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Karla Berbrayer

Jessica Cogan


November 22, 2012


[Editor's note: Below is the press release issued by the JNF recently which is being printed in full.

Readers may also be interested in reading  Myron Love's article about  Berbrayer becoming new head of JNF MB/Sask Region that came out yesterday Nov 21, 2012 in the Canadian Jewish News.

To read it click here:

According to Love's article, Berbrayer will have a two year term, to be suceeded by Jessica Cogan, who is now Vice-President, a new Board position]


The Jewish National Fund – Manitoba/Saskatchewan Branch is pleased to announce the appointment of Karla Berbrayer as the incoming president of the prairie region and Jessica Cogan as the incoming vice president.

“I’m am extremely pleased that both Karla and Jessica will continue to demonstrate their strong commitment to Israel and the significant work that the Jewish National Fund delivers, stated outgoing regional president Mel Lazareck. For the past six years, it has been my honour and pleasure to serve the JNF as its president. I plan to remain an active board member and continue to work in my capacity to tighten the bond between our great Province, Canada and Israel.”

Karla Berbrayer is a well-known and respected member of the local community. A JNF board member since 2009, Karla has a strong background as a producer and manager of Arts & Cultural events on a local, national and international scale. She has worked with numerous arts groups including the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. Karla is the founding producer of the popular Rady JCC “Music ‘N’ Mavens” series (1999-Present), the Rady JCC Israeli Concert Series (2003-Present) and is the music producer of the Rady JCC Tarbut: Festival of Jewish Culture. In addition to serving on several boards and committees (Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Shalom Residences, Herzlia Synagogue), Karla was vice president of the board of Community Respite Services of Manitoba and has volunteered for many years with Manitoba Riding for the Disabled. Recently, Karla produced and co-chaired the 2012 Negev Gala that honoured Bonnie & John Buhler.

“I am honoured to be following in the footsteps of Mel Lazareck by taking the helm of the Jewish National Fund, stated Berbrayer. The JNF has a history of accomplishments in the local and Israeli communities. I am looking forward to working with the strong staff in the JNF Office and building on the success of what has been done over the past few years in Winnipeg.”

Born and raised in Edmonton, Jessica Cogan has served on the board of the Jewish National Fund’s Manitoba/Saskatchewan Branch since 2009. An immigration and civil litigator by profession, Jessica participated in the “March of the Living”, which was a tour of the sites of Jewish martyrdom and heroism during the Second World War. Jessica’s deep connection to her roots has led her sit on the executive of Hillel – Jewish Student’s Association at the University of Alberta, participate as a member of the board of directors for the Edmonton Jewish Federation, the Aleph-Bet Board of Directors and Winnipeg Beach Day Camp Board. In 2009, Jessica participated in the JNF’s Ambassador Program. Twelve individuals from across Canada toured Israel and were then tasked with the mission of educating their specific communities about the many projects that JNF support in Israel.  In 2012; she co-chaired the very successful Negev Gala.

“I am extremely excited about the positive direction that the Jewish National Fund brand has taken in the past year, exclaimed Cogan. I look forward to assisting in the many new and innovative programs & initiatives that will be delivered in the coming year. The Jewish National Fund is so much more than trees and yet it is overwhelming to come to understand that its colossal involvement in all things Israel started with a humble box and a simple tree.”

Rob Berkowits – Executive Director
Phone: 204-947-0207
[email protected]

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