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Jack Ciplinski


By Rhonda Spivak, June 20, 2011

Jack Ciplinski is marking his 30h year as the comptroller for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and its predecessor organization this month. He was recognized for his 30 year milestone at a recent board meeting of the  Jewish Federation of Winnipeg on June 2, 2011.

Ciplinski worked for Silpit Industries through the accounting firm of McGillvray before being encouraged in 1981 by then Winnipeg Board of Jewish Education [BJE] president Sid Halpern, along with Superintendent Baruch Rand, to leave public  accounting practice and help the BJE which at the time was in a deficit position.

Ciplinski was first hired as the WBJE Business Manager, and then took on additional responsibilities for YMHA accounting needs in 1985.  In 1986, around the time that Bob Freedman arrived at the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council [WJCC], the precursor to the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg,  Jack also joined the WJCC and oversaw the books for all three organizations. During his tenure Jack has also overseen the accounting functions for the Asper Jewish Community Campus, the Vaad Ha’ir of Winnipeg, and the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada

Sid Halpern, who has known Ciplinski for the last 30 years, told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that Ciplinski has “ established and maintained a stable and fiscally responsible financial culture for the community that will remain role model for future professionals. He has done so with high standards of integrity, forthrightness and professional competency and most importantly with an empathy and menshlechkeit that  has endeared him to him to all. As a friend, he  is “the finest person one would wish to know.”

As Jerry Cohen former principal of Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate, recalls of his years working with Ciplinski  “Jack was not only “tight-fisted” as one would expect from a controller, but also  totally committed to Jewish education, and its financial needs.   He was a great facilitator and always found ways of responding positively to special requests, while at the same time remaining true to the budget.   He’s also a great guy and fun to be around.   I thoroughly enjoyed my 17 years working with him, and I wish him a hearty mazal tov on his 30 years of communal  service.”

Faye Rosenberg-Cohen of the Jewish Federation  says “Jack likes to hide from public view. So few people realize the kind of menshlechkeit and devotion to the Jewish people he applies to his work. Having worked together for a long time, I have come to know that his diligent attention to ensuring that no penny of community money goes to waste stems from his deep commitment. As an advocate for our agencies at Allocations, as an uncompromising advocate for Israel, even as a strict budget manager for Federation, Jack is always focused on make the dollars work to serve the needs of the community and supporting the people and agencies who do the work. But you might have to look out of the corner of your eye to see him in action, because his most passionate conversations take place in privacy of his office or a small meeting room.”

As Rory Paul, Head of School, Gray Academy of Jewish Education adds, “Jack has been the financial force behind most of the Jewish agencies in Winnipeg.  This has evolved through both his direct relationship as CFO to agencies over the years and as financial consultant to many other agencies of which he is not directly involved.  His passionate and sometimes exuberant desire to see all aspects of the Jewish community be successful is tempered only by his calm and pragmatic approach to the community’s finances.  We are fortunate to have had Jack working with us.”

Adam Levene notes, “He Jack is an invaluable resource to the Federation and particularly to me in my capacity as Chair of allocations and formerly as Chair of Finance.  His understanding of each community agency is remarkable."

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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.