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Samantha Loxton


by Rhonda Spivak, November 16, 2011

At a luncheon at the Fort Gary Hotel last week put on by the Jewish National Fund here to thank its supporters Rob Berkowits, JNF’s new enthusiastic Executive Director for the Manitoba-Saskatchewan region, said that he was pleased to announce that JNF would be hiring a person in the area of marketing and public relations for the Winnipeg office.

Berkowitz also told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that he was very pleased to confirm that JNF pillar, Mel Lazareck, business and community leader, who has been President of the JNF Manitoba-Saskatchewan region for the last several years will be staying on in his position.

Manitoba Minister of Water Stewardship Christine Melnick, who was last year’s JNF Negev Gala Honouree was at the luncheon, along with JNF Board Members, Marsha Cowan, CEO of the Jewish Foundation, Rabbis, clergy, executive directors of synagogues, and administration from the Gray Academy.

At the luncheon, JNF board member Sharon Glass, who has two daughters in Israel, spoke about her recent trip to Israel and Harris Gulko, who has had extensive experience with JNF spoke passionately about how rewarding his involvement with JNF has been. From 1953 to 1963, Gulko , who made aliya in 1979, was JNF Director of the Ontario region, and then served as CEO and Executive Vice-president of the organization nationally (1963-1979). From 1979 to 1984, Gulko was on the headquarters staff of Keren Kayemeth in Jerusalem].

Yesterday, the Winnipeg Jewish Review learned that Samantha Loxton, will become the new Program and Communications Co-ordinator of the JNF in Winnipeg, as part of the re-structuring of JNF in Winnipeg which began over the summer this year.

Loxton, who has been employed by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg for the last five years, will work cooperatively with Berkowitz in the development of an annual fundraising plan/initiatives fro the  JNF, and will deliver communications related to the JNF website, e-newsletter and social networking site programs. Loxton will assist Berkowitz in communications with the media & community, in promoting events and campaigns.

For the last 14 -15 months or so, Loxton has been working as the Jewish Federation's Director of Leadership Development. She has co-ordinated J-PEG programming (for young adults between ages 25-45) and leadership initiatives, having taking over last year from Judy Price Rosen, who became Associate Director of Donor Development within the Federation’s Financial Resource Development Department.

Loxton recently organized a very succesful  J-Peg annual North end Jewish  bus tour with "tour guide" David Cohen, attended by about forty young adults (complete with Kosher lunch served on the bus).
Loxton’s last day with the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg will be November 30, and she will commence work with the  JNF on Dec 1.

Prior to working as Director of Leadership Development, Loxton was in charge of JSA/Hillel on campus for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, a position that is now held by Hart Jacob. Under Loxton’s term, JSA/Hilel had put on such programs as “Jews, Brews and Canoes - 3 day leadership retreat at B’nai Brith Camp,” and “Punch Lines for Peace.” 

According to Bob Freedman, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, the Federation "will be reviewing job responsibilities" before advertising for someone new to fill Loxton's shoes.

At the JNF luncheon last week, attendees received the signature JNF blue box (the pushka), and an information packet about JNF’s latest project of restoration and development of the old city walls of Jerusalem. This will entail expanding the possibilities of its utilization, development of an “archeological activities garden” and “scenic promenade” for the enjoyment of all visiting the ancient city, including school children and the physically disabled. The JNF of Canada will be partnering with the Jerusalem foundation to “take on this unprecedented opportunity to allow Canadians to link their name with Jerusalem, the city that embraces the spirit of the Jewish people, past, present and future


UPDATE: JNF just issued a press release on Nov 17.

“We are excited to have Samantha join our team, stated executive director Rob Berkowits. Her [Samantha's] significant background with non-profit organizations and dynamic skill set will contribute greatly to our future success.”

Loxton emailed the Winnipeg Jewish Review: " I am excited to be part of the JNF Winnipeg and Saskatchewan team. I am looking forward to working with Rob Berkowitz the Executive Director in the development of JNF’s annual fundraising plan/initiatives."


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.