The Goldman Family
The dramatic events of the 6-day war in 1967 spurred the Goldman family’s deep commitment to supporting the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Recognizing that Israel was facing an existential threat, Nathan z”l and Anne Goldman z”l swiftly joined community efforts to fundraise in support of the young Jewish State. On the second night of war, a group of Toronto builders gathered at Temple Sinai to raise an unprecedented amount of funds for Israel as it was attacked by Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.
As war broke out, Anne’s maternal first cousin, Meir Sherman, was set to graduate as an engineer from Technion, a point of deep pride for the family. Meir later became the head of airplane safety and maintenance for El Al. It was through Meir’s training at the Technion, and the influence of Meir’s parents and other family in Israel, that Nat and Anne came to recognize the Technion’s vital role in the defense of Israel, inspiring a passionate connection between the Toronto based Goldman family and the Technion – a bond that has now spanned two generations.
Nat Goldman came to Canada from the Ukraine in 1925 at the age of 4. He grew up in Toronto and on a family farm in Whitby, and attended the University of Toronto’s Agricultural College in Guelph, where he earned both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Agricultural Science. However, due to the anti-Semitic discrimination of the late 1940’s, Nat was unable to find proper employment in his field, and instead worked with his father to develop a successful home building business. Nonetheless, Nat’s agricultural training further reinforced his belief in the Technion’s strategic importance in building the State of Israel.
Over the years, Nat and Anne devoted extensive time and resources in support of the Technion; both served on the Technion Canada Board, which Nat was on for over 20 years, and together they established numerous teaching fellowships and other funds. Nat was also a lifetime member of the International Board of Governors, and in 1992 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his inspiring achievements in career, community, and philanthropy. While receiving this honour at the Technion in Israel, Nat was thrilled to share the podium with Mikhail Gorbachev, who had come to accept the Technion’s Harvey Peace Prize for his role in reducing regional tensions, and for permitting Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel.
Currently, the 4 Goldman children: Shoshana, Cal, Jeffrey, and Sandy, continue to support the Technion through the Goldman Teaching Fellowship at the Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management. They recently honoured Nathan on what would have been his 100th birthday (March 15th, 2021) with a special gift to the Technion.
Says eldest son, Cal Goldman: “Our father was highly accomplished, but always remained humble and grateful. He was unwavering in his commitment to Israel and the Technion was his main vehicle for support. He recognized the Technion’s unique position as a leading institute for technology and defence, as well as for agricultural science in Israel, and never took any of that for granted. He appreciated Technion’s drive for excellence, as this was something he embraced in his own life. We are proud to mark our father’s 100th birthday by continuing our parent’s legacy of support for the Technion.”