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Earl Barish
photo by Rhonda Prepes


by Rhonda Spivak, October 16, 2013

Community leader Earl Barish was recently presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in February 2013 at a ceremony in Toronto. Barish was recommended for the Medal by B'nai Brith Canada, where he serves as chair of B’nai Brith Canada’s Executive Board for his extensive volunteer work over the years.    

 Additionally, a Mazel Tov is to be extended to Barish on Salisbury House receiving the 2013 Company of the Year Award presented by Manitoba Food Processors Association at the Industry Excellence Awards Ceremony on Wednesday June 5, 2013. (see related photo of Earl Barish receiving the Company of the Year Award on behalf of Salisbury House, standing next to Dave Shambrock, Executive Director, Manitoba Food Processors Association).  The Manitoba Food Processors Association (MFPA) is a non-profit, industry-run organization that promotes the development of a thriving food processing industry in Manitoba. The Association serves more than 290 member companies; ranging from small start-up operations to large multi-national companies. Manitoba growers, processors, marketing boards, government agencies, retailers, and industry suppliers of goods and services all enjoy the benefits of an MFPA membership.

Barish has long been active with B'nai Brith in Winnipeg and founded B’nai Brith Canada's Afternoon with the Goldeyes project which has run for the past five years. The 5th Annual B’nai Brith Canada Afternoon with the Goldeyes took place in Winnipeg recently where 1,315 people from 44 community organizations were treated to a completely free afternoon of a baseball game, snacks and souvenirs, courtesy of B’nai Brith. 

B’nai Brith offers free Goldeyes ticket packages to organizations that service different needs in the community, including Jewish Child & Family Services, Shalom Residences, Big Brothers and Sisters, CancerCare, Ronald MacDonald House and MacDonald Youth Services to name a few of the 44 agencies. B’nai Brith purchases the ticket packages with the help of various sponsors and then donates these packages to agencies that wish to bring recipients of their services to the game.

As Barish told the Jewish Tribune in 2012 regarding the Afternoon with the Goldeyes Project, “It’s a very simple program, but a very well received one. It is that ‘wonderful feeling’ type of program in the community.”

Barish, who has noted that many of the people who attend the event have never been to a baseball game, believes that that the Afternoon with the Goldeyes is also one of several programs that allow B’nai Brith in Winnipeg to extend its services beyond the Jewish population and contribute to the community at large.

“B’nai Brith’s basic and original concept was service to the community – People Helping People,” Barish told the Jewish Tribune. “We have some very active interfaith groups at work…(because) it’s important for B’nai Brith to make an impact in every aspect possible."

As Wayne Davies Principal of Ecole Junior High in Selkirk says of Barish, whom he has known through his volunteer work with B'nai Brith and Earl's active involvement with the school's very successful BOSS Guitar project connected to raising funds for the Museum of Human Rights, "Earl is the kind of guy you'd love to have as a neighbor and a friend. He has been that to myself and my students." 

Currently, Barish is working on organizing the upcoming B’nai Brith gala tribute dinner to take place Tuesday December 3, 2013 at the Fort Garry Hotel where B’nai Brith will present its prestigious 2013 Award of Merit to Pitblado Law. The B’nai Brith Canada Award of Merit recognizes outstanding Canadians who have contributed significantly to the social, human rights, political or business fabric of our community and of our nation. Pitblado Law will join past recipients Ida Albo, Sandy and Robert Shindleman, Rick Waugh, Bob Silver, Gary Filmon, Janice Filmon, William Norrie and others. B’nai Brith is recognizing Pitblado Law for contributions and service to the community by the firm and individual lawyers both past and present such as Izzy Asper, Harold Buchwald, Yude Henteloff, Howard Morry, Jack London, Bryan Schwartz and many others. This is the first time in the B'nai Brith history that a company has been chosen as the award recipient. 

An article about Barish's success as an entrepreneur entitled One Man's Business Journey Ice Cream, Pop Rocks, Restaurants was published this September in the Globe and Mail

In that article Barish was asked what inspired him to be an entrepreneur and to become involved in Salisbury House. Barish answered:

"What inspired you to be an entrepreneur and to launch this business? I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. I owned the Dickie Dee ice cream family business with other members of my family from 1959 until 1992. I actually peddled an ice cream cart when I was 14 and 15 years of age in 1957-58. At that time, when the family bought the ice-cream business, it was eight ice-cream bicycles. We eventually sold it to Good Humor-Breyers (a division of Unilever) in 1992, and by that time were 1500 three wheeled bicycles, several scooters and trucks, and over 5500 Bubble Cabinets for the Richard D's bars, so we grew the business.

"I then sold Pop Rocks as an inclusion in Ice Cream and Chocolate to companies around the world to 50 countries. I owned the Winnipeg Cyclone basketball team, which was in a professional league here and in nine other cities in the United States. I was president of the league. So I have a little bit of business history. I’ve been a Winnipegger all my life and I love the city, so when the Salisbury House opportunity came forward there was no question this could be part of that.

"In 2006, the company needed some additional direction. A couple of the directors were no longer involved that were sort of running the company and I was asked if I would take over, and at that point I was what one might call semi-retired. I was busy with many things, though not actively involved in business. I decided this was a fantastic brand, it has 550 employees, and it would be a new learning experience for an old entrepreneur.”


Barish and his wife Cheryl are very proud of their family of their 3 children and their spouses and 7 wonderful grandchildren.

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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.