1972, Lawrence Bessner (z”l), Founder; Annie Adams (z”l), National President;
Yoine J. Goldstein (z”l), Founder

In 1972, Yoine J. Goldstein (z’’l), Lawrence Bessner (z’’l) and Meier Segals (z’’l) established Tel Aviv University’s presence in Canada. Then, as it is now, our mission supported Tel Aviv University’s educational and research goals by providing future leaders with the means to pursue higher education, promote research, and facilitate joint projects with Canadian universities. 

Today, 50 years later, our goal remains unchanged, to share the incredible knowledge and innovations coming out of the university, develop friendships, and be part of the next big idea. We have always stayed true to our values, creating actions with purpose and impact with Tel Aviv University (TAU) at heart. 

 We are proud of our history. We have much to share. 

To celebrate our golden jubilee, we look forward throughout the year to sharing pictures from past events and profiles of some of the many people who fueled our growth to make Tel Aviv University Canada what it is today. 

We are excited by what is still to come and cannot wait to share it with you!


To celebrate the 50th anniversary, we have set the objective of raising funds for 50 scholarships.
Join the CFTAU family and participate in this unique goal to make it a reality.



Canadian Friends of
Tel Aviv University is Born

In 1972, our great adventure began. The Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University (CFTAU) was founded by three individuals with a common vision; to promote TAU amongst Canadians. It was the beginning of a long, exciting journey! 


First Canadian Chairman of TAU’s Board of Governors

1979 marks a historical turning point for Tel Aviv University as well as for CFTAU with the announcement of the first Canadian in history, Jack Cummings, to become Chairman of the Board for TAU for a six-year term. 


Inauguration of the Adams Super-Center for Brain Studies


Inauguration of the Marcel and Annie Adams Institute for Management Information Systems


Inauguration of the Harold Tanenbaum Research Fund in Biomedical Engineering


Inauguration of the David J. Azrieli School of Architecture


Yoine J. Goldstein (z”l)

(1934 – 2020)

Goldstein (z”l) was a Montreal-born lawyer, academician and former senator. A key figure in the development of the Canadian Jewish community, he was President of the Montreal Jewish Federation (CJA) from 1995 to 1997. The Honourable Yoine J.Goldstein (z’l) is one of the three original founders of the CFTAU.

Lawrence Bessner (z”l)

(1921 – 2007)

Professor Lawrence Bessner (z”l) was a very active member of the Jewish community in the 20th century. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and later founded an accounting firm. Being of the three founders of the CFTAU, he will forever leave a trace in our history. 

Meier Segals (z”l)

Cofounder Meier Segals (z”l) was well known for his research and contributions in Zoology. TAU’s Garden for Zoological research, a facility that has become the largest and leading research facility in its field, was named after this respected member of the Jewish Community.


Lili and Michael Shain

Alum and Donors

As Michael Shain was about to retire in 2018, a conversation with his dear friend Jeff Wagman, Regional (Ontario and Western Canada) and past National Board member, inspired him to fulfill a long-held dream. He dreamt of spending time in Israel and toyed with the idea of auditing a course at TAU for a semester. The next thing he knew, he was at the graduate orientation session at the university and looking for an apartment. 

Fourteen months later, Michael received his diploma, graduating with an M.A. (Magna Cum Laude) from the Middle East Studies Program in 2019. During this time, he and his wife fell in love with Israel and now split their time between Toronto and Tel Aviv.  Since then, they have become active supporters of the University. Lili, organized a campaign called ‘Operation Saving Lihi’ to support groundbreaking medical research at the Sagol School of Neurosciences into a rare disease afflicting a young Israeli child. Michael supports many of his former professors at the Moshe Dayan Center, a leader in establishing academic ties with the countries of the Abraham Accords.


Yasef Eli

Alum, Donor and Regional Board Member

At the age of 17, Yasef Eli fled the civil war in Turkey, trusting that living in Israel would provide better opportunities. Being admitted to Tel Aviv University was a determining factor in his transition into adulthood and the building blocks of a successful career. “They gave me a chance when nobody else did”, claims this now Canadian citizen that graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Statistics.   

 After completing his studies, he moved to Canada and faced, once again cultural and linguistic challenges that he overcame with confidence. A few years later, he was contacted by CFTAU (now TAU Canada)  where he eventually sat on the Board, both on a National and Regional level. “Investing in education, in any way you can, whether by giving time or donating, is essential to help future generations achieve their dreams.” explains passionately Yasef Eli.  

Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil

Judge Barbara Seal C.M. Scholarship Recipient, Alum and Regional Board Member

Originally from Montreal, Gabriel is a graduate of Tel Aviv University, obtaining his Master’s degree in diplomacy and security in 2017. Following his degree, he decided to get involved with TAU at the local level. He is committed to the institution and people that contributed to his academic life. Since then, he has become a board member of TAU Canada and is the chair of the Ottawa, Quebec and Atlantic Canada scholarship committee since 2017. 

As he was privileged to receive a scholarship for his studies, his involvement with TAU Canada reflects his gratitude towards this support. He is committed to helping future students benefit from such an opportunity and is driven by a large number of niche projects that TAU Canada supports, which motivates him to stay involved. 

50th Anniversary Campaign Donation

© CFTAU  | all rights reserved
Charitable registration: 124035643RR0001