25th Anniversary March Madness

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, CFHU’s March Madness Online U.S. College Basketball Tournament fundraising initiative owes its success to devoted alumni and friends who get behind it every year.

What began in 1994 as a small project has grown dramatically over the years, raising more than $1 million for important research and scholarships for Canadian students to study at Hebrew U. Today, the Madness brand extends beyond basketball as CFHU now has annual online NHL Playoff Hockey and NFL Football Madness tournaments which continue to grow in popularity every year.

In recent years, Esther Schlesinger, CFHU’s Manager of Alumni Relations, has worked closely with a dedicated committee of alumni and friends. Together they organize three online sports tournaments and a well-attended Madness Tip-Off Party in Toronto every year.

“There’s no mystery behind what we achieve with Madness,” says Esther. “It’s thanks especially to a small group of committed, passionate volunteers, some of whom have been with us for the past 25 years. They’re a delight to work with. I’m always impressed by their commitment to Hebrew University and helping others. This year, led by committee co-chairs Mike Kraft and Lorne Persiko, we’re determined to reach new heights.”

Mike and Lorne first met in 1983 while studying at HU’s Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Such was the impact of their year there that they have long made it possible for other students to fulfill their dreams to study at Hebrew U.

Proceeds from the 2019 Madness Sports Tournaments support HU’s Einstein Legacy Student Scholarships which include: The Bernard and Elinore Persiko Merit Student Scholarship; Faye and Max Warshafsky Medical Research Scholarship; Yale Pilz Memorial Student Scholarship; Ronson Family Student Scholarship and the Bernie Kraft Research Fund.

For more information and to register for March Madness, go to www.madness.com.

If you’re in Toronto and want a fun night out with a great band and silent auction, come out to the Madness Tip-Off Party on March 7 at Drums N Flats. Purchase tickets by clicking here.

If you enter the March Madness Tournament before March 7, you get two free tickets to the party. Proceeds from the party support HU’s Cannabinoid Research Centre.

Esther and the rest of the CFHU team extend a special thank you to the Madness Committee, comprised of Lorne Persiko, Mike Kraft, Rhonda Ronson, Michael Konikoff, Gary Rudson, Aliya Lucatch, Roslyn Goldmintz and Harlie Persiko.