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Howard Morry

Abe Freig and Howard Morry at the recent Jewish National Fund Negev Gala
Photo by Keith Levit


June 17, 2013

 Prominent lawyer and Jewish community leader Howard Morry recently received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee deal given by Conservative Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre Joyce Bateman.

 Morry, who is a partner at the Pitblado law firm practices in the areas of, corporate and commercial law, estates, trusts and wealth management, and aboriginal law, has been awarded the prestigious “AV Preeminent” designation by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, being the highest possible rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

 He is currently the Chairman of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Capital Campaign, Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.

Morry is the Co-chair of the Arab Jewish Dialogue, a group that was the 2013 honouree of the Jewish National Fund’s Negev Gala. The Arab Jewish Dialogue is dedicated to encouraging positive relations and respect between Arabs and Jews in Canada, and has worked over the years with hundreds of supporters of peace in the Middle East to promote respect, dignity, tolerance and diversity.)

As Morry has said, “Peace is possible, if both parties are genuinely committed. We want to ensure that no matter what happens along the way, Arabs and Jews in Canada find a way to talk it out, and that begins with trust.”

As MP Bateman has told the Winnipeg Jewish Review, “In particular, his [Howard’s] work as Co-chair of the Arab-Jewish Dialogue group must be recognized and commended.”

Morry is also the Honourary Counsel on the National Executive of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. He is a Founding chair, Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, past chair, Estate Planning Council of Winnipeg, past chair, National Association of Estate Planning Councils of Canada, past chair, Joint Tax Committee, MBA and Institute of Chartered Accountants, past chair, Tax Subsection, Manitoba Bar Association, and sits on the Board of Governors, Canadian Tax Foundation.

Morry is also is a Past President of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and a Past chairman of the Combined Jewish Appeal. On May 29, 2013 he was recognized by Gail Asper, the chair of the Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA) in her speech at the presentation of the Kavod Awards for his prowess and efforts in making calls for this year’s CJA campaign.

Morry is currently on the Board of Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, has been active in the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, and is also on the Board of Trustees of the United Jewish Communities in New York. He was recently in Budapest, Hungary for a conference of the World Jewish Congress.

In 2011, Morry received the Max and Mollie Shore Award at the Kavod Awards presented by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. Below is a large excerpt from his very moving speech that nigh about our Jewish community and the history of the Jewish people (Editor’s note: Every time I re-read it I remember how good a speech it is):

My real heroes are my family.

My grandparents who sacrificed so much to make a better life for their children.

My parents, Julius and Shirley, and Hope’s parents, Sid and Florence, who gave us the bedrock values we live by

My siblings and sister in law, especially my brother Jeff who gets to make a difference in the lives of so many people every day.

Our kids, Josh and Samantha, who I’m sure, will make their own unique mark on this world, as will their incredible friends.

And, of course, Hope.  When I said that volunteering is a team sport, my co-captain and coach is Hope, who like Ginger Rogers does everything I do but backwards and in high heels.

I could not do any of this without her.

Inspiring others, as Hope says, I’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.

Because at the end of the day, that’s how we measure success. Jewish continuity.

Not by how many meals on wheels we serve or how much money we raise, but whether we leave a strong Jewish community to our children.

And that’s never been easy.

The Jewish people have had so many close calls, when our story as a people almost came to an end.  And I’m not just referring to the pogroms or the Holocaust.

We wouldn’t be here tonight if our people had accepted St. Paul’s offer in the 1st Century, generous though it may have been, to join him in forming a new people.

Or if we had accepted Muhammad’s offer in the 7th Century or Martin Luther’s in the 16th.

Others didn’t even bother to make offers; they simply demanded that our ancestors give up their people on pain of death.

We eat latkes every Chanukah because our ancestors fought back when they were ordered to abandon their God.

We wouldn’t be a people today if our forefathers and mothers hadn’t secretly practiced Judaism during the Spanish Inquisition.

I personally got to witness the strength of that Jewish bond in 1997, when Bob Freedman and I went on a mission to Belarus.

I’m not ashamed to say I cried when I saw how 70 years of official atheism couldn’t extinguish the Jewish spirit.

We see that spirit in the streets of Israel and Winnipeg today, Jews from the former Soviet Union living Jewish lives because of the work we do.

We saw that same spirit in the survivors who came to North America and Israel after the Second World War.

They would have been forgiven if they had turned their back on their heritage. But in spite of everything, they never gave up on their identity as Jews.

We are a stubborn people as our enemies have found out.

The empires and thousand year reichs that targeted us over the millennia have been assigned to the ash heap of history, while we celebrate here tonight.

That is why Hope and I are co-chairing Securing Our Future. There’s nothing more important to us than playing a part in securing the future of the Jewish people and for us, that begins right here at home.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that shortly after we launched our plan, Natan Sharansky, one of the genuine Jewish heroes of our time, called the Jewish Agency’s new strategy “Securing Our Future”.

In doing so, he said our historic mission was to inspire Jews worldwide to connect with their people, heritage and homeland and to empower them to build a thriving Jewish future.

In my opinion, Mr. Sharansky got it exactly right.

They say the age of miracles is over, but I’m not so sure. If you leave aside the eternal flooding we face here in Manitoba, the miracle I’m referring to is the strength of the Jewish people.

We’re not the all powerful wizards that Islamists fear, but pound for pound we punch far above our weight. There are only 12 million of us left, .2 percent of the global population and yet …

Jewish scientists and doctors win nearly half the Nobel prizes. And per capita Israel beats out every country in innovation and patents.

My son Josh and I were recently at the new National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and saw first-hand what a cultural powerhouse the Jewish people are.

Name the medium or art and Jews have made an outsized contribution.






Movies. Did you know that every major studio in Hollywood was founded by Jews?




Even Starbucks was started by a Jewish entrepreneur.

Americans like to say the most exclusive club on the planet is the US Senate. I believe that we can make the same claim.

But just as Americans have to guard their institutions we have to guard ours.  That includes the State of Israel and our Diaspora communities – our schools, synagogues and community centers; our way of life.

The biggest threat we face is apathy. With all due respect to Mr. Ahmadinejad, the fact is, we’re the only ones who have a say in whether the Jewish people will survive.

It’s not a job for the fainthearted. The people who have been given this job before include Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Once again, for the first time since the age of the Prophets, our fate is in our hands.

Judging by the people I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years, we can all feel secure about the future of the Jewish people.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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