About us

Who Are We?

The purpose of the Canadian Friends of the École Biblique (CFEB) is to advance the academic study of religion by offering scholarships to Canadian graduate-level students and academics to study and do research at the distinguished École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem.

When funds are available, the CFEB also contributes to library acquisitions and IT enhancement, teaching, and other academic projects at the École Biblique.

The CFEB is a registered charity under federal statutes in Canada, a status that allows us to provide funds that will enhance Canadian academic life to an approved education institution outside the country.

École biblique

History of the CFEB

The CFEB was established by Dr. William Klassen, a Canadian professor of New Testament, in 1995. In its early years, it raised money for a major renovation, expansion and modernization of the century-old library of the École Biblique.

When this project was completed in 2001, the Canadian Friends redirected their fundraising priorities to providing the opportunity for Canadian graduate students and professors to study and conduct research at the École Biblique.

In 2014, the Quebec section of Alumni and Friends of the Ecole Biblique (established by Prof. Guy Couturier in 1975) merged with the CFEB.

Since 2003, the CFEB has granted more than 30 scholarship awards totaling more than $155,000. Other projects have been undertaken as funds permit (see CFEB PROJECTS).

Our Board

The CFEB Board consists of scholars and non-scholars, Protestant as well as Catholic. The board meets three to four times a year.



Former board members include:

Elaine Champagne, Chair of Leadership in Teaching Spiritual Theology and Spirituality, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Laval University 
Michael W. Higgins, author, biographer, Basilian Distinguished Fellow of Contemporary Catholic Thought, Guelph, ON
Peter Warrian, Senior Research Fellow, Comparative Program on Health and Society, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto
Edward Jackman, priest, historian, philanthropist, Secretary-Treasurer 1996-2021, Kleinburg, ON*
Marie de Lovinfosse, professor of Biblical Studies, Institut de formation théologique de Montréal, Montréal, QC
Michel Gourgues, OP, Faculty of Theology, Dominican University College Ottawa, ON, guest teacher at École Biblique, Jerusalem
Glenn Byer, Editor

Lorraine Caza, CND, professor and former superior general of the Congregation of Notre Dame
R.P. Guy Couturier, CSC, President Emeritus, retired professor, l’Université de Montréal*
Chris Foley, Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Tim Hegedus, Retired Professor, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
Philippe LeBlanc, OP, Founding Vice-President, international human rights worker, Toronto*
Jean-Jacques Robillard, OP, Founding President, former prior in Jerusalem and provincial of the Canadian Dominican Province
Joseph Sinasac, publishing director of Novalis, Toronto

*We are sad to report that Rev. Edward Jackman passed away on June 18, 2021; Fr. Guy Couturier on May 9, 2017; Fr. Philippe LeBlanc on December 30, 2017; and Bill Klassen on January 29, 2019. We miss these dear friends and colleagues, and deeply appreciate their years of dedication to the Canadian Friends.

Founding Director


William Klassen, Retired professor of New Testament, Principal Emeritus of St. Paul’s University College (now called United University College), University of Waterloo*





Our Scholarship Recipients Say....

“While at the EBAF, I learned a lot about discussing sensitive or contentious topics with a variety of people in respectful ways. This is a truly invaluable skill in both my teaching and in everyday life. Being able to engage in conversation on difficult topics with those with whom we do not always agree is an important ability in our increasingly polarised world.”
– Rivkah Gillian Glass (2018-19), PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC

“I also thoroughly enjoyed participating in the community and taking advantage of the location of the École. I relished interacting with the priests and other researchers there, including lunch conversations about Hebrew philology, text criticism, or other esoteric topics that were intriguing and unique. The international nature of the community was truly inspiring, and I emerged with new friends and academic contacts from Mexico, Poland, France, Germany, Italy and India, among others. The Êcole also provided a wonderful base from which to experience and explore Jerusalem…. All in all this was an unforgettable experience.”
– Derek Suderman (2017), Associate Professor of Religious and Theological Studies at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON

“The community at the École was encouraging, invigorating, and warm. My French improved quite a bit over my time there, thanks to their patience and constructive feedback. I very much enjoyed the table fellowship and the good food. I am grateful for the new friendships I formed over my time there and I look forward to keeping in touch with them. Perhaps, inshallah, I will have the opportunity to spend time with them again. …”
– Xenia Chan (summer 2023)