About Us


Supporting the Vision

Ben-Gurion University Canada (BGU Canada) is the Canadian fundraising arm of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). At BGU Canada, we support the vision of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who said

“It is in the Negev that the creativity and pioneer vigour of Israel shall be tested.”

Our organization was founded on July 27th 1973 and was named ‘Canadian Friends of the University of the Negev’ at the time. After the university itself was renamed, the Canadian fundraising arm was also renamed Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University (CABGU). In early 2022, as part of modernization efforts, and to better reflect the role we play here in Canada, we were renamed Ben-Gurion University Canada.

With four main offices across the country including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal/Ottawa, and headquarters in Toronto, we are proud to have a presence in some of Canada’s major Jewish hubs, offering our communities an opportunity to connect with Israel, the Negev Desert and BGU.

Through a series of live, virtual and interactive events, campaigns, galas and one-on-one advocacy, BGU Canada tells the story of how Israel’s only university in the Negev desert is making a global impact.  

Our Mission

BGU Canada fulfills its mission by raising funds and awareness across Canada, showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research and innovations. Activities include educating individuals, foundations and media about the University’s ground-breaking research through a series of exciting galas, movie pre-screenings, informative communications, educational programs and events, featuring BGU’s world-renowned faculty. Through the support of our volunteers, generous donors, and supporters, we help fund scholarships, programs, facilities and research that have a deep impact both locally and globally.

BGU Canada promotes the pioneering spirit of Israel’s founders - a spirit that continues to flourish in the vast desert wilderness of the Negev. A unique oasis of innovation, BGU is making the desert bloom, providing expertise in desert studies, alternative energy, ecological conservation, water purification and management, bio- and nanotechnologies, community medicine and global health, social work, and Jewish literature and culture.

BGU Canada supports these endeavours and the University’s extensive outreach to the Negev’s diverse communities, its Arab neighbours, developing nations and the world.


The University of the Negev is founded with the opening of the Department of Behavioural Sciences
Following the death of David Ben-Gurion, The University of the Negev is renamed Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Canadian Friends of the University of the Negev is registered as a Canadian charity
The Sde Boker campus of BGU opens in the kibbutz located outside of Be’er Sheva, where David Ben-Gurion and his wife Paula lived in their later years
On May 27, Israeli Prime Minister ​Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar al Sadat sign a formal peace treaty, hosted at BGU’s Be’er Sheva campus
The Eilat Campus opens as an integral part of BGU and regional development. To date, over 120,000 students have graduated from 40 different programs at this campus.
The Azrieli National Autism and Neurodevelopment Centre is established at BGU’s Be’er Sheva campus
Canadian Israeli Philanthropist, Sylvan Adams, makes a transformational gift of USD$100-Million.

An organization is only as strong as its people

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