Volunteer Leadership and Professional Team

Mitchell Oelbaum

MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT

Dear Friends,

David Ben-Gurion once said “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles!” In my estimation, Ben-Gurion University is not only the embodiment of the first Prime Minister of Israel’s dream of developing the Negev Desert, but is also the realization of a miracle. With scant resources except for an abundance of determination, the University was founded in 1969 practically in the middle of nowhere. Beer-sheva at that point in time was a town in the desert trying to ‘make a go of it’ by absorbing new immigrants from North Africa and other poor countries. Today, Beer-sheva, as the capital city of the Negev, has a population of over 250,000 and is truly a modern-day oasis. Within this oasis sits the fastest-growing university in Israel, Ben-Gurion University, with a student population of almost 21,000 that is increasing each and every year.

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My relationship with Ben-Gurion University goes back many years through my grandparents, who were early founders of this great institution, having become involved in the early 1970’s not too long after its founding, and through my late father Ronald z”l who was president of both the Toronto Chapter and the National Board of Directors, and my mother Annette, who is a member of the current National Board of Directors and Board of Governors. I recall asking my Bar Mitzvah guests to celebrate with me by making donations to a BGU child care facility in 1976, and my own children have continued the tradition by asking their B’nei Mitzvah guests to consider supporting the University.

I am so proud to have been elected to serve as the National President of the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Our organization in Canada was established in 1973 to help raise both money and awareness for what has become Israel’s most preferred university, as continually voted by all the students of Israel. I really see our mission here as a very proud one, representing the highest level of research and scientific innovations in the world. With volunteers and benefactors across Canada, we know that we will continue to raise much-needed money for scholarships, cutting-edge research and a commitment to social justice in Beer-sheva and Israel.

The unique Advanced Technology Park (ATP) has helped BGU become the Cyber hub of Israel and one of the most important Cyber research centers in the world. Our ATP, started only 4 years ago, now has over 2,000 people working in its three buildings housing some of the most important technology companies of the world. The close connection between the IDF and BGU will deepen this relationship with the top technology units of the army.

BGU represents David Ben-Gurion’s dream to see the Negev bloom. It is an integral part of life throughout the Negev, but probably no more so than in Beer-sheva. I am proud to say that the students not only enjoy the number one student experience in Israel, but that they also give back to the country which has done so much for them and their families. BGU students volunteer in the neighborhoods of Beer-sheva and deal with the most dire and vulnerable socio-economic issues. We like to say that a gift of scholarship funds to BGU is a double mitzvah because not only does it help the student recipient get a first-class education, but that student is also going to pay this opportunity forward by helping a child, a family, and even a neighborhood in Beer-sheva.

Here in Canada we are doing our best to support all of these efforts, by encouraging more Canadian students to study at BGU, by making the Canadian community aware of the great things happening at the University and by raising funds to contribute to the future of Ben-Gurion University.

Please join us either as a financial supporter or as an ‘activist’ in helping CABGU make the Canadian public aware that we are truly The Jewel in the Crown of Israel’s world-class academic institutions.

Regards,
Mitchell Oelbaum, President
CABGU National

MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Dear Supporters and Friends,

I am thrilled to welcome you all to our new and improved website that will communicate all the exciting things going on at CABGU (Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University) and BGU (Ben-Gurion University). I am so proud of the fact that we have made some outstanding and innovative inroads in each of the communities where we have offices. From “Sea to Sea” we are becoming partners with some outstanding regional institutions in joint major fundraising campaigns – such as St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg and Dalhousie University in Halifax. We have just completed a record financial year in Canada and I know that the years to come will only be better.

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I firmly believe that we at CABGU represent Israel’s finest and most dynamic university, Israel’s Nation Building University, and I truly am convinced of the almost ‘holiness’ of our mission: to help raise funds to support the cutting-edge research being conducted at BGU as well as to provide scholarship money for the thousands of students who need it. Please peruse our newly redesigned site and learn about the fascinating areas of scientific research being conducted at BGU. As Israel’s fastest-growing university with over 20,000 students presently enrolled, I know that it’s just a matter of time until Nobel Prize winners will hail from BGU.

I look forward to some exciting events that will be soon taking place across Canada and I hope that you will join us as we promote Israel’s embodiment of David Ben-Gurion’s dream of developing the Negev Desert. Please join us at our annual Board of Governor’s meeting in Beer-sheva or arrange for a visit to our unique campus. May we all continue to go from “strength to strength”.

