Michael Levitt has been the President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center since September 2020. He is also a member of Canada’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), where he serves as Canada’s voice in the Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial Committee. Before then he served as the Member of Parliament for York Centre, first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. A first-generation Canadian, Michael immigrated to Canada from Scotland with his mother at age thirteen. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from McGill University and a master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Before 2015, Michael worked as a partner and vice-president of Business Development for the Benjamin Group. He is a founding member of the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, a multi-partisan organization dedicated to activating the grassroots Jewish community in the political process, and has been an active volunteer with numerous non-profits and charities. Michael has served as a board member of the Koffler Centre for the Arts, Leadership Sinai and other organizations. In Parliament, Michael served as Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, prior to which he served as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights. Michael was also elected by his colleagues as Chair of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group, Vice-Chair of the Canada-Philippines Interparliamentary Group, an executive member of the Canada-Italy and Canada-UK Interparliamentary Groups, and was a member of the Raoul Wallenberg Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights.
Mr. Fred Waks joined Trinity in early 2015 as President and Chief Executive Officer, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a reputation as one of the leading developers in the country. As a third generation developer, Fred most recently held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer at RioCan, where he gained national recognition for being an integral part of the team who transformed the company into the largest retail landlord operator in Canada. During his tenure, RioCan grew from $100 million to $15 billion in assets. His profile and expertise have made him a sought-after expert on real estate development with top tier Canadian business media. Fred is Chairman of the European Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust and sits on the Advisory Board for Graywood. Fred is an active community member and is involved with a number of local and national charities; he serves as the Chair of the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation, Chair of Sherman Campus Leadership Committee, Honorary Trustee of the ROM, and Past Chair of the Jewish Foundation of Toronto.
Mr. Schwartz is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Onex. Mr. Schwartz was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2004 and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. He is a Chairman, Director or Governor of a number of civic, philanthropic and business organizations.
Ron is a Principal and Executive Vice President of Paradise Developments, which carries on business in real estate land development and home building in the GTA. Upon completing his B.A. at the University of Toronto and his LL.B. at the University of Western Ontario, Ron began his career with Fasken Martineau practicing real estate law and subsequently joined the growing real estate family business in 1993 at Paradise Developments. After spending nearly a decade volunteering on a variety of charitable boards, including UJA and Veahavta, Ron turned his volunteer energies to North York General Hospital in 2011 and joined the Foundation Board of Governors where he chaired the Nominating and Governance and Development committees during his tenure as governor. Ron was the Chair of the Foundation Board of Governors from 2014-2018 as well as a member of the NYGH Hospital Board of Governors and its Governance Committee. Additionally, he was the founding Chair of the Hospital’s Capital Development Advisory Committee from 2016-2018 helping initiate the oversight process for the proposed building of a new acute care tower. Ron is currently serving as a Governor and Executive Committee member of the NYGH Foundation in addition to sitting on the Hospital’s Capital Development Advisory Committee. After many years of supporting FSWC, Ron became more involved and was inspired by the work of FSWC after accompanying a Compassion to Action trip and seeing first-hand the impactful work that FSWC and its team does. In turn, Ron, together with his wife Sharon, co-chaired the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Spirit of Hope event and now is thrilled to be a member of the FSWC Board of Directors.
Lawrence is Chairman of BloombergSen Investment Partners. He is a past director of the National Bank of Canada. In 1979, he founded First Marathon Inc. and in 1999 the company, of which he was then chairman and chief executive officer, was bought by the National Bank of Canada. Some of Lawrence’s many activities have included: Canadian Council of Chief Executives, past director of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Royal Ontario Museum. He is a founder and former director of MaRS Discovery District. Lawrence was a past chair of Mount Sinai Hospital. In 2013 the Investment Industry Association of Canada named him as one of the inaugural inductees to its Hall of Fame. Lawrence, a chartered financial analyst, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Sir George Williams University and an M.B.A. from McGill University and is a recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Concordia University and the University of Toronto. He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2010 and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2011 as well as receiving The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award. From 2012 - 2018, he was appointed chancellor of Ryerson University.
Mr. Bregman is the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Tailwind Capital Inc., which operates an investment fund. He serves on the Board of Directors of Clairvest Group Inc., The Second Cup Ltd., and Cadence Music. Michael Bregman was former Chairman and CEO of The Second Cup Ltd. Purchasing the company in 1988, he took the company public in 1993, and successfully sold the company in 2002. Michael has one son and three daughters. Michael serves various charitable organizations including United Jewish Appeal (2002 Campaign Co-Chair), Birthright Israel and Baycrest. He is a 2002 recipient of the Yakir Award. Mr. Bregman is a past Maccabi Games gold medalist in triathlon and is an active swimmer, cyclist and skier.
