Get Involved - Toronto

Thank you for your interest in Ben-Gurion University Canada (BGU Canada)! Our primary mission is to Support the Vision of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who believed that “the future of Israel will emerge from the Negev.”

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is the only university located in Israel’s southern desert region which comprises 60% of the country’s land mass. The university is a catalyst for the advancement of science, medicine, technology, the environment, education, social policy, and more. The university is known for conducting cutting-edge research in cyber and homeland security, alternative energy, desert and water research, global health, medical technologies, Israel studies, culture and Jewish thought, high-tech and robotics, among others.

There are many ways you can contribute to our cause. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about Israel and keep you connected to BGU. You can sign up for our newsletter by clicking on the link at the bottom of your screen, you can become a volunteer leader with one of our regional chapters, or volunteer to help during our fundraising events. Additionally, we can provide opportunities to meet BGU faculty, offer information about research and programs that interest you, and assist in planning a visit to BGU during your next trip to Israel.

We look forward to getting to know you and helping you find the most meaningful way to Support the Vision.

Contact Us

Shimmy Wenner

V.P. Management and Philanthropy, Toronto
416-665-8054 ext. 22
Email Me
Shimmy has had a successful career defined by leadership in the Jewish community, and a passion for Israel and the Jewish people. After graduating in 1994 with a degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Toronto, Shimmy began his work in community at B’nai Brith Canada. Soon after, he assumed the role of Director, Camp Moshava, a Jewish overnight camp in Ontario. In 2002, Shimmy joined the Campaign team at United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto (UJA) where he worked for the next 17 years in various roles of progressive responsibility. Most recently at UJA, Shimmy served as the Senior Director of Campaign Operations, Transformation and Analytics, where he helped the organization reach historical fundraising growth. During his time at UJA, Shimmy developed a reputation of professionalism and integrity, establishing deep relationships with Campaign and divisional chairs, and with donors throughout the community. Shimmy was pivotal in leading the operations of one of North America’s largest annual campaigns.

In three short years at Ben Gurion University Canada, Shimmy as Executive Director, has reshaped the Toronto headquarters and rebuilt its foundation. Even with covid lockdowns and restrictions, Shimmy was able to grow the donor database, establish a responsive and engaged Board of Directors, present exciting donor driven events and fundraise some of the largest gifts the Toronto office has ever seen. Looking to the future Shimmy has big plans, presenting the Toronto office’s first ever gala in the fall as he continues to drive impact and excellence with his boundless energy, expertise and experience.

Shimmy has been married to his wife Ayala for close to 27 years. Shimmy also has two children, Elyanna, who will attending Queen’s University for her Masters program in OT starting in September and Ami, who is going into his 4th year Business School at Metropolitan Toronto University (formerly Ryerson). Shimmy also has his cute multi-shih named Marty.

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