatives and have several areas of commonality.


In a ceremony at its 6th Annual BBQ, CABGU BC-Alberta recognized Past President and National Board member Mark Zlotnik for his lifelong community leadership. A pottery oil lamp, a genuine antiquity from the Byzantine period, crafted between 330-640 CE, was presented to Mark and his wife Laurie with the inscription:

On the occasion of Israel’s 70th birthday with heartfelt thanks for your many years of leadership and dedication to CABGU

Beyond CABGU, Mark is well known in Metro Vancouver and nationally for his decades of community leadership to ensure that services and resources are available for young people and seniors alike. Mark has chaired the boards of King David High School, Louis Brier Home and Hospital Foundation, Haro Park Centre, B’nai Brith Men’s Association, The Y Endowment, ZLC Foundation’s charity golf tournament – all of this in addition to a full-time career in financial leadership at ZLC.

The BBQ was hosted by BGU World Board of Governors member Regina Boxer, who presented the award together with Mark Mendelson, CEO, Si Brown, Regional President and David Berson, Executive Director.

A short talk was delivered by BGU Professor Tal Svoray following testimonies by Ephraim Nowak, NSERC scholarship intern in mechanical engineering at UBC Okanagan, and Windsor high school student Vivian Osiek, who described her recent visit to BGU.

CABGU’s Alzheimer’s, Dementia and You event held on June 5 featured a star-studded panel of experts and a world-class moderator.

The presentation and panel discussion provided insights to both those seeking information and those seeking support.

Dr. Deborah Toiber of Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Life Sciences, described her unique approach to viewing neurodegenerative aging as the key factor in understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s. She captured the crowd with her brilliance and enthusiasm!

The panel represented a wealth of experience with SFU’s Professor Emerita, Dr. Gloria Gutman, skillfully navigating among the participants.

Dr.  Janet Kushner Kow, a geriatrician associated with Providence Health Care and UBC, answered questions from the medical perspective. Laura Feldman, with ten years of grassroots experience at the Alzheimer Society of BC, spoke eloquently about the need to seek knowledge and support. Joanne Haramia recounted how families she has cared for through Jewish Family Services have found it easier to cope when they received support from the community.

People stayed after the event to mingle and talk to the panelists and ask more questions about this very compelling subject.

Event sponsors and partners enjoyed a lovely reception prior to the event, catered by Nava’s Kosher catering. CABGU is grateful for the support of its sponsors: InstaFund, Annie Du and Aeron Evans of National Bank Financial; its co-sponsors: Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, Jewish Family Services, Louis Brier Home & Hospital and Jewish Seniors Alliance; and for the participation of its community partners: Alzheimer Society of BC and SFU Gerontology Research Centre, as well as its media partner, the Jewish Independent.

Photo credit: Jocelyne Hallé

To all the photos click here



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Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University is dependent upon the generous support of donors and volunteers to fulfill its mission

BGU is a dynamic, pioneering university with a diverse student body and
faculty. Your donation is a statement of commitment to innovative research and the development of a strong and thriving Negev. Donations can be made as onetime payments, in multiple monthly installments, and can be designated in honor or in memory of a loved one.

Your unrestricted contribution allows us to provide funding where it is needed most. Whether it is to support the recruitment of world-class faculty and researchers from within Israel and around the world, fund scholarships, underwrite research, offset the expenses of new buildings, labs, equipment, and classrooms, you have our guarantee that your investment in BGU will be used wisely.