Paul Bronfman is the Chairman/CEO of Comweb Corp. and William F. White International Inc. He is also the Chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios Inc. Over the last thirty years, Mr. Bronfman has built a group of entertainment firms dedicated to providing expert production services and studio facilities to the film and television industry. Mr. Bronfman presently serves or has served on numerous industry boards including The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, the Canadian Film Centre, the Canadian Media Production Association, FilmOntario and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. He is an active member of his community and contributes to a number of national and local charities. He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust studies. Mr. Bronfman is also a member of Playback’s Film & Television Hall of Fame, honouring his 30-plus years of exemplary industry service. Mr. Bronfman was awarded the prestigious Human Relations Award by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (formerly The Canadian Council for Christians and Jews). He also received an Honourable Life Member Award from the Director’s Guild of Canada along with the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute for Outstanding and Enduring Contributions to Canadian Television at the 2011 Gemini Awards. Mr. Bronfman has received the Canadian Society of Cinematographers President’s Award in addition to the Friend of The Industry Award at The Alberta Rosie Awards, honouring his outstanding service to the Alberta production community. As well, he was bestowed with a Banff Rockie Award, honouring Excellence in Business and Entertainment. In 2013, Mr. Bronfman was inducted into the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In 2019, Mr. Bronfman was the first recipient of the Screen Nova Scotia’s Industry Champion Award.
David Cynamon is the Executive Chairman and Founder of K2 Pure Solutions which manufactures water purification and disinfection products using safe, green, environmentally-sustainable technology. Mr. Cynamon started his first successful business venture at the age of 17, and by the age of 24 he was CEO of a TSE listed company. In 1995, Mr. Cynamon acquired controlling interest in KIK Corporation; in 2002 KIK was twice recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and in 2007 he led the sale of the company for $804 million. Mr. Cynamon sits on several charitable boards and is the recipient of numerous awards for his philanthropic support in the fields of medicine, education, the arts, sports, Israel, youth and human rights.
Mr. Diamond started his business career in the meat packing industry with his father, the late Jack Diamond, C.C., O.B.C. After the sale of the meat packing business, Mr. Diamond and his father founded West Coast Reduction Ltd., now the largest independent rendering company in Western Canada. Diamond is Chairman and sole owner of a private group of companies which includes West Coast Reduction Ltd. and Austeville Properties Ltd. He is also Chairman of a private family Foundation, the Diamond Foundation. He holds an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Simon Fraser University, was awarded The Order of British Columbia in 2007, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2019.
Joel Feldberg is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of The Global Furniture Group of companies. He has been serving in this capacity since February, 2015. Since 2006, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer. Joel has been with The Global Furniture Group since January 2002 and has focused on re-inventing and igniting the resurgence of the company’s healthcare and education lineup of products. Prior to joining The Global Group, Joel was an associate at the law firm of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Toronto where he focused his legal practice on the areas of corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions. Joel is currently on the Board of Directors at The Hospital For Sick Children Foundation, The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association and The Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal. Joel also served as a member on the Board of Directors for seven years at The York School. He is an active member of the community and has previously served as a volunteer coach and manager in several local hockey and soccer organizations. Joel has a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall and is a member of the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations.
Jeremy Freedman retired from his role as President & Chief Executive Officer of Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. on June 30, 2016, after serving in this capacity for six years. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive Officer and prior thereto, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Freedman received a Juris Doctorate degree from Queen's University in 1982 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984. While at Queen's University, he was elected Rector of the University and served in this capacity from 1980-1982. He received a Master’s of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School in 1986, graduating as a Baker Scholar. From 1986 to 2000, Mr. Freedman was a partner with the law firm Davies, Ward & Beck, specialising in corporate and commercial litigation. In 2015 Mr. Freedman proudly represented Canada and served as the Flag Bearer for the Canadian delegation at the European Maccabi Games in Berlin. He has also represented Canada as a member of its Golf Team on three occasions in the Maccabiah Games in Israel. In addition to serving as a Director of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies, Mr. Freedman is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Diabetes Hope Foundation, the Jerusalem Foundation and the North York General Hospital Foundation.
