100 Alumni We Love - Mike Kraft

Reflections on my time at Hebrew U

By Michael Kraft, Toronto, Canada

I was studying for my BA in Economics from York University in 1983 and I had heard about the Rothberg International year-abroad program at Hebrew U and my life long buddy, Lorne Persiko, convinced me to join him even though I had never been to Israel. It turned out to be one of the most memorable years of my life. I had the time to really explore the entire country, made life long friends, the courses were engaging with great profs and it was great living on Mt. Scopus.

I wanted to give back beyond just writing a cheque……which is the easy way out…….and I became Lorne Perskio’s Co-Chair for CFHU’s annual alumni run Madness Sports fundraising campaign. Our goal was to raise funds for scholarships for Canadian students so they too would be able to fulfill their dreams to also study abroad at Hebrew U.

My family and I also wanted to find a meaningful way to honour the memory of my father Bernie Kraft who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. We established the Bernie Kraft Memorial Research Fund at the newly-opened Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research at Hebrew University. The center covers a vast array of research areas, aimed at generating synergy between researchers, projects and scientific centers around the globe, in the hope of intensifying the use of cannabinoids for medical treatment. My goal is to raise enough money to fund research at Hebrew U that ultimately will move the needle in the hope of finding an impactful treatment for Alzheimer patients.

  • Michael is the Chairman of the Buckingham Group Limited a privately-owned merchant bank that provides capital and a full range of direct business support and commercial services to investee companies including WeedMD Inc., in which he is Co-Founder & Chairman based in Toronto.