Canadian Friends of the Tel Aviv University (CFTAU) provides direct funding support for the educational and research goals of Tel Aviv University, Israel’s largest and most comprehensive institution of higher learning, facilitated by enhanced public awareness of the University’s achievements and programming through the development of a strong local network of support.
As part of a global network of friends associations CFTAU facilitates academic and research partnerships between Canada and Israel as well as establishing scholarships, supporting research, cultivating student and faculty exchanges and recruiting Canadian students to participate in the TAU International Program.
By supporting Tel Aviv University, you will be supporting Israel’s finest academic institution.
Many of Israel’s leaders in medicine, technology, law, music, film, and governments are graduates, including Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. The university has steadily risen in the Times Higher Education- QS World University Rankings to 114th place, up from 188th in 2005. In the number of citations per faculty, TAU is ranked 21st in the world. The institution and its staff are striving to achieve even higher standards but need your support as our constituents and stakeholders to do this. Founded in 1956, Tel Aviv University has grown into the largest and most influential university in Israel today. From ground-breaking research to life-saving technology, TAU is shaping the future of Israeli society and producing alumni that become tomorrow’s leaders, teachers and innovators.
TAU Partners in Canada
- Carlton University
- McGill University
- Ryerson University
- Simon Fraser University
- University of British Columbia
- University of Montreal
- University of Ottawa
- University of Toronto
- York University
to see our list of board members click here
- The Honourable Jerry S. Grafstein, J.D., Q.C.
- Leonard Abramsky, Secretary
- David S. Altshuller, Vice Chair
- Stephen Arbib, Vice Chair
- Richard J. Charney, Hon Legal Counsel
- Nathan Disenhouse, Chair
- Galia Feiler
- Victoria Granovski
- Adam B. Kahan
- Julie Di Lorenzo
- Baron Manett
- Larry W. Rich, Treasurer
- Ben Rogowski
- Jay Rosenzweig
- Ryan Schnier
- Ruben Shiffman
- Errol Tenenbaum
- Jeff Wagman, Past Chair
- Avi Weisman
- Stephen J. Adler, Executive Director
The Honourable Jerry S. Grafstein, J.D., Q.C.
Mr. Grafstein was a co-founder of a range of media companies, in Canada, the United Kingdom, United States and South America. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1984 by then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Mr. Grafstein served on all Senate Committees, especially the Foreign Affairs and Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee.
He retired from the Senate on January 1, 2010 and continued his law practice as counsel to Minden Gross LLP in Toronto until March 2015 and he is now Counsel Emeritus. He was named one of Canada’s top intellectuals by the National Post. He is an Honorary Commandant of US Marine Corps and Honorary War Chief of the Peigan Nation of North Alberta. He continues to serve as a director of public companies and as a key investor in several Canadian based tech start-ups.
Leonard Abramsky, Secretary
Leonard Abramsky joined Brookfield Financial in 2005 and oversees the company’s property advisory business on a global basis. Prior to joining Brookfield Financial, he was a Managing Director of TD Cornerstone which he joined in 1998 after TD Securities acquired the Cornerstone Commercial Realty the boutique property advisory that he established in 1995 following twelve years as one of CBRE’s leading investment sales professionals in Canada. Leonard has over 28 years of experience in real estate on the investment banking and brokerage sides of the industry. Leonard is a graduate of Boston University School of Management and holds a BSc in Business Administration Real Estate Finance, Cum Laude.
David S. Altshuller, Vice Chair
David Altshuller is a partner at Teplitsky, Colson LLP. David has a broad based corporate/commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on franchise disputes, estate matters, shareholder disputes, insolvency/restructuring proceedings, construction disputes and property/leasing matters. When required, he can assemble and manage a team of lawyers across a variety of practice areas in order to deal with his clients' issues in a thorough and cost-effective manner.
David has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars sponsored by, among others, the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Franchise Association.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016 David was listed by Lexpert® as an expert in Franchising Law and selected by Franchise Times Magazine as a "Legal Eagle". He is also listed in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of Best Lawyers International.
David has a strong connection to TAU. He enrolled in the M.A. Program in Middle Eastern History in 1994. He was a teaching assistant in the Overseas Student Program (Modern History of the Middle East) from 1996-1997. He was a lecturer in the Overseas Student Program (Modern History of the Middle East) 1997-2000 and was employed as Director of Special Education Programs for TAU/OSP.
Stephen Arbib, Vice Chair
Stephen Arbib is the founder and Managing Director of MENA Investment Network Inc. a company specializing in development of joint ventures using transfer of Israeli technology and know-how.
Arbib is also a Director at SkyLink Aviation, one of the world’s leading charter operators specializing in humanitarian and emergency operations. Arbib joined SkyLink in 2003, founding and managing their European operations from Rome, Italy until 2006, after which he moved to Toronto to manage the Canadian Department of National Defence sales office for SkyLink.
