About Us


Mr. Mordechai Meir (Max) Cukier

Mordechai Meir (Max) Cukier was born in Lodz, Poland in 1888, the son of a devout Chassid and a mother born to a very wealthy and worldly industrial family. He was given only a formal religious education and learned secular subjects from his older sisters.

At 16 he was sent to Vienna for 1 year and returned with a weaver’s diploma. In 1914 he married Gittel (Guta) Gold and they had three children: Stella, who married Avram (Dolphi) Goldstein, Jacob (Jurek), who married Wanda Schechter and Irena (Irca), who married first Dr. Jacha Fromchenko and then Dr. Aristide Basarab.

By age thirteen he rebelled against his father, abandoned Torah studies and was employed in a textile factory. The textile business in Lodz was very cyclical. World War I and the Great Depression aggravated this characteristic and periods of great affluence alternated with very hard times. In turns, as required, Max traded in textiles and/or manufactured them.

In 1930 he went to Romania to look for employment. He set up a manufacturing business in Jassi in partnership with a member of a very prominent local textile family: Arthur Wechsler, Dolphi’s uncle. By 1936 they had moved the business to Bucharest.

In April 1944, together with Dolphi and his family, Max left Romania for Palestine with Guta and Irca. Jurek stayed behind to marry his fiancée, and they arrived in Palestine a few months later.

In 1945 Max and Dolphi in partnership with Ephraim Ilin, contracted to buy in Egypt cotton to be spun in Italy for re-export to Palestine. The business was extremely lucrative but Max was itching to get back into textile manufacturing. In 1960 he and Dolphi, together with Dolphi’s uncle, Carol Wechsler, Arthur’s older brother, and the latter’s son-in-law, Isi Leventer built a large spinning mill in Dimona, Dimona Fibers, where, at the apex, they employed 1,800 workers.

In 1962 his dear Guta passes away leaving an enormous void. By 1970 the partnership in Dimona Fibers was falling apart and Max and Dolphi ended-up 100% owners. With Dolphi travelling all over the world and Max over 80 years old the only solution was to sell. Pinchas Sapir, a friend of Dolphi’s, found a buyer at a good price but with a string attached: the proceeds would go towards building the new University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva. This is how the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation was born.

Having lived a very full, interesting and successful life, Max Cukier died on May 10, 1972 in his house on Shderot Rothschild, in Tel-Aviv.


Mr. Avram(Dolphi) Goldstein-Goren

Avram (Dolphi) Goldstein-Goren, the founder of the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation, was born on July 28, 1905 in Podu Turcului, a shtetl in the district of Tecuci, in Romania.

Mr. Avram (Dolphi) Goldstein-Goren is the son of Itzhak Moshe (IMG) Goldstein, a prominent local businessman, and Betty (Bracha) Wechsler of Iasi. He attended contemporarily both Law School and Business School at the University of Bucharest (1924-1927) and was a member of the Romanian Bar from 1927 to 1941, when all Jews were expelled from it.

In 1939 he married Stella Cukier, the daughter of Mordechai Meir Cukier, a textile manufacturer and businessman who had emigrated from Poland a few years earlier, and Ghitla Gold.
Avram and Stella had four children. Two sons, Alexander and James, who live in New York City, and two daughters, Viviana and Micaela, who live in Lugano.
After managing a family controlled bank and helping his father in his cereal exports and forest exploitation businesses in Tecuci, Avram moved to Bucharest where he was a manager and a director of Sarcomit S.A., a textile importing and trading company and of Filsar S.A.

In April 1944 Avram left Romania for Palestine with his wife, eldest son and his in-laws.

From 1945 to 1947 he was a director and part owner of the Palestine British Bank and in 1945 he also established Palbric, an international trading company.

At the end of 1945 Avram contracted to buy very large quantities of the raw cotton that had accumulated in Egypt during the war in order to have it spun in Italy into yarn to be shipped back to the Middle East. In mid-1946 he needed to relocate to Milan, Italy and he brought over his family. Since then he has lived in Milan.

In 1946 he established the Mediterranean Car Agency Ltd. for the import of Fiat vehicles to the Middle East first and, after 1948, only to Israel.
Starting in the early fifties, Avram extended his business activities to France (construction), Canada (real estate), United States ( investment in shares and company takeovers) and, in the seventies, Great Britain, where he was a shareholder and director of Keyser Ullman Ltd., a merchant bank that was eventually merged into the Charterhouse Group. He remained a director of Keyser Ullmann, Geneve, until 1983.

On November 26, 2005, four months after a spectacular celebration on the beach, in Forte dei Marmi, of his one hundredth birthday, which he greatly enjoyed surrounded lovingly by all his family and by friends from all over the world, Dolphi passed away quietly in his Milan home.
It was a peaceful ending to a tumultuous and wonderful life of which he savored every minute. He was buried at Nachalet Itzhak in Tel Aviv, next to his beloved wife, Stella, and to his parents, Itzhak Moshe (IMG) and Bracha Goldstein.


