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Negev Gala honouring Rabbi Green with net Proceeds to World’s Jewish Museum a Huge Success

by Rhonda Spivak June 15, 2017

This year's JNF Gala Honouring Rabbi Green, with net proceeds being directed to the World Jewish Museum, was a huge success. There were over 1300 tickets sold for the event to honour Rabbi Green, and the large crowd was treated to an excellent performance of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rony Weiss, along with Israeli singers Shlomit Aharon and Yevgeni Shapovalov.

 

In his remarks, Rabbi Green said that it was “a huge honour to be chosen as tonight’s Gala honoree," and noted that great community leaders, such as Izzy Asper, have been JNF Honourees. “I always took note of who the community honorees were.  And they've always been the great ones of society; the pillars of the Jewish community, and the community at large.  I never imagined I'd ever be numbered among them."'.

          Rabbi Green then spoke about the World’s Jewish Museum to be built in Tel-Aviv, the brainchild of the Asper Foundation, where the proceeds of the Gala are going. He indicated it was "a great joy and high privilege to be associated with this project." He explained:

"These days’ synagogues, and Jewish life as a whole, are in transition. And we don't know exactly what the future holds for the Jewish people.

"But what an inspired idea!--to change our focus from what's challenging about Jewish existence--to the great contributions we Jews have made throughout time.    

  “This is what the Asper Foundation's World's Jewish Museum is all about.  Many Jewish museums highlight our tragic history.  However, awareness of suffering can never be the whole of Jewish identity. 

" All too often, we forget--how the Jewish people created the moral order of Western civilization; how we gave birth to Christianity, and inspired Islam; and how our modern judicial system stems from the principles laid out  in Torah, and rabbinic law.

 "We forget--that three of the most significant figures of the twentieth century--Freud, Marx, and Einstein--were all products of Jewish culture.   We forget--that 22% of all Nobel prize winners, spring from a tiny, two-tenths of one per cent of the world’s population.

 "These are just a few examples of high Jewish achievement. However, not only are most people ignorant of this huge influence. Jews themselves suffer from this same malady.

 "  So I believe it's high time, we create an institution--the World’s Jewish Museum--that will declare, loudly and clearly, for all to hear--that we are in fact, Mamlechet Kohanim, V'Goy Kadosh--"a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation"; that we are, in fact--"a light to the nations"; and, that "all peoples on earth" have indeed, been "blessed by (us)". 

 

Rabbi Green also noted that " quite apart from its content," The World's Jewish Museum" will surely be one of the architectural wonders of the world.

Rabbi Green  expressed his " my deepest gratitude, to the Asper family--to the great Izzy and Babs; to Gail and Michael, David and Ruth, and Len and Susan--for their truly extraordinary vision and commitment--not only to the Jewish people--but also, to humanity at large.  May you, and your children, and your children's children, continue to go from strength to strength--for many years to come."

 

New JNF national CEO Lance Davis, who came from Toronto to the event noted that the World's Jewish Museum will attest to the impact of the Jewish people upon humanity.

Minister Rochelle Squires brought greetings from the Premier and Government of Manitoba, and the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba Janice Filmon who was in attendance noted in a message in the program book for the event that"Rabbi Green has earned the respect and admiration of our community for his devotion to faith and commitment to improving the world at home and abroad."

In their message in the in the program book co-chairs for the event Gail Asper, Neil Duboff, Rudy Fidel, Gerald Labossiere, Ted Lyons and Lorne Weiss  noted that Rabbi Green "has dedicated all his might to enhance Jewish life and traditions" and said that the Worlds Jewish  Museum "will illuminate the significant  contributions and achievements of the Jewish people in technology, medicine, science, philanthropy and the arts."

Ariel Karabelnicoff the Executive Director of JNF Manitoba and Saskatchewan Region emphasized in his remarks that “the deep

and longtime partnership of the Jewish Community of Winnipeg  with JNF/KKL to develop the land of Israel  goes back to the beginning of the nineteen hundreds. Winnipeg generosity and commitment to support Israel and the well-being of its people is well known in Israel and around the world. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your support- It is not taken for granted.”

Karabelnicoff continued, "I was asked once, why put on a Negev Gala ? why bother organizing such an undertaking? It takes so much time, energy and resources to make it happen.You could fundraise effectively in many other ways? And we do. My answer is: the Negev Gala is not only an annual fundraiser, it is a place and a time for our community to gather and celebrate Israel, JNF and our Jewish Community and take the time to recognize special human beings, leaders of our community, like tonight’s Honouree Rabbi Alan Green,and to celebrate the fact that we have so many friends from all walks of life and from all faiths that are here with us tonight. It is a testimony to the fact that we are all brothers and sisters, members of the human race, and the Negev Gala is  a city-wide event. As the song reads in Hebrew: HINE MA TOV HU MA NAIM SHEVET ACHIM GAM YACHAD! Translated into English: BEHOLD HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASING IT IS WHEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS SIT TOEGETHER IN UNITY AND HARMONY.

 
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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.