Arbib was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1977, and moved to Toronto at the age of 10. He attended Ryerson University for Business and following his second year enrolled in a joint entrepreneurship program in Vancouver, with Harvard University, where he founded his first company, Simso Online Inc. Following the growth of Simso, and its subsequent sale after 2 years, Arbib joined SkyLink Aviation.
Arbib is an active member of the Toronto Jewish community, having founded Shalom Life Media Inc., Canada’s largest Jewish media source, and a member of the Six Points Jewish Philanthropy Fund.
Richard J. Charney, Hon Legal Counsel
Richard Charney is global head of our employment and labour practice and national chair of our Canadian employment and labour law group.
Mr. Charney practices management labour relations and employment law, a field in which he is widely recognized as an advocate on behalf of national and local clients. He acts for numerous employers and employers’ organizations and appears at provincial and federal labour relations boards and the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and before rights and interest labour arbitration tribunals. He also advises on all matters of employment and labour law and legislative reform.
Mr. Charney’s practice also involves collective bargaining on behalf of employers, employment standards, human rights, wrongful dismissal, workplace health and safety and constitutional law.
He is particularly active as an advocate before national labour tribunals such as the Canada Industrial Relations Board, which has jurisdiction over transportation and similar national industries; the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which has jurisdiction in provincial industries such as construction; and in judicial review challenges to tribunal determinations in the federal and provincial superior courts.
He is also a leading labour counsel to a variety of well-known arts and cultural organizations in Canada.
Nathan Disenhouse, Chair
Nathan Disenhouse has over 30 years of financial service experience and has been practicing as a financial consultant since 1992. Before 1992, he worked in the banking industry from the administrative side to the commercial lending side.
He studied economics at York University and completed the Canadian Securities and Conduct, and Practices Courses, and has Life Insurance qualifications from the Life Underwriters Association of Canada. He is also an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (ICB).
Over the past few decades, Mr. Disenhouse has committed to providing complete and comprehensive financial advisory services to clients. Clients are assured of receiving the broadest and most responsive planning information and consulting possible.
He also enjoys networking with professionals from any industry on a global scale.
Galia Feiler is a seasoned real estate executive with wealth of experience in managing large real estate portfolios. Most recently, Galia served as the CEO of Fishman Holdings North America Inc. for over 5 years.
In this capacity, Galia had overseen all aspects of the company's large-scale portfolios, including acquisitions, asset management, realizations, financing, and development. The portfolio consisted of 6 million square feet of commercial real estate as well as 2,000 residential units with a combined value of over $1b dollars.
Prior to joining The Fishman Group, Galia headed the Israeli Desk at BDO Dunwoody Canada for 4 years. In this position, she represented a large number of Israeli private, corporate and institutional investors in Canada. Galia has also held senior positions with BDO and KPMG, Israel.
Galia is a Certified Public Accountant in the US and Israel and holds BA and Bsc degrees from Tel Aviv University.
Victoria Granovski, MFin sits on the board of directors and holds the Senior Vice President position at Firm Capital Mortgage Investment Corporation (listed on TSX). Mrs. Granovski is a trustee of Firm Capital Property (listed on TSX-V). Prior to joining Firm Capital, Victoria worked at Direct Insurance – Financial Investments Ltd and its affiliates. Victoria holds a Master of Finance degree from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Economics from the Open University of Israel. She has also served two years within the Israeli Intelligence Corps of the Israeli Defence Forces.
Adam B. Kahan
Adam Kahan is the President of ABK Associates Inc. a consulting company based in Toronto. He was Vice President, University Advancement at Ryerson University from April 2003 until December 2015. In this position, he led the re-branding of the University, and led fund raising realizing over $300 million. Prior to joining Ryerson, he was the President and Founder of ABK Associates, Inc. a Management Consulting firm based in New York with clients across the not-for-profit sector including museums, hospitals, cultural centers, schools and both national and international organizations. Mr. Kahan was the Executive Vice President of the American Friends of Hebrew University and before that the Chief Operating Office of the United Jewish Appeal of greater New York. Mr. Kahan has held key leadership positions in organizations in South Africa, Israel, the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada.
Under his leadership over $3.8 billion was raised in a variety of campaigns including capital, annual, endowment, planned giving and special projects. In addition to leading fund raising campaigns, Mr. Kahan has also designed and implemented strategic planning, marketing and communications projects, board development and training, leadership development and training and branding and alumni relations programs. Mr. Kahan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Masters Studies in Communications at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mr. Kahan is married with two children, a married daughter and married son and the grandfather of five grandsons.
