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David Kaufman


Nora and David Kaufman


Front Row: Marcia Cosman, Dave Kaufman, Nora Kaufman, Allan Kaufman Back Row: Zak Cosman, Mitch Cosman, Rachel Cosman, Joy Kaufman, Loren Cohen, Eric Cohen, Lindsay Cohen, Harris Kaufman, Vicky Sterling, Elliot Kaufman Front Row: Marcia Cosman, Dave Kaufman, Nora Kaufman, Allan Kaufman Back Row: Zak Cosman, Mitch Cosman, Rachel Cosman, Joy Kaufman, Loren Cohen, Eric Cohen, Lindsay Cohen, Harris Kaufman, Vicky Sterling, Elliot Kaufman Marcia Cosman, Dave Kaufman, Nora Kaufman, Allan Kaufman Back Row: Zak Cosman, Mitch Cosman, Rachel Cosman, Joy Kaufman, Loren Cohen, Eric Cohen, Lindsay Cohen, Harris Kaufman, Vicky Sterling, Elliot Kaufman .

 
TRIBUTE TO DAVID KAUFMAN Z'L

By Rhonda Spivak, October 13, 2010

When David Kaufman passed away on August 1, 200 at age 83, I was in Israel and didn’t have the the full opportunity to properly reflect on the great loss to the Jewish community of Winnipeg and to consider the full length and breadth of his legacy.

David Kaufman was a pillar of our community.  That is indisputable— That I know and have known for many many years. But how does one best capture and quantify that in words.

Since this summer, I have been thinking about what an outsider to our community, who had no knowledge of our it or it’s history would be able to learn about David Kaufman simply by looking around.

There are two buildings on which David Kaufman’s name appears.  One is the Kaufman Silverberg Library in the Asper Campus.  It houses books and fosters learning and education.  The second is the   Kaufman Child Care Centre, bustling with young children. Books and  Children.  They are two essentials to ensure the survival of a Jewish community.

As someone who has written articles in a number of Jewish publications before this one, I also knew David Kaufman as “a reader” of Jewish community news.  Periodically, when I would bump into him, he would come up to me and talk about something he had read in one of my articles.  It was clear to me then that he didn’t just skim a subject when he read, but read it thoroughly  and completely and knew every  point raised in it, and then some.

It was at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue recently when I  thought of David Kaufman’s enduring contribution to our community. On the first day of Rosh Hashana, somewhere in the service, --I can’t recall exactly when—I happened to open the front page of my prayer book.  I usually never read the opening page, but somehow something caught my eye. I glanced quickly. It said that the book was donated to the synagogue by David and Nora Kaufman.

I sat there thinking to myself that Kaufman died soon before Rosh Hashana, but he had left me and each other congregant an everlasting treasure- a prayer book. 

The next day when I returned for services, I began picking up a few more books-one at a time— leafing quickly to the front page.  And sure enough every book I opened was donated to the synagogue by David and Nora Kaufman.

There are many things I knew about David Kaufman before he passed away. Kaufman was one of the first to support the concept of a Jewish community campus, a significant donor to the CJA, a man who supported many charities in Winnipeg and in Israel, and a  leader who in 1966 joined a group of  other Jewish businessmen (including my own grandfather Malick Spivak) in founding the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba . Kaufman was  the  JNF Negev  Gala Honouree in  1975,  and president of the  Jewish Foundation from 1983 to 1986.  Under Kaufman’s leadership in 1972 the Jewish Welfare Fund   merged with the  western branch of the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Winnipeg Congress Council (representing Jewish organizations in the city) to form the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council. Kaufman was the last president of the Welfare Fund.

Dave and Nora  Kaufman also encouraged young  members of our community to engage in philanthropy. In 2001, they set up the Bar/ Bat  Mitzvah Fund at the Jewish Foundation.  Once a  fund is open by a young person celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah reached $750.00, the Kaufmans contribute $250.00.  After the fund reaches $1000, the young person can  decide which worthwhile causes he or she wishes to support and distribute money accordingly. Since 2001, there have  been 279  young members of our community who have opened such funds with the Jewish Foundation.

In 1953,  Kaufman married Nora Silverberg, and ran a successful grocery store in south Winnipeg. In the mid-1950s, he joined Harry Silverberg, his father-in-law in business. Silverberg was the president of Silpit Industries, one of Western Canada’s largest garment manufacturers. When Silverberg passed away in 1966, Kaufman took over and run Silpit very successfully and then in the 1990s invested in real estate in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

There was no doubt that Kaufman was a successful business man. But more importantly, he was a mensch—He is to me, “the prayer book man”--a man who made sure to provide to the “people of the book” in his community the one book that they  have needed and will need the most from time immemorial-- the prayer book.

May his memory be an everlasting blessing.

David Kaufman is survived by his loving and devoted wife Nora, and children Allan (Vicki), Marcia (Mitch) , Joy (Eric) and  grandchildren Zak, Rachel, Harris, Lindsay, Elliot and  Loren.

 

 

 

 

 FAMILY PHOT0: (Front Row) Marcia Cosman, Dave Kaufman, Nora Kaufman, Allan Kaufman ( Back Row): Zak Cosman, Mitch Cosman, Rachel Cosman, Joy Kaufman, Loren Cohen, Eric Cohen, Lindsay Cohen, Harris Kaufman, Vicky Sterling, Elliot Kaufman

 

 

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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