Feb 26, 2021
The Allard School of Law at UBC is pleased to announce a very generous gift from the Koffman family in support of a faculty exchange program between the Allard School of Law, UBC and the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Myrna, Lori, Ted and Robert Koffman made this gift in honour and in memory of alumnus Morley Koffman, Q.C. As a result of the Koffman family’s very generous financial support of this program, it will continue to operate for at least the next six years officially as the Morley Koffman, Q.C. Memorial Allard School of Law UBC and Hebrew University Law Faculty Professor Exchange Program.
“It was an easy decision,” Ted Koffman, Morley’s son said. “My dad wasn’t the kind of guy who wanted his name on something but this would make him happy.”
“Given the high level of respect and regard for Morley’s reputation in the legal, university, Jewish and general communities as a wise counsel and recognized leader it is perfectly appropriate for the program to be named in his honour as a reflection of the importance placed by him and his family on scholarship, professionalism and Tikkun Olam,” the Honourable Bruce Cohen, one of the original founders of this program commented. “Tikkun Olam” is a popular Hebrew expression referring to working towards making a better world.
The Allard School of Law has been enormously enriched by the Faculty Exchange Program. Each year we have many faculty members interested in visiting the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a few ongoing research collaborations have already blossomed under this endeavour.
Established in 2010, this program supports collegial relationships between professors and has exposed hundreds of students at both law schools to new ideas. Since the program began, 19 visiting professors have participated in the program.
Myrna Koffman, Morley’s wife, and Debby Koffman, Morley’s daughter-in-law, said this about the program:
“People need to learn what an amazing place Israel is. With anti-Israel rhetoric and antisemitism on the rise, a positive academic exchange is an excellent way to alter perceptions and educate students. Cross cultural exchanges are such an important thing to do.”
The Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and members of the local legal profession and members of the judiciary provided funding for the initial years of the program. From 2013 to 2019, the program was named in honour of Mitchell Gropper, Q.C., following a successful fundraising initiative spearheaded by Sam Hanson to support its continuation and to recognize Mr. Gropper.
“The Allard School of Law has been enormously enriched by the Faculty Exchange Program. Each year we have many faculty members interested in visiting the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a few ongoing research collaborations have already blossomed under this endeavour,” said Dean pro tem Janine Benedet, Q.C. “We are very grateful to the Koffman family for honouring Morley in this special way.”
Morley graduated from the law school at UBC in 1952 and was called to the bar in 1953. He went on to practice at Freeman, Freeman, Silvers and Koffman. He was awarded Queen’s Counsel in 1986 and his firm, Koffman Kalef, was created in 1993. Morley loved practicing law. He advised prominent clients locally and internationally, served as a director of numerous corporations, and took on a number of pro bono cases.
As an alumnus, he was a proud supporter of UBC and its law school. He also served the Vancouver Jewish community in a number of capacities. His philanthropic contributions to UBC and other organizations have had a profound impact. Two endowments were established at UBC in honour of Morley: the Morley Koffman, QC Bursary in Law and the Koffman Kalef Prize in Business Law.