Dear friends and supporters,
I would like to begin my letter this year by saluting our very special 2015 CIJR 27th Anniversary Gala Honoree, our indefatigable and dedicated founder, Director and President for 27 years running, Prof. Frederick Krantz. A recognition long overdue and well deserved. Prof. Krantz has been the driving force and the “dynamo” behind the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) from day one of its founding 27 years ago. The long hours of hard work and total devotion to the cause of educating and informing the outside world and students about Israel and the Jewish people, even as he was a full-time professor of history at Concordia U., is a trademark of “Prof. K.”, or Fred, as we call him. A true defender of the Jewish people and Israel with his boundless energy and knowledge. Whoever has been privileged to get to know Fred a bit closer is guaranteed to benefit from his inspiring brilliance and store of information on almost every topic.
Fred, being a full-time History Professor in Concordia U. and the founder there of the innovative and renowned Liberal Arts College, could not have built CIJR without the solid help and support of Lenore (also Professor Krantz), his beloved wife—whom we’ll also be honoring this year for all the work and long hours she has dedicated over the years to CIJR. The world is a better place with people such as Fred and Lenore. We wish both Professors K. many more years of good health, many joyous family occasions, and continuing indispensable contributions to CIJR.
Besides the fundraising annual evening Gala dinner, we added this year, on the same day, 29 April 2015, a major International Conference which took many months and a great deal of effort to put together. Entitled “Israel’s High-Tech Miracle and Canada: Innovation for Humanity”, and held at the Gelber Conference Center in Montreal, it will have transpired, and we are sure have been a great success, by the time you read this. (You can still consult the special web site set up for the conference located at www.israconf.com.) This event was meant to provide an insight into Israel’s vibrant economic landscape and its amazing innovative and creative technological activity, which benefits all of humanity. In a world that is hungry for some good news, Israel is a remarkable success story, one told by the High-Tech Miracle conference.
The Keynote speeches and panel discussions included topics on: Defense and Security, Pharmaceutical and Medical Research, Investment Opportunities, How to Establish Subsidiaries in Israel, Opportunities for Joint Academic Research and Cooperation, and more. This demonstration of Israel’s remarkable creativity was a deliberate effort to provide a true counter-narrative to the toxic BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and IAW (Israel Apartheid Week) hate propaganda intensifying on campuses and elsewhere. Our answer to our enemies and detractors is to show all the good things that Israel does for the benefit of humankind.
The Conference had an impressive roaster of speakers from Israel and Canada. Among others, the opening plenary Keynote speaker was Prof. Itzhak Ben Israel, Chairman of the Israel Space Agency and of the National Council for R&D in the Ministry of Science. Rafael Barak, the Israeli Ambassador to Canada, delivered the lunch Keynote…
All this could not have happened without the generosity of our sponsors and donors. Every bit of needed financial assistance we receive is deeply appreciated. And this year Sponsors also enabled student or young community activists from across the country to attend the Conference and Gala. These young people, who have the potential of becoming soldiers in the battle against toxic anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda, will become pro-active in combatting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and IAW (Israel Apartheid Week) campaigns. They will receive materials from our publications and informational Database, and are eligible to participate in periodic CIJR training sessions and follow-up.
Our dedicated Montreal office colleagues—Rob Coles, Langdon Conway, Melina Ghio and Yunna Shapira—always looking to improve methods and processes, have done a great job. Our wonderful Research Chairman, Baruch Cohen, now 95 and, like Prof. K and myself, an unpaid full-time volunteer, deserves a special yasher koach! And a heartfelt Thank you is due all our volunteers in Montreal and Toronto for your help and dedication! And thanks too to our wonderful and generous Board and Academic Council members, and to our friends, donors, and supporters across Canada, the U.S., Israel and the world.
My best personal wishes to you and yours, and may there be peace in Israel and around the world.
National Board Chairman