B’Yedidut rabah,
Mark Mendelson, CEO
CABGU National

Howard Kay
Mark Mendelson

MESSAGE FROM THE TORONTO PRESIDENTS

Dear Friends,

One of the most difficult things to do for any charity is to develop a new leadership program and then have the participants become the future leaders of an organization. In the late 1990’s, a group was formed at the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (CABGU) called the New Associates. Early in their professional careers this group organized events and through them raised significant funds and awareness for CABGU. That by itself could stand alone within the history of an organization.  However, we the undersigned, as former members of this group, have now accepted the leadership of CABGU in the Province of Ontario.

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We are proud to join our friends and former New Associates’ members, Mitchell Oelbaum, newly elected National President, and Bruce Bronfman, National Treasurer, as the new Co-Presidents of the Ontario chapter of CABGU. We are looking forward to working together for Ben-Gurion University as it supports its students through scholarships, funds ground-breaking research and expands the campus in Beer-sheva. The reason for this expansion is that it will be welcoming an influx of several thousand new students as a result of the move of Israeli Defence Force bases and units to the Negev.

Our goal is to continue the great work being done by CABGU across the country by creating awareness of BGU and raising funds through events and private donations to support its current needs and future growth. We will do this through interesting large and small events, thinking outside the box and encouraging visits to BGU – especially for its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.

It is also our hope to establish a New CABGU Associates and for its young members to have as much enjoyment and as many fond memories as we do of our time together, twenty or so years ago. So we look forward to working together as the old New Associates are now the new Old Associates!  Please join us in our journey to help Israel’s most dynamic and interesting university achieve even greater accomplishments in the years ahead.

Sincerely,
Eric Beutel, Elliot Kohn, Ralph Shepherd & Michael Spigelman, Co-Presidents
CABGU Toronto Region

Eric Beutel
Elliot Kohn
Ralph Shepherd
Michael Spigelman

MESSAGE FROM THE MONTREAL PRESIDENT

Shalom!

I am honoured and delighted to assume the role of President of CABGU Quebec for the next two years. Following in the footsteps of my friend Robert Elman will be a challenge which I am prepared to face. To make this job easier, I will follow his lead and continue what he started.

Years of personal involvement in Montreal’s Jewish community – Past President of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, Past President of Maimonides Geriatric Centre, Past Chairman of the Israel and Overseas Committee of Federation CJA – have culminated in this position at CABGU.

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My affiliation with CABGU Quebec began when I was chosen to be Honouree at the 2013 Gala Dinner, which took place soon after my first visit to Ben-Gurion University. My experience in Beer-Sheva was overwhelming and I could hardly wait to get back for a second visit in May 2014 as a member of the BGU International Board of Governors. With each visit to Beer-Sheva and BGU, my love for the University, the city and the Negev has increased. I encourage all to attend the Board of Governors Meeting in May 2018 – the experience will be an unforgettable one. To meet with the students, professors and administration of BGU is a real privilege.

Plans for the coming years include developing the Kindle Your Imagination Lecture Series, welcoming and cheering for the MBA students who will compete in the JMSB International Case Competition, organizing another Gala, increasing CABGU’s support base and, most of all, doing what it takes to help BGU, Israel’s Nation Building University, fulfill its potential through fundraising and friend-raising.

I was inspired to write this message at the end of a summer of crisis in Israel, to which many of you have responded by contributing generously to the Special Wartime Assistance Scholarship Fund. For the 2013 Gala I chose to donate to the Crisis Intervention Project, and it is gratifying to know that the generosity of the Montreal community has played a part in enhancing the safety and security of residents of Beer-Sheva and Sde Boker during recent bombings.

I look forward to some memorable times for CABGU Quebec in the next two years, and I hope that you will be a part of this exciting experience.

See you at BGU next May!
Larry Nachshen, President
CABGU Montreal Region

Larry Nachshen
Sheldon Zamick

MESSAGE FROM THE WINNIPEG PRESIDENT

Dear Friends and Supporters,

It is a great honour for me to have been elected President of the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Manitoba Region.

Ben-Gurion University (BGU) is a miracle. Israel’s fastest-growing university, home to about 20,000 students, continues to produce cutting-edge research and discoveries in the areas of water resource management, juvenile diabetes, nano-technology, cyber-security and much, much more.

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Most recently, the newly-inaugurated Advanced Technology Park adjacent to the university is a multidimensional project involving BGU, the Israel Defence Forces’ special technical and computer units and private industry (Deutsche Telekom, Elbit, etc.). This will provide employment and research opportunities to the thousands of IDF soldiers being transferred to the Beer-sheva region.

BGU’s unique Homeland Security Institute is at the forefront of research in the fields of cyber-security, unmanned robotics, satellites and much more. The future will definitely be an exciting one for BGU!

