CJN Article "McGill Principal Lauds Closer Ties With Hebrew U"

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Heather Monroe-Blum and Menahem Ben-SassonMONTREAL — McGill University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem have solidified their longstanding informal relationship with agreements for future academic collaboration and exchange in a variety of disciplines.

McGill University principal Heather Munroe-Blum is greeted by Hebrew University president Menahem Ben-Sasson. [PBL photo]

More than $1.5 million has been raised so far in private donations to make that collaboration possible. A gala evening in honour of McGill principal and vice-chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum was held by the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University (CFHU) Nov. 15 at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim.

Munroe-Blum was credited with being instrumental in forging ties between the two universities, which led to formal agreements between four departments: medicine, law, management, and agriculture.

The funds raised through the $500-a-plate dinner will support projects related to the study of epigenetics, human rights law, international business, and food safety and water management.

Munroe-Blum was presented with the Friends of Hebrew University’s highest citation, the Scopus Award, by Hebrew U  president Menahem Ben-Sasson before an audience of more than 350 guests.

“McGill’s internationalism and expanding network of global collaborations are accomplishments of which I am particularly proud,” she said, “and our landmark research, teaching and student exchange projects with Hebrew University are a signature example of the profound contributions universities can make when we join forces and share strengths.”
In addition, summer programs alternating each year between the two institutions are to be instituted.

Munroe-Blum added that “remarkable synergies” exist between the two universities, which have both from their beginnings had “a mission to serve locally while ranking and collaborating internationally.”

“Heather Munroe-Blum was the perfect choice for the Scopus Award, and we bestowed it upon her with gratitude and pleasure,” said CFHU Montreal chapter president Monette Malewski. “Her work in strengthening ties between Canada and Israel, and between McGill and Hebrew University – our nations’ leading scholarly institutions – has been exemplary.”

McGill chancellor Arnold Steinberg, the evening’s MC, said the collaboration will broaden students’ education, creating “a new generation of global citizens,” and benefit the world by “leveraging the respective strengths” of each university.

Ben-Sasson noted that “the language of science” transcends national borders, and the common goal is to “strive for co-operation in the redeeming of the world.”

The Bronfman family’s continuing support of Hebrew U was evidenced by the leading role Judy and Paul Bronfman of Toronto played in the fundraising. Paul’s grandfather, Allan Bronfman, founded CFHU in Montreal in 1944.

The evening also included a performance of operatic excerpts by students of McGill’s Schulich School of Music.

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CFHU is dedicated to supporting IMRIC through direct funding and by developing key collaborative medical research partnerships between Canada
and Israel.
www.imric.org

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