This year represents an important milestone in the history of Weizmann Canada and its Wonderful Women; 2018 marks 30 incredible years since the Women & Science Committee was founded in Toronto.
In 1988, Wonderful Woman Marvelle Koffler, wife of the late Murray Koffler Z’L, became aware that the intellectual strength of women was not being utilized at the Weizmann Institute. In response, she founded the International Weizmann Women for Science program with a mandate to educate women on the current happenings in the scientific world.
With Marvelle setting the stage, many women followed suit, taking leadership roles and continuing to champion women in the scientific arena in the ensuing years. Since the group’s inaugural meeting in Israel in 1988, chapters have been formed in Canada, Italy, England, France and the United States. Sharon Zuckerman, who has been involved with Weizmann Canada almost since its inception, and served as President from 1995 to 2000, was instrumental in helping to build and brand the organization, not only in Canada but internationally.
Francie Klein – another incredible champion for women in science, a member of the Weizmann Institute international board and one of Weizmann Canada’s female leaders – served as Chair of the Women & Science Committee from 2005 to 2012. “Weizmann opened up a world of wonder with its fascinating research, brilliant scientists and the experience of being part of the Weizmann family.” Francie’s dedication to Weizmann extends far beyond this Committee, as she currently serves as Vice-Chair on the National Board, President of the Toronto Chapter, and Co-Chair (with fellow Wonderful Woman Joanne Nemeroff) of the Vera and Chaim Weizmann Honour Society.
Michele Atlin first became involved with Weizmann Canada through her mother. “I stayed involved because I feel very passionate about what the Weizmann Institute accomplishes with respect to medical research. The research benefits all of us and I find it extremely gratifying to be a part of an Institute making a global impact, today and on future generations.” Michele took the helm of the Women & Science Committee in 2012. With her fellow Committee members, she has taken the annual Wonderful Women event to new heights, raising record breaking funds each year. Under her leadership, this event has evolved into the successful and thought-provoking evening that it is today.