Julie Di Lorenzo
Julie Di Lorenzo, President, Diamante Urban Corp is a leading Toronto builder and prominent voice for the real estate development industry in the city. Some of the outstanding Toronto condominium buildings she has been responsible for developing were winners of the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Project of the Year for three consecutive years, an unprecedented accomplishment by a single builder.
Julie led Toronto's development boom following the recession of the early '90s with One Balmoral, followed by landmark projects, Two Roxborough St. East, 801 Bay St, Domus in Yorkville, Phoebe on Queen, and One City Hall, one of the largest residential projects built in Toronto in its time. She has served as President and on the Executive of the Board of the Greater Toronto Home Builders-BILD, and on the Board of Tarion, The Ontario New Home Warranty Program. Julie is past board member of the Harbourfront Centre, board member and Mentor for Next 36 (an organization that helps launch entrepreneurial careers) Havergal College and also served 9 years on St. Michael's Hospital Board and presently serves on their Foundation and on the The York School Board of Directors. The Florian project which broke ground in summer 2009 is one of the standout residential projects to obtain construction financing in the difficult climate of 2009, completed for Occupancy in 2012 and is reputed as "one of Toronto's most beautiful buildings". The Diamond project in North York has launched in 2015. Goverment related roles include advising various levels of government on women's issues, small and medium-sized business and on the economy, more recently attending Federal Minister Flaherty's economic retreat in Wakefield.
Baron Manett is Director of Strategy & Client Services with Toronto-based Myriad Marketing Inc., and has ten years' experience designing creative events, marketing and communication activities for clients like Future Shop, the Royal Ontario Museum, the City of Toronto, Canon Canada, Paramount Entertainment, and ClaimSecure. Baron Manett holds a Master of Business Administration, and is a Graduate inCultural Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Larry W. Rich, Treasurer
With over 50 years of experience as a partner, Larry W. Rich has worked extensively with not-for-profits and entrepreneurial clients to achieve their goals. A published author, he has presented on topics such as the Family Law Act and Accountants’ Liability. Larry has been called upon to serve as an expert witness and has been appointed as a consultant in various civil actions. He is a CPA, CA, having earned his designation in 1965 and has completed the Academy of Family Mediators program.
Larry is currently a Fellow and committee member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. He is a member of the Academy of Family Mediators. He is the Chair of Family Enterprises Interest Group of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. He is the Treasurer and Board Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners as well as a Board Member of Beth Sholom Synagogue.
Ben Rogowski serves as the Executive Vice-President of the Canderel group of companies. Ben is responsible for all corporate operations, including leading the residential division. Since joining the Toronto office in 2003, he has been intimately involved with the acquisition and execution of several landmark residential developments, and he works hand in hand with the planning, marketing, sales and construction teams to ensure the successful completion of every project. Ben brings thoughtfulness and astute judgment to managing relationships with Canderel’s partners, lenders and senior staff.
Ben graduated from McGill University in 2000 with a Mathematics & Statistics degree in the faculty of Science. He is also a CFA charterholder.
Jay Rosenzweig, the founding partner of Rosenzweig & Company, is an expert in designing, building and attracting world class executive leadership teams. He consults to public and private companies including large global corporations; emerging growth to mid-sized businesses; professional service firms; and private equity and venture capital firms.
Jay is currently invested in and advising over 30 frontier technology businesses predominately across California, New York and Ontario. He serves as a Strategic Partner globally to the Chief Digital Officer Club & Summit, which he brought to Canada for the first time in 2017.
Jay is a champion of the cause of gender equality. He has been actively advocating on behalf of woman for decades, including through his Rosenzweig Report on the Status of Women, and has invested in several prominent and successful female founded businesses.
Jay, a lawyer by background, earned three degrees at McGill University: Philosophy, Civil Law, and Common Law. In addition, he completed Roger Fisher’s Negotiation Program at Harvard Law School.
Jay is active in many social causes. He is on the Board of Directors of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Irwin Cotler’s Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He is on the Board of Governors of Mount Sinai Hospital, where he is Co-Chair of the Breast Cancer Cabinet. He is on the Board of CJPAC. He is on the Board of UJA Genesis Centre for Innovation, where he focuses on nurturing emerging initiatives, providing career mentorship, and supporting innovation. He proudly served on the Board of One Young World 2016, the premier global forum for young leaders under 30.
Ryan Schnier maintains a broad corporate/commercial law practice at Fasken Martineau. He regularly advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, private placements and debt and equity financings, as well as private equity and venture capital fund formation. He also regularly advises early-stage companies on formation, governance, structure and financing matters.
During his studies at Tel Aviv University, Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Western Ontario, Ryan was a recipient of the Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP Scholarship for academic achievement, the Western University Scholarship of Excellence and the Western In-Course Scholarship.
Ryan summered at Fasken Martineau in 2015 and was seconded to Rogers Sportsnet. He then articled with the firm and joined as an associate in 2017. Prior to joining Fasken, Ryan worked as a law student for Kan-Tor & Acco in Israel and Groia & Company in Toronto.
