Donor Spotlights
Donor spotlight: Sam Znaimer

Passionate about how science can make a difference in our world, Sam Znaimerm, Weizmann Canada donor and volunteer reflects on getting involved with the Weizmann community and supporting world-leading research.

Sam Znaimer had been aware of the Weizmann Institute of Science for a long time, knowing it as a major research institution, but didn’t have a connection to it until his son, Leith Znaimer, enrolled in a Weizmann graduate program.  

With a new personal connection to the Institute, he was approached by Beth Freeman, Weizmann Canada Associate Director of Philanthropy (Western Canada), whom he had known previously, about volunteering with their growing Vancouver Chapter. With an interest in science and new connection to the Institute, Sam was happy to get involved, joining in early 2021.  

Then this past October, their chapter got a great opportunity to host a special event with Weizmann Institute of Science President, Prof. Alon Chen. Prof. Chen was going to be in Calgary, as part of the jury for the University of Calgary Hotchkiss Brain Institute’s $1 million Hopewell M.I.N.D. Prize, along with representatives from Harvard Medical School and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  

The M.I.N.D. Prize helps to launch innovative, bold, and high-impact research projects in brain and mental health. With Vancouver being a short plane ride away, Prof. Chen was excited by the opportunity to meet with more of the western Canadian Weizmann community. 

Sam graciously hosted a Chapter event in his home, attended by their personal networks, along with leaders and researchers from the nearby University of British Columbia.  

Beth Freeman, Associate Director, Philanthropy (Western Canada) introducing Weizmann Institute President, Prof. Alon Chen during his visit to Vancouver.

Sam was aware of Prof. Chen’s research from previous online Weizmann events but getting to hear him in person and ask questions was a whole other experience. It was also interesting for him to hear how Prof. Chen balances his own research, while also having the major responsibility and busy calendar as the Institute’s President. 

Earlier in the fall, Sam attended his first in-person Weizmann Canada event, the Mission Imperative national sustainability tour. At that event, Prof. Avi Levy, one of the leaders of Weizmann’s sustainability initiative and Steven Hanson, Managing Director and Equity Analyst with Raymond James Ltd., discussed new sustainability research coming from Weizmann and how it can lead to innovative industry solutions.

(Pictured left to right) Sam Znaimer and David Berson at Weizmann Canada’s Mission Imperative tour in Vancouver.

With almost two years under his belt as a member of the Weizmann community, Sam has learned more about the diversity of research at the Weizmann Institute, its impact on a global scale and its ability to foster an environment for passionate and curious scientists.  

Sam is passionate about how science can make a difference in our world and has given to the ABC Canadian Quantum Foundry and the Sparks of Science program.  

Thinking about how it compares to other research institutions and why he is proud to support the Institute, Sam says, “Weizmann punches above its weight when it comes to international research. It provides an avenue for long-term global collaborations and is a great training ground for the next generation of scientists.”



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