CFHU Press Release

CANADIAN FRIENDS OF HEBREW UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES $5,000,000 GIFT FROM THE ASPER FOUNDATION

Left to right: Richard Leipsic, David Asper, Leonard Asper - Chair, Gail Asper - President

Left to right: Richard Leipsic, David Asper, Leonard Asper – Chair, Gail Asper – President

THIS TRANSFORMATIVE GIFT WILL NAME ASPER HUJI INNOVATE AT THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, January 13, 2021 — The Canadian Friends of Hebrew University is pleased to announce a transformative gift of five million dollars ($5M) from The Asper Foundation, that will name Asper HUJI Innovate at the Hebrew University. This gift upholds a tradition of exceptional philanthropic support and collaboration between the Asper Family, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel (HUJI).

This gift will allow Asper HUJI Innovate to expand its footprint and professional led start-up accelerators to develop significant external partnerships. A portion of the funds will be used to establish an annual Asper Innovation Prize, valued at $35,000. USD. The prize will be awarded during a juried competition, intended to encourage, and recognize outstanding and promising student led startups. The public event will also be used to showcase the University as a central force for global innovation within the Jerusalem ecosystem. (Jerusalem is currently ranked 6th in New Global Startup Ecosystem Report).

“It was the entrepreneurial spirit of our late parents, Israel & Babs, that created ties with HUJI in 1968. Now, with Asper HUJI Innovate, the advancement of new ideas will continue for generations”

— Gail Asper – President, The Asper Foundation

“It was the entrepreneurial spirit and wisdom of our late parents, Israel and Babs, that established ties with the Hebrew University close to sixty years ago. We are very proud of our long-standing partnership and connection to innovation that began with the creation of the Asper Center for Entrepreneurship in the Jerusalem School of Business Administration, in 2001. We are excited to witness, through Asper HUJI Innovate, new generations of students and academics lay the groundwork for advancing ideas, for generations to come.” said Gail Asper, President, The Asper Foundation

The Asper HUJI Innovate platform encourages the entire university community, including students, faculty, and alumni and the Jerusalem community at large to develop their innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities.

Established in 2018, it was created as a platform to ensure that graduates are best prepared for the challenges brought about by disruption, inherent in an evolving workplace. Asper HUJI Innovate serves as a major boost to Jerusalem’s startup ecosystem.

“The HUJI Innovate program is highly prized by the entire University, and The Asper Foundation’s agreement to name and support the Center will surely lead to a great leap forward in the Hebrew University’s entrepreneurial enterprises. The vision and experience provided by Gail Asper, President of The Asper Foundation, has for many years been an invaluable asset for the Hebrew University, following the tradition of her beloved late father, Israel, who remains a legendary figure for many of us to this day.” Prof. Asher Cohen, President, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Innovation has long been one of Israel’s most valuable resources. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem fuels Israel’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture, advancing research and technology by educating its vital, highly skilled, human workforce; one that produces more startups per capita than any other nation in the world.

“For over 100 years the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has upheld the vision of its founders, including Albert Einstein, Martin Buber and Sigmund Freud, being at the forefront of creating Israel’s most significant and cutting-edge research, leading to inventions that serve our global community. This incredible gift will positively impact thousands of students, faculty and alumni; essentially shifting the course of research and engagement between the University and myriad business communities at large – it is extraordinarily profound.”

— Rami Kleinmann, President & CEO, Canadian Friends of Hebrew University

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