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L-R: Orli Dreman, Eliezer Shkedi, and Solly Dreman

Winnipeg Native Solly Dreman Returns to Winnipeg for a Luncheon Reunion and Gala Dinner

posted May 1, 2019



When Solly Dreman was invited to a golf tournament, he had no idea how it would change his life.


Solly, a native of Winnipeg, made aliyah to Israel in 1964. His parents were ardent Zionists who visited Israel numerous times during their marriage. Solly chose to get his Masters and PhD degrees in Israel and became a family therapist and professor of clinical psychology and head of the Family Counseling Service at Ben-Gurion University. Throughout the years, he has served as a liaison between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, and especially between Israel and the Jewish community of Winnipeg.


“Over the years, strangely enough, I probably have maintained contact with more people in Winnipeg than if I had stayed there,” says Solly with a smile. Natives of Winnipeg who have visited Israel or made aliyah have phoned Solly and his wife, Orly, and been hosted by them at their home. Orly even jokes that she has the key to the city of Winnipeg!


Solly is a golfer, playing at the Gaash country club, and one of his golfing partners is Eliezer Shkedi, former Commander of the Israeli Air Force, who was responsible for the bombing of the Syrian reactor in 2007. Shkedi cooperated with Ezer Mizion to bring a fundraising golf tournament to Gaash and Solly was asked to contribute.


Ezer Mizion is the biggest bone marrow registry in the Jewish world. In the past 15 years, Ezer Mizion has increased the survival rate for a Jewish person with cancer from 8% to 76% and saved over 3150 lives. In an average month, the organization saves 32 lives of cancer patients. The organization is based in Israel and helps people all over the world, both Jews and non-Jews.


“I saw a movie that was taken at the Presidential Mansion, a reception for soldiers and their families and it was absolutely mindblowing,” says Solly. “What happened was they matched up donors with recipients of the registry whose lives had been saved. The donors and recipients had never met and they showed their meeting. Young combat soldiers who in interviews say, ‘I’m a combat soldier but my major mission is to save lives.’ And through the registry that’s what they’ve done. I’ve seen the video ten times and every time I have cried.”


Solly was so inspired by this video that he sponsored a donor pool for Ezer Mizion. And now that he is celebrating his 80th birthday, he has decided to return to Winnipeg and throw a big reunion bash in Winnipeg.  He has dedicated the evening before to chairing a dinner to raise funds for Ezer Mizion to continue its important work.


Ezer Mizion funds are used for collecting saliva samples from volunteers, including young men and women who draft into the IDF and get swabbed as part of the recruitment process. Each sample needs to be analyzed and this costs $50 per sample. This sample stays in the Bone Marrow Registry until the person turns 60 years old.  When swabbing young soldiers you are guaranteed to have investments for almost 40 years. Ezer Mizion also provides services to family members of patients with cancer.


“I’m a family therapist by profession, Professor Emeritus at Ben-Gurion University, and my approach has always been holistic,” says Solly, “not only seeing the patient but seeing the family as a whole and Ezer Mizion has done this and done this remarkably.”


Solly sees this party and his contributions to Ezer Mizion as a way to “gather a few points to get up there.” He says that not only is he helping the State of Israel, but Israel is now serving Diaspora Jewry, because the registry has helped people in 47 countries around the world.


The party will feature the former head of the Mossad, Shabtai Shavit, as the keynote speaker along with a very impressive presentation from Ezer Mizion. Many in and out of town Winnipegers are attending both the luncheon reunion for friend and family and the gala dinner for Ezer Mizion. Solly’s reunion will take place on May 30, 2019, following the Ezer Mizion benefit dinner on May 29. For more information about the event and Ezer Mizion contact Dan Rand at 647.799.1475 or visit

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.