Montrealers recently gathered to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Hebrew University. With invited guests, Vice President of Strategy and Diversity at the Hebrew University, Mona Khoury, and renowned Israeli writer, film maker and producer Maor Zaguri, the evening was an opportunity to learn why a culturally diverse space for academia enhances knowledge and makes for a better and more robust learning experience, intellectual exchange and in many ways a healthier society overall.
The 5-7 event, held at Les Jardins Royalmount, was also an occasion to thank and honor the many generous donors in Montreal who have supported underrepresented communities in Israel, namely students of Ethiopian descent and from the Haredi and Arab communities. Attendees understood that education is the greatest equalizer and providing opportunities to study alongside students from myriad communities contributes to greater understanding, empathy and provides encouragement for peaceful coexistence.
Amongst the guests in attendance were Sylvia and Lou Vogel who generously support The Shluchei Tzibur (Public Envoys) Program for mid-career Haredi community leaders, Robert Kleinman who represented the Executors of the Andrew Harper Estate, including Harold Merton and Andy’s nephew Allan Harper, who have carried on Andy’s legacy of support, creating scholarships for students from the Arab community, and donors supporting students of Ethiopian descent in all disciplines. The latter has been part of a robust effort, which started over 2 decades ago when Ben Horwood developed an investment fund that would be endowed to support deserving students from the community – his ongoing dedication, generosity, and investment savvy guarantees that the value of the fund continues to grow, all the while enabling yearly scholarship disbursements.
The desire to provide a boost to one of Israel’s most underserved communities continues through the vision of Jonathan Goodman, whose leadership and desire for community transformation created the Changemakers Campaign. With support from his entire family, represented that evening by Morris and Lillian, David and Mia, and Jonathan and Dana, the campaign took on a global appeal, involving his sister and brother-in-law, Shawna and Todd Sone, in Israel, Debbie Goodman and Gerald Davis in New York. Jonathan challenged the University to move the needle on recruiting and supporting students of Ethiopian descent and gathered like-minded philanthropists to join him in what has become a movement, and we were honored to have with us Dany Pollack, who was an early joiner to the Changmakers cabinet and travelled to Ethiopia to learn more about the community, Rosalie Jukier Dobrin and Lewis Dobrin, Sharon Steinberg, Bobby Stoller and Allysa Yufe Stoller, Jeff and Geraldine Hart, Isabelle Benoit-Gelber and Geoffrey Gelber, Irene and Stephen Lipper.
They, along with many of our cherished long-time friends, including CFHU National Chair Monette Malewski, incoming National Chair Michael Kraft and his wife Lesli, immediate past Montreal Chapter President Ari Brojde and wife Robyn, CFHU President and CEO Rami Kleinmann, President of the MRGFF, Maxyne Finkelstein, Changemaker Gideon Pollack, former Montreal ED Carolyn Steinman, and chapter members Diane Cohen, Bernie Shuster and Bryant and Lillian Shiller were on hand to hear the exciting announcement by Jonathan Goodman of a major investment from the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Family Foundation of $1.2M dollars, which will be added to the recently achieved Scholarships for Students of Ethiopian Descent Campaign goal of $5M US from the University and our Friends Chapters worldwide.
Thank you to the evenings sponsors The Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, Value Contrarian, Chaz Consultants and Immeubles Penny Levine, and all in attendance who are actively helping the Hebrew University remain the leading University in Israel, and 77th worldwide.