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Murray Palay

Murray Palay Completes Term As First Ever National Chair of CFHU West of Ontario in 75 Years

by Rhonda Spivak, November 20, 2017


Murray Palay recently completed his term as the national chair of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University. He is a trailblazer in that he is the first national chair west of Ontario in 75 years!


Palay first became involved with the Winnipeg chapter of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University when he practiced law for 16 years at the firm of Buchwald , Asper, and Henteleff. (In addition to a law degree, Palay has a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in accounting and finance – both from the University of Manitoba) . While working at the law firm, under the guidance of senior partner Yude Henteleff and the then very energetic shaliach, Avikam Shuv-Ami, Palay co-founded with his cousin Larry Rosenberg (deceased)  the Professional and Business division of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Canadian Friends of  Hebrew University "which transitioned into the Young Lleadership Division," of CFHU of which Palay became Honourary Founding Co-chair with Stephen Diamond of Toronto.


In 1993, Palay left his law practice to join Loring Ward Investment Counsel which evolved into Assante Corporation.  He and his business partner Michael Susser then formed Quadrant Asset Management in 2005. (Quadrant  has professionals including accountants, lawyers, financial analysts, life insurance specialists and accredited wealth planners who deliver the highest level of service to its client base. Quadrant is primarily a "manager of managers" delivering conventional and alternative asset classes to client portfolios managed by best in class institutional investment teams overlaid by a comprehensive wealth plan for each client.)


In an interview with the Winnipeg Jewish Review Palay spoke about the direction of the Winnipeg Chapter of CFHU since the two Israeli ambassadors Sigal Klainerman and Shai Josopov left the city after having been here for a year. Palay indicated that "We need to continue the support that the Winnipeg community has given to CFHU and Hebrew University since the 1940's." He added, however, that "We need to rethink the traditional model of having an office and a full time staff person," which is a high overhead model. He said the Winnipeg Chapter is leaning towards finding a part-time staff person who will work out of his or her home, "which is the situation currently with the Edmonton and Calgary chapters of CFHU." 


He noted that since the Israeli ambassadors had left "several young people have approached us wanting to be involved in programming for the Wpg Chapter." 


He added that "We need a  staff person who can be there one on one for donors," but "for larger programming the Winnipeg chapter can retain an event co-ordinator on a contract basis." 


Palay noted that that the "younger generation" gives in different ways and expects different things than previous generations," and it is necessary to find new ways to engage them in this "changing landscape."


Palay spoke about the very significant Hebrew University's Einstein Legacy Project [ELP], a project which arose as a result of the fact that  when albert Albert Einstein died in 1955, he left academic papers and related materials to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem comprising some 80,000 documents, including the original manuscript to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. There are four components of the Einstein Legacy Project (ELP) : 1. The Einstein Archive and Visitor Centre on Hebrew U's Edmund J. Safra (Givat Ram) Campus in Jerusalem 2. A 3D Printed Book, "Genius: 100 Visions Of The Future" 3. A Dinner of the Century that took place in Montreal  this past  September  4. A Youth Summit that was held as part of the the Dinner of the Century in Montreal.


Palay said that the  "unbelievable " and hugely successful  Gala event in Montreal  which was "beyond anyone's imagination" was attended by donors who became founders of the Albert Einstein Foundation..  He said that "various architectural proposals for the interactive Einstein Visitor Centre are currently being reviewed," and that "US and Canadian donors are very interested in supporting an Einstein Visitor Centre and archive, which will be near the Israel museum." He noted that Hebrew University is not planning to have the Einstein visitor Centre housed in a grandiose iconic building, but that it anticipates people will flock to the centre because the content  (Einstein's entire personal archive) is so significant. The archive will be a global attraction dedicated to science and humanitarian ideals.


Attendees of the Gala  received the world's first 3D printed book in which 100 of the some of the world’s greatest thinkers in Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Literature, The Arts, Entrepreneurship and more shared their visions for the future. Palay said that twenty of the visionaries attended the Dinner of the Century. He added that the Youth Summit -- was "phenomenal" in that "it brought ten of these visionaries to speak to high school students and members of the public. "Air Canada, one of the sponsors , flew in 10 native students who had never flown to participate in the summit," Palay noted. The summit  helped promote Innovation and Creativity to a younger generation and inspire young people to realize the many exciting opportunities available to them in science related fields. 


Speaking about the Dinner and Youth summit, Palay noted that  "CFHU hit a home run with the event which greatly enhanced its reputation."He said that there will be an upcoming  strategic planning meeting "to capitalize on the success and interest in the event and to bring in a broader base of support to the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University and  indirectly  to Hebrew University."


Palay says that now that he is a past national chair of CFHU, he still has a valuable role to play.  "I can focus on working 'behind the scenes' in the areas of strategic planning, governance issues, and in continuing to maintain  CFHU as a leader in this ever changing philanthropic landscape."


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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.