Outside law, Ryan enjoys travelling, sports and Bruce Springsteen.
Dr. Ruben Shiffman, BBA, MBA, PhD., serves as the Managing Director at Norvista Resources Corporation. Dr. Shiffman served as a Managing Director of Emerging Markets trading globally at Scotia Capital in Toronto, Canada from 2005 to 2009, and worked at Scotia in Mexico City from 1999 to 2002. Prior to joining Scotia in Toronto, he served as a Vice President/Director for Latin America and Caribbean trading and sales at TD Securities. He was the Co-Founder of Calvista Gold Corporation.
He serves as a Director of the Securities Bureau at the Mexican Banking and Securities Commission/Ministry of Finance, where he represented Mexico at the Bank for International Settlements in Basle and on the International Organization of Securities Commissions. He has been the Executive Chairman of Greenland Resources Inc. since June 9, 2014. He served as Executive Chairman of Calvista Gold Corporation from 2010 to 2012. He served as the Vice Chairman of Calvista Gold Corporation since 2010 to September 21, 2011. He has been Director of Calvista Gold Corporation since 2010. He served as a Director of Solvista Gold Corporation from April 2011 to August 21, 2012. He served as Director of derivatives trading at Scotiabank from 1999 to 2002.
He serves as a Lecturer in Finance at the University of Calgary and UNAM and holds two national research awards in Mexico (1997 IMEF and ANFECA). He serves as the Chairman of Advisory Committee of Oremex Resources Inc. Dr. Shiffman holds a BBA and M.B.A. from UDLA, a Ph.D. in Finance from Mexico National Autonomous University (UNAM), and Post-Doctoral studies from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Errol practices law at Robins Appleby in the areas of taxation, estate planning and business, focusing primarily on the needs of family-owned and closely-held businesses. With in-depth experience in dealing with all stages in the life of a business, Errol’s clients range from entrepreneurs to established businesses. Errol is bilingual and able to serve his clients in both English and French.
Errol volunteers his time with several community initiatives. He works with the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), currently holding the position of Vice-chair of the Aliyah Division, and previously holding the positions in the Young Leaders Division of Co-chair of Springboard, Co-chair of the Ben Gurion Society, Co-chair of Impact Operations, Co-chair of the Young Lawyers Division, and Co-chair of the Young Lawyers and Accountants Division. Errol also is on the National Young Leadership Management Team of the Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA and is a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Baycrest Foundation. Errol has previously been named one of UJA’s Top 10 under 40.
Jeff Wagman, Past Chair
A graduate of the University of Waterloo, (B.A. Economics, 1979) Jeff has worked in the financial industry for over 30 years, beginning as a Foreign Exchange and Money Market Trader for a variety of major international banks. In 1986, Jeff became a Financial Advisor with a major Canadian investment brokerage firm. Over the past 26 years Jeff has successfully completed many securities industry examinations leading to his current designations as a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and Canadian Investment Manager. As well, Jeff has been an instructor for the Intelligent Investing series of seminars for the Investor Learning Centre from 1997 until 2001. The Investor Learning Centre was a not-for-profit, public educational organization sponsored by the Canadian Securities Institute. In 1998, Jeff became on of five Ontario semi-finalists for the coveted I.D.A. Distinction Award sponsored by the Investment Dealers Association of Canada, now known as IIROC.
Jeff is married to Annalee and they have three grown children (Eric 27, Elizabeth 25 and Stephanie 23). Jeff is very involved in the Jewish community and currently is Treasurer, Harold Green Jewish Theatre and Past Board Chair, BBYO Toronto.
Avi is a corporate and commercial lawyer with expertise in digital media, e-commerce cybersecurity, and marketing. At Caravel, Avi works with clients in different industries, on a broad range of matters, including but not limited to technology, advertising and marketing, licensing and other intellectual property matters, cyber security, digital media, and employment law related matters. Avi has developed extensive knowledge and expertise having worked within both large institutional companies, as well as successful entrepreneurial “start-ups”.
Avi is also an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, where he has been teaching Business Law since 2010. Moreover, Avi has Board experience having worked as an Advisory Board Member of Cycura Inc, a leading global Cyber Security, Incident Response, and Data Forensic company. Avi has been invited to speak as several high-profile Legal Conferences on the topic, including recently speaking on a panel at LegalTech in NYC.
Stephen J. Adler, Executive Director
Stephen comes to CFTAU with more than 10 years of experience as a fundraising and communications professional; philanthropic advisor, and senior administrator in the not for profit sector. Stephen has had increasingly senior and significant roles in the not-for-profit sector with Reena Foundation, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and most recently the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, where he collaborated with a diverse group of donors and volunteers to provide support to the $60million end MS Campaign and other Society initiatives in Ontario and across Canada.