Let’s join together to help fulfill David Ben-Gurion’s vision and continue the great work of BGU through personal and financial support.

I look forward to a wonderful and exciting term!

Best regards,
Sheldon Zamick, President
CABGU Manitoba Region

MESSAGE FROM THE VANCOUVER PRESIDENT

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Metro Vancouver is the youngest chapter of CABGU, encompassing all of regions BC and Alberta.

I believe that Ben-Gurion University represents the best of modern day pioneering spirit. That spirit has helped build both the University and its place in Israeli society. With cutting-edge research and innovation, community outreach and scholarship programs, BGU has become Israel’s most popular university among undergraduate students for more than 6 years.

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I am pleased to lead Metro Vancouver’s Chapter of this dynamic world-class university that ranked 18th in the top 50 universities under 50 years old.

Together with our local board and our executive director, David Berson, an alumnus of BGU and a seasoned community professional, we are seeking to widen the academic and technological horizons of both British Columbia and Alberta.

Sincerely,

Si Brown, President

CABGU British Columbia-Alberta Region

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

Dear Friends,

One of the most difficult things to do for any charity is to develop a new leadership program and then have the participants become the future leaders of an organization. In the late 1990’s, a group was formed at the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (CABGU) called the New Associates. Early in their professional careers this group organized events and through them raised significant funds and awareness for CABGU. That by itself could stand alone within the history of an organization.  However, we the undersigned, as former members of this group, have now accepted the leadership of CABGU in the Province of Ontario.

READ MORE

We are proud to join our friends and former New Associates’ members, Mitchell Oelbaum, newly elected National President, and Bruce Bronfman, National Treasurer, as the new Co-presidents of the Ontario chapter of CABGU. We are looking forward to working together for Ben-Gurion University as it supports its students through scholarships, funds ground-breaking research and expands the campus in Beer-sheva. The reason for this expansion is that it will be welcoming an influx of several thousand new students as a result of the move of Israeli Defence Force bases and units to the Negev.

Our goal is to continue the great work being done by CABGU across the country by creating awareness of BGU and raising funds through events and private donations to support its current needs and future growth. We will do this through interesting large and small events, thinking outside the box and encouraging visits to BGU – especially for its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.

It is also our hope to establish a New CABGU Associates and for its young members to have as much enjoyment and as many fond memories as we do of our time together, twenty or so years ago. So we look forward to working together as the old New Associates are now the new Old Associates!  Please join us in our journey to help Israel’s most dynamic and interesting university achieve even greater accomplishments in the years ahead.

Sincerely,
Eric Beutel, Elliot Kohn, Ralph Shepherd & Michael Spigelman, Co-Presidents
CABGU Toronto Region

NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT

  • Mitchell Oelbaum, ON

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

  • Mark Mendelson

VICE PRESIDENTS

  • Austin Beutel, ON
  • Robert Elman, QC
  • Paul Jacobs, ON

SECRETARY

  • Larry Nachshen, QC

TREASURER

  • Bruce Bronfman, ON

HONORARY COUNSEL

  • Jordan Cohen, ON

DIRECTORS

  • Sylvain Abitbol, QC
  • Jack Altman, QC
  • Eric Beutel, ON
  • Regina Boxer, BC
  • Si Brown, BC
  • Sidney Chelsky, ON
  • Nechemia Cohen, BC
  • Reuben Croll, QC
  • Susannah Dalfen, ON
  • Gordon L. Echenberg, QC
  • Victor Elias, BC
  • Gary Fine, BC
  • Aaron Fish, QC
  • Thomas O. Hecht, QC
  • Elliot Kohn, ON
  • Janis Levine, QC
  • Barry Lipson, ON
  • Morty Lober, QC
  • Toby Morantz, QC
  • Larry Nachshen, QC
  • Annette Oelbaum, ON
  • Barrie Rose, ON
  • Alvin Segal, QC
  • Leanor Segal, USA
  • Ralph Shepherd, ON
  • Ben Sperer, QC
  • Michael Spigelman, ON
  • Sheldon Zamick, MB
  • Mark Zlotnik, BC

PAST PRESIDENTS

  • Gary Fine, Immediate Past President and Special Advisor
  • Barry Lipson, ON
  • Sidney Chelsky, ON
  • Rabbi Jordan Pearlson, ON*
  • Ronald Oelbaum, ON*
  • Melvin Zwaig, QC*
  • Gordon L. Echenberg, QC
  • Eric Flanders, QC*

*Deceased

STAFF

  • Sam Cordes, National Director of Finance & Administration
  • Ellayne Kaplan, Communications Director
  • Michèle Richman, Executive Assistant to the CEO

