Close to 500 guests gathered at Marché Bonsecours in Montreal on June 18, for the annual Jewish General Hospital Foundation gala, in honour of the Azrieli family and the Azieli Foundation.
Their $20-million donation was instrumental in building the Azrieli Heart Centre at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), which was inaugurated in September.
The Azrieli Foundation also provided the JGH with support for a new intensive-care facility and a fellows’ program to train young physicians.
“Their combined $26-million gift ranks as one of the most generous acts of philanthropy in the history of the JGH,” said JGH Foundation president and CEO Myer Bick.
The gala’s guests included JGH administrators and physicians, as well as supporters and friends of the hospital.
“The JGH Foundation wanted to give guests insight into the Azrieli family and its foundation’s amazing philanthropic journey. It is important people understand the enormous impact they have had here in Canada, in Israel and around the world,” said Bick.
The Azrieli Foundation has provided funding in such diverse fields as education, architecture and design, Holocaust education, programs for people with developmental disabilities, scientific and medical research, and the arts.
Dr. Kieran O’Donnell, assistant professor at McGill University and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Azrieli global scholar, talked about the brain research that has been made possible by the family’s contribution.
Naomi Azrieli, chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, thanked everyone for their attendance and generosity. Her sister, soprano Sharon Azrieli, dedicated a medley of Hebrew songs to their late father, David Azrieli.
Rounding out the evening was a performance by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, joined by singers from the Atelier lyrique de l’Opera de Montréal.
The event raised over $1 million, which the Azrieli Foundation will match. The lead sponsor was Richard Pilosof of RP Investment Advisors.
The JGH Foundation will use the total sum to establish the Azrieli-Lady Davis Institute Director’s Research Fund, which will work to further stem cell research.