Stephen holds a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Ottawa, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Corporate Communications from Centennial College and a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University, The Center on Philanthropy. In 2013 Stephen was named one of ShalomLife’s Top 20 Under 40 and in 2010, Stephen was nominated as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™. Stephen lives in Toronto with his wife Marnie, a television executive, and their two children.
Newsletters Ontario & Western Canada
to see our list of board members click here
- Alexandre Abecassis, Vice-Chair
- Gabriel Amar
- Ariela Cotler
- Joshua Cummings, Secretary
- Claire Dalfen, Past Chair
- Gladys Daoud
- Alex Elbaz
- Yannik Elbaz
- Yasef Eli, Treasurer
- Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil
- Theodore Goloff
- Shai Haddad
- Heidi Isaacson
- Sue Carol Isaacson
- Willy Jegher
- Annie Kenane
- Stewart Litvack
- James Miller
- Sass Peress
- Elan Roiz
- Judge Barbara Seal C.M., Past National Chair
- Gerald Soiferman
- Dr. Michael Tenenbaum, Chair
- Sharon J. Fraenkel, Executive Director
Alexandre Abecassis, Vice-Chair
Alexandre Abecassis is a Patent Agent and Senior Partner at the law firm Fasken Martineau.
He joined the firm in 2007 to start and develop a patent prosecution practice in the Montreal office. Through almost 18 years in the field, Mr. Abecassis has developed a solid international practice focused mainly on the high-tech sector, with innovations in software, imaging, electronics and telecommunications. He has also developed solid expertise in protecting innovations related to quantum computing and innovations in the aerospace industry. Mr. Abecassis additionally counsels clients in the areas of patent portfolio management and IP due diligence. He particularly enjoys managing complex IP portfolios and he is widely recognized for his strong business acumen.
Mr Abecassis graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in 2000 with a bachelor in electrical engineering. He is a registered patent agent in Canada and in the US. In 2014, Mr. Abecassis graduated from the PLD program of Harvard Business School.
He is also involved in various organizations at a leadership level. He is a currently a board member of the Akiva school, a board member of the Harvard Club of Quebec and a LP member of CIJA. He joined Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University in 2014 and was Chair of the Young Professional Group for a 2 year term.
Gabriel Amar is a lawyer who specializes in real estate law, construction law and commercial litigation.
Throughout his professional career, Gabriel has consistently contributed to the Montreal Jewish community in various manners, all of which were impactful. Gabriel was a member of the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC) Action planning committee in 2014, 2015 and 2017. In 2016, Gabriel successfully created and implemented an educational curriculum for Jewish academic institutions in Montreal which enabled high school students to advocate on behalf of the State of Israel – this curriculum is still ongoing today and continues to be implemented in other academic institutions. In 2016, Gabriel began serving a two-year term as a member of the standing sub-committee of the Centre for Israeli and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the advocacy arm of Jewish Federations Canada. That same year, Gabriel also joined CFTAU and now serves as a member of the Regional Board of Directors. Gabriel is a devoted member of Montreal’s Jewish community and is always seeking new opportunities to further his contribution.
Joshua Cummings, Secretary
Joshua Cummings was born and raised in Montreal. He is currently a Vice-President of Maxwell Cummings and Sons, a real estate and investment holding company. He graduated from Concordia University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts and from McGill Law School in 2006 with a BCL/LLB.
Josh has been involved in community for several years. Notably, he served as President of Friendship Circle, an organization that helps children and young adults with special needs, from 2013 to 2016. He also sat on the Next Generation Committee of the Jewish General Hospital from 2010 to 2015, and on the CFTAU Young Professional Group from 2015 to 2017, a committee which he co-chaired in 2017, before joining CFTAU’s Regional Board.
Claire Dalfen, Past Chair
Claire Dalfen has worked with elementary school children as a teacher and as a librarian. She also was Director of Communications and Publications for the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, a national trade group. For some 10 years after that, she operated a small communications practice that provided writing and editing services to industry and non-profit organizations. Claire’s community activities have been in support of Montreal’s Federation CJA Partnership 2000, The Jewish National Fund, Hillel, Auberge Shalom and presently Vice President of Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University.
Yasef Eli, Treasurer
Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil
Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil is a B.C.L./LL.B. Candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law where he served as 1L Class President on the Law Students’ Association and as Associate Managing Editor on the McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution. Prior to pursuing a legal education, he conducted research in the field of security studies. His most recent work was published by the Institute for National Security Studies and identified the vulnerabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles to cyberattacks.
Gabriel holds a B.A. (Political Science) from Concordia University, an M.A. (Political Science) from the University of Ottawa and an M.A. (Security and Diplomacy) from Tel Aviv University. He also studied International Relations at the University of Toronto.