REGIONAL BOARDS

TORONTO


PRESIDENTS

  • Beutel, Eric
  • Kohn, Elliot
  • Shepherd, Ralph
  • Spigelman, Michael

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

  • Barcza, Vera
  • Beutel, Austin
  • Bronfman, Bruce
  • Chelsky, Sidney
  • Crosby, Constance
  • Faierman, Claudia
  • Fine, Gary
  • Fine*, Jack
  • Fine, Tamara
  • Goldberg, Robert
  • Goldberg, Ronda
  • Greenberg, Barry
  • Greenwood, Howard
  • Jacobs, Paul
  • Kalish, Brian
  • Krupat, Howard
  • Labendz, Eliane
  • Lander, Michael
  • Laufer, Susan
  • Laurie, Frank
  • Medjuk, J. Brian
  • Oelbaum, Annette
  • Oelbaum, Mitchell
  • Offman, Penny
  • Phillips, Batia B.
  • Schwebel, Earl
  • Slatt, Carol
  • Wyse, Laura

PAST PRESIDENTS

  • Chelsky, Sidney
  • Cohen, Jordan
  • Goldman*, Philip
  • Grossman*, Hon. Allan
  • Jacobs, Q.C. Paul
  • Larson*, Aly
  • Latowsky, Norman
  • Lipson Q.C., Barry D.
  • Oelbaum*, Ronald
  • Oelbaum, Mitchell
  • Tanenbaum, H. Wayne
  • Unger, Dr. Walter
  • Wynston, Michael

*Deceased

STAFF:

  • Jonathan Allen, Executive Director, Toronto and Atlantic Provinces
  • Polina Pshenichny, Executive Administrator

MONTREAL


PRESIDENT

  • Altman, Jack

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

  • Abitbol, Sylvain
  • Alkallay, Rachelle
  • Asch, Trudy
  • Benezra, Dr. Esther
  • Bindman, Martin
  • Cohen, Benny
  • Croll, Reuben
  • Cukier, Leora
  • Ferstman, Miriam
  • Fish, Aaron
  • Gold, Jennifer
  • Goldstein, The Hon. Yoine
  • Levine, Arthur
  • Levine, Janis
  • Levy, Richard S.
  • Lieff, Lois E.
  • Lober, Morty
  • Palevsky, Gail
  • Quallenberg, Allen
  • Rabinovitch, Peggi Cohen
  • Schnurbach, Richard
  • Smith, Ethel
  • Sperer, Ben
  • Thibodeau, Martin
  • Tritt, Bracha

PAST PRESIDENTS

  • Asch*, David
  • Bronfman*, Diane
  • Croll*, Fran
  • Echenberg, Gordon L.
  • Elman, Robert
  • Feifer*, Gerald
  • Kwitko, M.D.*, Marvin L.
  • Levine, Janis L.
  • Lieff, Lois E.
  • Morantz, Dr. Toby
  • Nachshen, Larry
  • Pascal*, Harold
  • Reitman*, Cyril
  • Roland, Miriam
  • Zwaig*, F.C.A., Melvin C.

*Deceased

STAFF:

  • Simon Bensimon, Executive Director
  • Michèle Richman, Executive Administrator/Event Coordinator

WINNIPEG

PRESIDENT

  • Zamick, Sheldon

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

  • Estein, Debbie
  • Feldman, Susan
  • Frumkin, Kim
  • Palansky, Marsha
  • Papini-Pollock, Yolanda
  • Raam, Ido
  • Zipursky, Grant

PAST PRESIDENTS

  • Becker, Dr. Allan
  • Freed, Marshall
  • Freed, Stephen
  • Gindin, Jeff
  • Kantor, Mark
  • Kimmel*, Erna
  • Leinburd, Paul
  • Spivak* Q.C., Sidney
  • Vickar*, Ed
  • Vickar*, Marion
  • Walsh* Q.C. LLD O.C., Harry
  • Walsh*, Irene

*Deceased

STAFF:

  • Zach Ostrove, Executive Director

BRITISH COLUMBIA - ALBERTA

PRESIDENT

  • Brown, Si

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

  • Bichin, Mark
  • Cohen, Nechemia
  • Delaney, Rachelle
  • Eidelman, Dr. Jay
  • Evans, Aeron
  • Isman, Murray
  • Korbin, Adam
  • Oberlander, Dr. T.
  • Shapiro, Stephen
  • Sneg, Rinat

PAST PRESIDENTS

  • Elias, Victor

STAFF:

  • David Berson, MSW, Executive Director

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