Mr. Jacob (Jurek) Cukier

Jacob (Jurek) Cukier, one of the founders of the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation, was born on November 3rd, 1918 in Łódź, Poland.  He was the son of Max and Guta Cukier and the brother-in-law of Dolphi Goldstein.

Jurek grew up in Łódź, and remained there until his Bar-Mitzvah. In the 1930’s when the Polish textile industry went into decline, he moved with his family to Iasi, Romania, where he studied the textile business. The family eventually moved to Bucharest, to where they had moved their textile factory.

In 1944 Jurek married Wanda Schaechter and, with the war still on, they escaped to Palestine on board the steamer Kazbek. In Israel, Jurek, Dolphi and Max were partners for a short time in a diamond company. Eventually, they created Palbric, (a portmanteau of Palestine & British Co.), an international trading company.

In 1960, a family enterprise built Dimona Fibers, a large spinning mill in the Negev. Dimona Fibers was eventually sold and the proceeds funded the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation, whose aim was the support and development of projects in the fields of education, culture, health and social welfare.

In 1950, Jurek, Wanda and their two children moved to Milano, Italy. In 1957, they moved to Montreal, Canada where Jurek would manage the family investment in the Windsor Hotel, the real-estate development of Preville and the Town of Mount-Royal Shopping Center. He also imported yarns, mostly produced by Dimona Fibers.

Jurek had four children. Carmela and Michael were born in Tel-Aviv, Rony in Milano, and Leora in Montreal.

Jurek was intelligent and well-informed in business matters.  He was level-headed and often helped serve as mediator in the many complex business ventures that he and his family members were involved in. He was often the glue that kept these partnerships together and viable.

A number of Jurek’s nephews and nieces from Italy and Israel went to University in Montreal or in the United States and spent many of their formative years welcomed in the home of Wanda and Jurek.  Recognizing Jurek’s wisdom, they often sought his advice, both during that time and throughout their lives.

Jurek’s had many areas of interest but what he cared most about was keeping the family united.

He passed away in Montreal, on April 19th, 2006 surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Mr. Alexander (Alex) Goren

BGU video on the occasion of Alex’s honorary doctorate. Alexander (Alex) Goren is the oldest son of Avram Goldstein- Goren and Stella Cukier. He was born in Bucharest, Romania, on February 19, 1940. From 2006 to 2010 he was the President of the C, G-G Foundation. In addition to his work for the Foundation, Alex was also, from 2009 to 2012, the President of the American Associates of Ben Gurion University. He has been a long- serving Board Member of Ben Gurion University and, since May 2012, he is the Chairman of the Board of Governors. He also served on the Board of Harvard Hillel from 1997 to 2011 and is a member of the Board of New York City Outward Bound since 1990. He and his brother, James, are partners in the private investment firm of Goren Brothers. In May 2015 Ben Gurion University of the Negev recognized his many years of service by awarding him an Honorary Degree.

Alex received his M.B.A. from the Columbia Graduate Business School in 1963 and in 1979 he finished the OMP program at the Harvard Graduate Business School. He received his B.A. in economics from Harvard University in 1961.

After Columbia Business School, Alex worked two years in finance in Montreal, Canada, before returning to Italy. In Milan he worked one year for Caboto s.p.a., a merchant bank, and for three years in import/export and in textiles with his father. At the end of 1969, he moved with his family to London and worked for four years at Keyser Ullmann, a merchant bank. In 1973, he moved to Tel Aviv where he took over the management and expansion of the family owned FIAT distributorship, the Mediterranean Car Agency.

Alex has two children from his first marriage. Andrea earned his BA from Connecticut College in 1989 and his MBA from Columbia University in 1994. He is married to Bettina Bose, who gave up her career as Vice-president of the Disney Corporation in order to become a full time mother. They live in New York City and have two daughters Eliel Dax and Sivan Lilu, and a son, Akiva Elessar. Elisabeth (Selina), earned her BA in philosophy from Franklin and Marshall in 1991and an MS in economic urban development from University College, London in 1997. She lives in Savyion with her husband, Ari Komeran, BS and MS from Ben Gurion University and a manager at Intel. They have two daughters, Elior Sara and Amaris Maxine.

Alex met his present wife, Brooke Kroeger, in the early 1980s, while she was based in Tel Aviv as bureau chief of UPI. She is now a professor at New York University and director of the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Her daughter, Brett Kroeger, earned her BM from Lawrence University in 1999 and a Master in Voice Performance from the Mannes College of Music in 2003. She lives in Riverside, Connecticut, with her husband, Joshua Weiner, a Director at First Reserve, and their children, Jacoby David and Madeleine Sarah.