Ron Frisch is the owner, President and CEO of Kohl & Frisch Limited. He joined his family in the management of the company in 1980. In addition to his active role at Kohl & Frisch, Ron has taken on leadership roles in the industry as Chairman (four terms) of the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Distribution Management (CAPDM), Member of the CAPDM Board of Directors, and as Past Member of Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) Advisory Board. Ron is also a Member of the World Presidents Organization (WPO) and Chief Executive Organization (CEO), and serves on the Merril Client Advisory Board. Ron is also very active in the community. He has served on the Board of Directors for several charitable organizations and has chaired numerous charitable fundraising campaigns and events. Ron has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and his Chartered Accountant designation. In 2011, he was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (FCA), and in 2012 was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
In 1977, Rabbi Marvin Hier founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center, named in honor of famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal. Under his leadership, the Center and its Museum of Tolerance have become one of the foremost Jewish human rights agencies in the world, with a constituency of more than 400,000 families and offices throughout the United States, in Canada, Europe, Israel and Argentina. The Los Angeles Times Magazine wrote that Rabbi Hier had made the Wiesenthal Center, “the most visible Jewish organization in the world,” and he has twice been named Newsweek magazine’s “Most Influential Rabbi in America.” Under his leadership, the Museum of Tolerance opened in February 1993 to worldwide acclaim. Rabbi Hier is the only rabbi who is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and he is the recipient of two Academy Awards® for Genocide and The Long Way Home. In 1981, he founded Moriah Films, The Center’s film division, which has produced fifteen documentaries that have been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world. Noted for his powerful oratory, his views on the issues of the day are regularly sought by the international media. He meets regularly with world leaders to discuss the Center’s agenda. In January 2017, he became the first orthodox rabbi in American history to give a prayer at a presidential inauguration. And in May 2017, he became the first non-Israeli to light a torch for Israel Independence Day and the 50th Anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Meyer H. May is the Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museums of Tolerance. He has traveled throughout the world meeting with heads of state and leading government officials, as well as some of the most prominent corporate leaders and philanthropists of our time. As the chief development officer of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi May and his team have raised well over $1 billion in support of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its multi-faceted divisions, including more than $140 million from the US government, the State of California and the State and City of New York. Specifically, Rabbi May directs the Center’s capital expansion campaigns and its annual $28 million international fund-raising operations campaigns for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Museum of Tolerance and Moriah Films. He is currently guiding the $350 million capital and endowment campaigns for the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem projects scheduled to open in May 2021. Rabbi May and his wife, Shulamith, have 37 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Sam Mizrahi is the President of Mizrahi Developments, a private real estate development company. Mizrahi Developments is the first and only company in Canada to be licensed and ISO 9001 Certified for development and construction in both the residential and commercial development sector in Canada and is registered with Tarion and BILD. Sam is also the President of Northern Citadel Bancorp, a private company registered with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) as a Mortgage Investment Trust (MIT). Sam, an entrepreneur since 1987, has a mosaic of experiences as the founder of many start-up companies including the transitioning from private to public markets, and has acted as President and CEO of TSXV traded companies. Sam is also a strong supporter of various charitable organizations and operates on multiple committees and boards for non-profits.
Philip Reichmann began his career at Olympia & York Developments Limited in 1978, and was involved in the development of World Financial Center in New York, and Canary Wharf in London, England. In 1993, he formed O&Y Properties Inc. to manage and lease a portfolio of ten office properties. In 1997, O&Y Properties acquired controlling interest in Camdev Corporation and the two companies were amalgamated to form O&Y Properties Corporation, a national property ownership company. In 1999, O&Y acquired a 100% interest in 1 First Canadian Place, an office and retail complex in downtown Toronto. In 2001, O&Y Properties Corporation created O&Y REIT, a real estate investment trust to focus on the ownership of commercial office buildings across Canada. O&Y Properties Corporation and O&Y REIT were sold to a consortium led by Brookfield Corporation in 2005. Mr. Reichmann is Founding Partner of ReichmannHauer Capital Partners Inc., a Canadian private equity investment firm seeking investment opportunities in growth companies in all industries.
Jill Reitman has a background as a psychologist specializing in children and adolescents. She spent many years on the boards of her children’s elementary and high schools, chairing committees such as the Ways & Means and Personnel, and sitting on many others at both the elementary and high school levels. Jill has extensive experience with the United Jewish Appeal Federation, having served as President of Jewish Women’s Federation and Chair of the Business and Professional Women’s Campaign and Chair of the Past Chairs Council. Jill has completed the two-year Wexner Heritage Foundation program, a leadership initiative sponsored by Leslie Wexner of The Limited. She served on the Audit Committee of the Mt Sinai Hospital (MSH), the Patient Care Quality Committee, and presently serves on the Audit and Risk Committee. She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Reitman Alzheimer’s Support Centre at MSH. In addition, she has served on the Board of CIJA, an advocacy organization, and has participated on the Advisory Council for the Resource and Leadership Training Centre for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Jill is presently Vice Chair of the Koffler Centre of the Arts. She also currently serves on the Jewish Community Campuses Board of UJA Federation. Jill is the recipient of the Young Leadership Award of UJA Federation, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As CEO of Preston Group, a building firm founded by David Salomon more than 60 years ago, Gloria Salomon C.A., C.P.A. has over 30 years’ experience in high-rise residential rental properties across the GTA as an owner/manager. As a past Chair of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association and member of the Board of Directors, Gloria is active in the organization's liaison with municipal matters and dealing with the City of Toronto. Gloria also sits on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario and on its Government Relations Committee. As a child of a Holocaust survivor, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center has been a very major part of her life, starting with her parents’ continued support of the organization since its beginnings in educating society about the Holocaust. Gloria believes FSWC is even more important today because of the growing intolerance in the world and the unfortunate rise in antisemitism.
