MONTREAL — Barbara Seal, who recently completed 12 years of service as a Canadian citizenship judge, has created an annual scholarship to enable a Canadian student to study at Tel Aviv University.
Donald and Barbara Seal
Seal, who is the national president of the Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University (CFTAU), says that she hopes the award will, in fact, go to a Montrealer.
CFTAU is setting up a committee of academics to review applications for the Barbara Seal Scholarship. Nominees will be considered from any field.
TAU offers a number of programs in English for overseas students, including a one-year MBA course and the opportunity to obtain a degree at its medical school, as well as summer studies. Up to 100 Canadians study at TAU each year, including a significant number of non-Jews.
Seal, who has been associated with CFTAU since the 1980s, received an honorary doctorate from TAU two years ago and sits on its international board of governors.
Seal was also a Hampstead city councillor for 22 years and was instrumental in twinning the town with the northern Israeli municipality of Kiryat Shmonah 30 years ago.
A mother of five and grandmother of seven, Seal has also been active for many years in Montreal’s cultural scene, serving on the boards of Place des Arts and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal. She is a member of the Order of Canada.
Seal derived a great deal of satisfaction out of her time as a citizenship court judge, and she frequently presided over public oath-taking ceremonies, such as on Canada Day at the Old Port. She is still filling in occasionally in her retirement.
“I’ve sworn in thousands,” she said.
“It’s such a thrill when people come up to me and say, ‘You made me a Canadian,’ and they hug me. They tell me about what’s happening in their lives and about their children. A real connection is made.”
— Compiled by CJN Staff