Mrs. Viviana Kasam

Viviana is a daughter of Avram Goldstein-Goren and Stella Cukier. She was born in Milano and has been a Board Member since 2002, serving as President of the Foundation since 2010. She is a journalist who has worked for the Corriere della Sera as well as for Rai (the state-owned television network) and for Canale 5 (the top independent television network.) She has published two books and some of her articles were included in numerous others. She was awarded numerous prizes and was named Cavaliere della Repubblica Italiana because of the body of her work. She is a member of the Board of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the founder and president of Associazione BrainCircle Italia, which organizes international conventions on the brain and neuroscience with the participation of some of the world s top experts in the field. She was the curator of a very successful exhibition in Milano that paired color photographs of brain images with works of art. Eventually, that exhibition travelled to Deauville, Lisbon, and Paris and next it will be shown in London, Berlin, Geneva and Jerusalem. Over the years, Viviana has organized numerous events for the cities of Milano and Rome as well as for the Piccolo Teatro. In each of 2014. 2015 and 2016 Viviana organized in Rome concerts to commemorate the Holocaust on the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance. The first featured violins and other string instruments saved from the concentration camps. The second was a performance of songs written in the camps by inmates. The third commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra’s (now the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) first concert, directed by Maestro Arturo Toscanini, by playing exactly the same program.

Viviana attended McGill University, in Montreal, and graduated in Romance languages from Columbia University. She was married to Sass Khazzam in 1967 and they were divorced in 1974. She has one son, Alexis, who was born in New York City in 1970. Alexis graduated from Boston University and is married to Beth Leiter. They live in Peoria. Illinois, and have three children: Thomas Nicholas, Stella Grace and Matteo Burr.


Mrs. Micaela Goren Monti

Micaela is a daughter of Avram Goldstein-Goren and Stella Cukier; she was born in Milano. As a Board member, since 2002 she has filled the role of Finance Manager and Administrator of the C, G-G Foundation. Micaela is also a Board Member of the Jerusalem Foundation, Vice President of the Board of CDEC (Centro Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea) since 2003, Board Member of the Memoriale della Shoah. She is also involved in cultural Foundations as a Board member of Poldi Pezzoli Museum since 2002 and was a Board member of Accademia Arti e Mestieri della Scala 2001-2005.

Micaela Graduated in Lettere e Filosofia, and after a Master in Retail Management in Boston, Mass. developed an entrepreneurial career opening her textile buying office in Milano 1978-1995, when she ran and was elected to the General Assembly of Regione Lombardia 1995-2000. In 2001 she started working with her father Dolphi in financial management learning from him, stealing his secrets as Dolphi liked to say. In May 2006 she ran and was elected for a 5-year term as Borough President of the Center of Milano.

Micaela has been married since 1973 to Michele Monti, an Italian lawyer, LL.M Harvard, whose career includes positions as General Counsel of IBM Italy, founding partner of Andersen Legal, General Counsel of the Italian Stock Exchange, Board member of several companies including the London Stock Exchange; he is currently of Counsel, Bird & Bird, Milan.

They have three children. Mattia graduated in engineering from the Politecnico in Milan and received an MBA from New York University in 2005. He works in New York City in investment banking and is married to Paola Balzarotti, a financial journalist. They have two children: Matteo Avram and Beatrice Stella. Martin, Associate Professor (UCLA dept of Psychology, and UCLA dept of Neurosurgery) graduated from Bocconi University in Milan and received a PhD in Cognitive Neurosciences from Princeton University. He is an Assistant Professor at UCLA. He is married to Caroline Schnackers, Clinical Scientist (UCLA dept of Neurosurgery). Matilde graduated in Psychology from the Universita’ Cattolica in Milan. She lives in Lugano and works in childrens education: she is married to Matteo Ferrari, banker. They have a son Mattia Lupo.


Mr. James (Jimmy) Goren

Born in Milano in 1953, James Goren is the youngest son of Avram Goldstein-Goren and Stella Cukier. Like his siblings, he has been a Board Member of the Foundation since 2002. James s not-for-profit activities have included long stints as President of his New York City co-op and on the Board of the Tryall Club, a private residential and country club near Montego Bay, in Jamaica. He has also served on the Boards of the New Group, a not-for-profit New York City theater group, of JTN, the Jewish Television Network, and of the Birch Wathen School; he is also very active in charitable events that benefit Jamaica, where he spends a few months every year and where he and Alex are developing low income housing. In 2012 James was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by U Tech, one of Jamaica s two main institutes of higher learning. James and his brother Alex have been partners in Goren Brothers, a private investment firm, since 1984 and in the late 80s James was Chairman of New York and Foreign Securities, an institutional brokerage firm in which Goren Brothers had a substantial investment.

James graduated from Bocconi University in Milano. He married Manuela Cerri in 1979, an international entertainment journalist who contributes to numerous Italian magazines and who had a successful New York City based program for the biggest Italian private radio station. They have two children. Arielle Jada graduated from Johns Hopkins University and has been working as a spokesperson and speechwriter for top Democratic elected politicians; in June 2012 she married Andrew Goldstone, a resident in cardio-thoracic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. David Julian graduated form New York University; he is living in Los Angeles and working in the film industry.