As a Chief Steward Francophone for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (local 2626) at the University of Ottawa, he championed the rights of more than 3000 student workers. At the University of Toronto, he was the International Relations Area Representative for the Graduate Association of Students in Political Science. He was also a member of TAU’s International Student Senate.
Gabriel was involved in various capacities in municipal and federal politics in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, notably working on Parliament Hill for the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, then Minister of International Trade. He received numerous awards, including an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, a Desjardins Foundation Scholarship, and, in 2016, the CFTAU Judge Barbara Seal Scholarship. He joined CFTAU in 2017, following his year abroad at TAU.
Shai Haddad is a Sales & Marketing veteran in the tech world.
He has also been involved in Jewish and Israel affairs for the past 20 years, wearing several hats.
Shai was one of the leading Israeli artists to deliver culturally and politically minded messages, using his music as an outlet to shape the global advocacy debate for Israel. Shai has lead, or was engaged in impactful initiatives that included:
- The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs had sent him to tour 14 Jewish communities in major US cities, to spread Israel’s open culture and to strengthen those communities’ ties to Israel through speaking engagements.
- Working with Hillel, across their North American university campuses (including Stanford, Berkeley, San Jose) to share the story of Jews from Arab lands.
- A project called “Nativ”. With the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shai went on an annual mission to help strengthen Jewish identity and ties to Israel in young adult Russian Jews. The event, which took place in St Petersburg and Moscow, was hosted by Russia’s Ambassador to Israel. This mission helped develop a new platform for dialogue with the Russian youth.
- A CSUQ initiative, “Le Cercle”, to strengthen the engagement of young professionals in Montreal Jewish life.
Shai joined CFTAU in 2017, chaired the Young Professional Group in 2018 and is presently a Regional Board Member.
Heidi Isaacson’s career spans over thirty years in service industries, including corporate relocation (employee mobility), law, private banking, corporate finance, vendor management, and real estate administration. As an operations and customer service specialist, Heidi has launched her own businesses, as well as developed and launched new products and services for global companies.
A true Montrealer and entrepreneur at heart, Heidi’s newest company is geared towards helping individuals and businesses get organized with life’s many responsibilities.
Heidi has volunteered for the Quebec Special Olympics, the Mackay Center’s Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Campaigns, as well as for various hospitals in Montreal.
Heidi spent eight years as the Vice-President of the Canadian Foundation for Animal Assisted Support Services, working towards streamlining industry standards and certification options for working canine teams. In 2006, Heidi combined a passion for working dogs with a passion for helping people, and built an online platform for teams used by police and military, search and rescue, service and assistance, as well as for related industry providers.
As a Board member for CFTAU Eastern Region, Heidi chairs the Events and Marketing Committee.
Sue Carol Isaacson
Born, raised, and educated in Montreal, Sue Carol has long been identified as an outstanding community leader, and has participated actively in promoting issues critical to local, Israeli, and international Jewish interests.
While completing her studies at McGill University, Sue Carol acted as Chair, McGill Combined Charities. Sue Carol has been both vocal and active during the traumatic years of harsh restrictions on many aspects of Jewish life in the former Soviet Union and, especially, its intransigence vis-à-vis Jewish emigration. A member of the Montreal Soviet Jewry Movement and the Group of 35, its activist arm, Sue Carol and her husband visited refuseniks in the Former Soviet Union in 1985.
Sue Carol has been awarded many honours, one of which is the Golda Meir Award for Israel Bonds. She has also played various important leadership roles with Jewish Women in Montreal. In 2001, she was named Campaign Chair for Federation Montreal CJA, and, from 2003 to 2005, she was President, Women’s Philanthropy, Montreal, organizations under the aegis of United Israel Appeal. Soon after, from 2006 to 2008, Sue Carol was Co-Chair, Women’s Federation Canada. She has also served as President, Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University, Quebec and Eastern Region, for three years and now sits on the Board.
William Jegher leads the real estate advisory practice at EY in Montreal. In addition to CFTAU, William is active on the Israel-Overseas Committee with Federation CJA and most recently served on the board of Hebrew Academy. William, along with his wife Kara, are passionate about community, Israel and Jewish life and have the objective of instilling the same values in their two children, Josh (11) and Julia (8).
Annie Kenane was born in Israel and moved to France at the age of sixteen. Later she settled in Israel, spending a year at Kibbutz Galon in order to learn Hebrew. She graduated from high school, obtaining her Bagrut, which is a prerequisite for higher education. Subsequently, she earned a LL.B degree from Hebrew University in 1974. She then spent a year practicing social work in Israel. In 1975 – 76 she studied at the prestigious Université de Paris – Sorbonne.
She immigrated to Canada in 1976. For the next two years, she taught at the Collège Français in Montréal. During the following two years she studied at the Université de Montréal, where she obtained her second law degree.
