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Rob Berkowits


by Rhonda Spivak, August 5, 2011

After growing ameuteur football in Manitoba, Rob Berkowits will set out to grow donations for the Jewish National Fund. 

The Winnipeg Free Press has reported that  Rob Berkowits resigned from his position at Football Manitoba to become the new 'quarterback' of the Jewish National Fund for the  Manitoba/Saskatchewan region. .

He's set to 'tackle' his new position as JNF's full time Executive Director, a position that was developed after Jacqueline Freedman resigned from her position as Development Co-ordinator for the JNF and  after JNF decided not to bring in a new shaliach from Israel.

Under Berkowits, Football Manitoba’s membership numbers tripled and he helped introduce numerous development programs in both tackle and flag football. Berkowits created a framework for the Provincial Team Programs, and maintained, operated, and established popular Football Manitoba events such as; Super Clinic, Championship Weekend, Red River Cup, Blue & Gold, and the Fundraising Dinner to name a few.

“Although it saddens me that Rob is leaving us, I understand his need to take this opportunity for a career move at this time, stated Football Manitoba President Leona Barrett in a statement ."I wish Rob well in his new position and I am certain he will be as successful in his new position as he was at Football Manitoba. I am thankful for his hard work and efforts in growing amateur football in Manitoba over the past 12 years. We will certainly miss him.”

The forty year old Berkowits  assisted in the expansion programs for the Winnipeg High School Football League, the Manitoba Minor Football Association, and has remained passionate about promoting and developing football in rural communities. In a statement, Football Manitoba said that because of Berkowits's "dedication to the sport and his assistance with scholarship programs, more of Manitoba’s athletes are playing football at a post secondary level than ever before."

"Nationally, Rob has become very well known and respected amongst his peers and has been selected to participate in the National Football League’s “Canadian Football Forum”, has sat on the Football Canada Restructure and Renewal Committee as well as Football Canada’s National Flag Football Committee, chaired the 2000 & 2006 Football Canada Cups and 2007 National Flag Football Championships. Throughout his tenure, Rob has provided Football Manitoba with poised leadership, outstanding work ethic, and remarkable integrity."

“I am excited to have Rob join our team, stated Executive Vice-President of JNF Joe Rabinovitch. I am confident that under his leadership, JNF will expand and enhance its image in the community.”

Manitoba/Saskatchewan Region JNF President Mel Lazarek echoed Rabinovitch’s perspective. “Rob’s dynamic skill set will lend itself perfectly to our existing framework and philosophy. The Board is looking forward to working cooperatively with him.”

Berkowits’ role with the JNF will focus on the overall coordination, design and implementation of programs, public activities and fundraising. This includes Board and lay leader relations, community representation, financial resource development, community development, management of human and financial resources and governance structures. 


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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.