Professor Molly Shoichet is a University Professor, a distinction held by less than 2% of professors, at the University of Toronto and served as Ontario’s first Chief Scientist. She has published over 600 papers, patents and abstracts and given over 400 lectures worldwide in the fields of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and drug delivery. She currently leads a laboratory of 30 and has graduated 190 researchers. She founded four spin-off companies and is actively engaged in translational research science outreach. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, holds the Order of Ontario, Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of the UK Royal Society. She is the only person to be a Fellow of Canada’s 3 National Academies of Science, Engineering, Health Sciences. Dr. Shoichet is the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate, North America for 2015. She graduated with a BSc from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1987) and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Polymer Science and Engineering (1992).
Raymond Stone has served as the President & Chief Executive Officer of Futuremed since its inception in 1985; he founded the company following a study of the Canadian Long Term Care sector while working at a Canadian financial institution. Prior to founding Futuremed, Mr. Stone worked for eight years in various accounting and management positions in the financial industry. In 2011 he oversaw the acquisition of Futuremed by Cardinal Health, a global leader in the health care industry. Mr. Stone currently consults to the Canadian healthcare industry and sits on various boards, including Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Big Life Foundation.
Eric Weisz is the Managing Director of the Effort Trust Company. Founded in 1978 by the Weisz family, Effort Trust specializes in financial services, real estate and asset management. Mr. Weisz expanded the company to Toronto in 2004 and in his role, he is responsible for the ongoing development of Effort Trust including the financial services and corporate operations, strategy and marketing as well as building and expanding the Effort Trust brand and asset base. Prior to joining Effort Trust, he worked at the National Hockey League Players’ Association as Manager of Licensing and International Business. A lawyer by profession, Mr. Weisz also practiced securities and corporate law at Goodmans in Toronto. He received his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and his M.B.A./LL.B. from the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School. Mr. Weisz is the co-founder of Thunder Road Capital (an early stage technology investment company), Fallen Rock Productions (a charitable theatre company) and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Association.
Edward Weisz, President of Paradise Developments, has provided the vision that has steered the company to its success over the past four decades. As an industry pioneer, he continues in his role as a “Goodwill Ambassador” reaching out to all stakeholders including: government, the building industry, purchasers and the community. He is involved in the key issues, lending his experience and expertise to help affect positive change. Edward has created a nexus between the consumer, the builder and the governing authorities in association with BILD and Tarion, two organizations that have benefited from his involvement in many initiatives and committees. He continues to focus on improving the industry and giving back to the community at every opportunity.
Cecil yolles graduated from the University of Toronto, Commerce and Finance in 1947. He worked in the family furniture business until it was sold, whereupon he started his own furniture business which grew to over twenty stores. By chance he got into real estate, establishing Yolles Realty Ltd. He won the Canadian Masters Squash Championship and placed second in the World Masters. He joined the Canadian Power Squadron where he rose to the position of National Vice Commander. He was a director of the Naval Marine Archive. He is now honorary Commodore of the Island Yacht Club of which he was a founding member. He was active with the UJA. He served on the building committee of Mount Sinai Hospital and is currently on the governing board.
One of the original founders of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Sam Belzberg served as Honourary Chair of the organization. Mr. Belzberg was the Chairman and CEO of Gibralt Capital and had extensive international experience in real estate and finance with a distinguished track record. In 1962, City Savings and Trust received a Charter from the Alberta Government to set up a provincial trust company. This evolved into First City Financial, which Mr. Belzberg built into a $7 billion financial services organization with offices across North America and Europe. First City was involved in many large investment transactions including Bache Securities before it was sold to Prudential, Gulf Oil, Armstrong World (a large building supply company) and Scovill (a manufacturing company which included Yale Locks, Hamilton Beach, NuTone and many other brand-name products).
Mrs. Sherman was an active community board member and volunteer who served in leadership positions for Mount Sinai Hospital and Baycrest Centre. She was Past Chair of the United Jewish Appeal Campaign 2006, and the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees, Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. Mrs. Sherman and her husband, Dr. Barry Sherman, established the Apotex Foundation in 1984 to support a wide range of causes in both Canada and the United States. In 1996, the Shermans won an award from The National Society of Fund Raising Executives (Toronto Chapter) for their outstanding contribution to philanthropy. In addition to her role as Director for Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, she served on the Board of Governors at York University and was the sitting Chair of the Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Centre.