She became a member of the Québec Bar in 1980, having articled at the law office of de Grandpré Colas. She soon opened her own legal office, where she practiced immigration law until 2014. Recently, Annie left the practice of law and has a very successful career in real estate.
She is an active board member of Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University and regularly attends the yearly Board of Governors’ meetings in Tel Aviv.
Sass Peress is known as a high-energy, innovation architect with decades of achievements in global renewable energy product development and marketing, public company leadership, and community involvement.
He received his education at two Canadian universities; Queens University, in Life Sciences, and Concordia University, graduating in B Comm in Finance with distinction, and an MBA Int’l Marketing with honors. He started his career by leading sales for various distributors in both, the automotive industry and renewable energy platform. This included servicing some of Canada’s top auto parts retailers, as a member of companies he co-founded.
Sass has been nominated and received several awards including; Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year- Finalist in 2004, Howard Stotland Promies Award-Young Entrepreneur Technology in 2005, Profit 100-NEXT Award for Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2005, and Multiple Sclerosis Society Leadership Award in 2006. In 2012, Sass launched renewz inc, a global leader in solar powered shading systems. Sass likes to make a positive difference in the lives of all those that he comes across and has been very involved in his community, working with several organizations, such as, Linda Saab Foundation, and Cummings Centre/Le Café. In 2017, Sass help re-launch the non-profit Energie Solaire Quebec, as Chairman of the only organization solely dedicated to the use of solar energy in Quebec. Sass joined CFTAU in 2016.
Judge Barbara Seal C.M., Past National Chair
Barbara Seal, C.M. enjoys a distinguished career in public and community spheres. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of countless worthy causes ranging from the Arts to cancer research. She served as municipal councillor for the City of Hampstead and was responsible for introducing innovative policies and programs. She has sat on the Board of Directors of Place des Arts, the Arts Council of the Montreal Urban Community, Théâtre Espace Go and the National Forum on climate change. She was Vice-President in charge of the Canada Day Celebrations for Québec, and Québec President for the Canada Day Poster Challenge. She presently sits on the Board of the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, the Advisory Board at the McGill School of Continuing Studies, for the Governors of Tel Aviv University, and as National President of Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University.
Barbara Seal has been widely recognized in Canada for her outstanding contributions in helping to make our world a better one and has been honoured with numerous awards. Among these are the Golda Meir Award, Grande Dame of Montreal, the Jerusalem 3000 Medal, Canadian Parks and Recreational Association Award, and the Canadian Cancer Society Award. In addition, she holds the distinction of having been chosen as one of 125 Canadian volunteers to receive the Governor General’s Special Edition Plaque, as well as the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. The University has bestowed upon her its President’s Medal and an Honorary Doctorate.
She is the recipient of the Médaille des Arts et Métiers from the Carrefour des Communautés du Québec, for her outstanding work as a citizenship judge and her devotion to community and intercultural rapprochement.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to Canada in 1993, Judge Barbara Seal was awarded Canada’s highest honour, the Order of Canada.
She was appointed a Citizenship Judge in 1997 and served in this capacity for 12 years across Canada and particularly in the Montreal area. She continues to devote much time and effort in visiting schools, communities and municipalities promoting Canadian citizenship. She acted as interim chief Judge of the Court of Citizenship of Canada and, though now retired, she still conducts major citizenship ceremonies. She maintains a scholarship fund which assists students at Tel Aviv University. In 2013, a research floor was named for her and her husband at the Tel Aviv Law Faculty.
Gerald Soiferman is a graduate of the McGill School of Architecture (B. Arch. 1963). Following his studies, he was associated with prominent architectural firms in New York City and Montreal. In 1981, he partnered in the formation of Fichten Soiferman Architectes (FSA), which earned a highly respected reputation for its realization of major university, airport, healthcare and commercial projects.
In parallel with his architectural career, he pursued his passion of designing furniture and taught the subject to interior design students at Dawson College.
Over the years, he has been privileged to serve as a board member and volunteer in various community endeavors. He is a past president of CFTAU and the Jewish Public Library; and is a former member of the Honorary Council of the Montreal Chamber Orchestra.
He is currently a member of the Planning Advisory Committee of the City of Westmount, the Regional Board of Directors of the Canadian Fiends of Tel Aviv University and the Jewish Public Library. As well, he serves as an architectural advisor on several Jewish Community renovation projects.
Dr. Michael Tenenbaum, Chair
Dr. Michael Tenenbaum attended McGill University where he obtained his B.Sc. and D.D.S. degrees. After a residency in Family Dentistry at the Herzl Clinic of the Jewish General Hospital he went into private practice as a co-founder of the West Island Health Centre in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.
Michael brings a wealth of experience in community work and fundraising to CFTAU. He served as Vice-President of Congregation Beth Tikvah, in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, as well as President of Camp Bnai Brith of Montreal. He is a Past Chair of the Dental Division of UJA and a Past Co-chair of Super Sunday for which he received the Young Leadership Award. Michael has been on the Dental Committee of Israel Bonds for many years and was the Honouree for the Dental Division in 2000.
Professionally, he has been very involved in the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity and served as President of the Alpha Omega Mount Royal Dental Society and Vice-President of the Federation of Dental Societies of Greater Montreal. He is a Past Chairman of the Alpha Omega Foundation of Canada. He served as International President of Alpha Omega in 2011 and was a key leader in the recent campaign for the Rothstein-Williamowsky Post Graduate Clinic at the Dental School at Tel Aviv University which was founded by Alpha Omega. Michael was honoured with a pillar by the Montreal Alumni Chapter. He is presently a Governor of Tel Aviv University’s International Board and serves on CFTAU’s National Board.
Sharon J. Fraenkel, Executive Director
Sharon J. Fraenkel is the Executive Director of Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University for Ottawa, Quebec and Atlantic Provinces. He is headquartered at the Montreal office.
An effective leader with international experience at an executive level in hospitality, events, financial resource development and volunteer management, Sharon is a strong communicator who leads by encouraging through enthusiasm, instilling confidence and trust. He seeks input and values diversity of perspectives. His exceptional networking aptitude earned him a reputation of integrity and a proven track record for building and maintaining positive relationships.
Sharon joined Concordia University in 2005, where he remained for nearly a decade with the university’s friend- and fundraising arm. Promoted twice during his tenure, culminating to the position of Director, Alumni Relations, Events and Sponsorships, he acted as the official liaison with the Office of the President, Senior Administrators, the Board of Governors and different Concordia Student Unions on related matters, and thus was fortunate to work collaboratively with and among many talented and diverse individuals; professionals, academics, students and volunteers alike.
Newsletters Ottawa, Quebec and Atlantic Canada
Richard (Dick) Zuker’s professional life involved work in economics and public finance, domestically and internationally, for the federal government and as a consultant. Much of his work was devoted to improving financial and intergovernmental arrangements between the federal government and Indigenous governments and organizations in Canada.
During his over forty years in Ottawa, he served as Finance Chairman at Temple Israel for many years and chaired the Community Panel on Jewish Education. He served as President, and continues as a member of the Board and Finance Committee Chair, of Tamir, a Jewish Agency serving developmentally disabled people; and is a Board member of AJA50plus, a Jewish organization providing a range of educational and entertainment programs for seniors.
Dick and Marcia, a retired hospital social worker, have been married for 48 years. They have a son, who is a lawyer for the federal government, and a daughter, who is a rabbi and recently returned to Ottawa, with her two young sons, to work at the new Congregation Kehilat Beth Israel.
Dick highly values education and is a strong supporter of Israel.
“I am looking forward to working with other like-minded individuals to form the Ottawa Chapter of Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University, one of the best universities in the world.”
Marina Brin RA, BN
Marina has been working as a nurse for more then 5 years. She has have an experience for more then 2 years as a paediatric nurse in a paediatric intensive care and an experience for 2 years in Paediatric Emergency Department. In addition, She has a one year experience as an operation room nurse.
She has a strong ability of analyzing and interpreting dynamics of patients and situations and acting accordingly. She has very good time management and planning skills and the ability to work with various cultural and ethnic groups and is able to work in a team.
“Moreover, I enjoy my job, I like to see children feel better and get well; I get excited when I see light in their eyes, and I enjoy communicating with their families.”
Marina has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science from Tel Aviv University (2005-2009). Currently she is working towards to get the Canadian RN licence.
TAU has set a goal to create a better and healthier world, help make that goal a reality!
Become a part of our great community! Stay in touch! Support us on events, volunteering options, share your ideas!
TAU has also set a goal to create a better and healthier world, investing significant resources into building new laboratories, recruiting young researchers from top institutions such as Harvard and the NIH, and awarding fellowships to its most talented master’s and doctoral students. TAU is also a leader in narrowing the gap between rich and poor in Israel by providing social programs that give qualified students from disadvantaged backgrounds the financial and academic support to succeed. Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University is committed to assisting TAU with its goals.
Volunteer! We need you!
With a little of you time and talent, we can do a lot for Tel Aviv Unversity!
Become a part of our great community! Stay in touch! Support us on events, volunteering options, share your ideas! Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University can’t continue to grow and flourish without the help of people like you.
We draw our strength from the energy, commitment, and diverse skills of our dedicated volunteers — from those helping to plan a one-time-only activity to those governing on our Board of Directors or the board of one of TAU’s faculties.
If you’d like to get more involved, please let us know by emailing email@example.com. We’ll find engaging and rewarding opportunities to match your schedule and your special interests.
We look forward to working with you!