Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Outgoing President of the Jewish Foundation Joe wilder with Marsha Cowan, CEO of the Jewish Foundation

Marsha Cowan CEO of the Jewish Foundation announces that the JFM's asset base reached 100 million in early 2015.

Signers sign the Endowment Book of Life

Guests enjoying the celebrations in the Jewish foundation of Manitoba Garden at the Asper Campus

Guests are treated to party food by Shmoozers and speciality coffee by Bermax Cafe s

Ken & Sheila Katz reading this year’s EBOL stories.

Guests look at the display about the Jewish Foundation put on by the Jewish Historical Society

Anita Wortzman, Adele & Arthur Wortzman, Susan Wortzman, Teresa Rogers & Jason Wortzman,sign the Endowment Book of Life. Anita Wortzman is now the President of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba

Richard Yaffe sang “MIRACLE OF MIRACLES” (FROM FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) AND “HERE’S TO LIFE” at the Garden Party event.


by Rhonda Spivak July 8, 2015



I have never seen the Asper Campus look as magnificent as it did for the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba's 5oth Anniversary Garden party which began with a ceremony to welcome the 2015 Endowment Book of Life signers in the gym of the Asper campus.  


Main street was beautifully draped with white fabric panels and the gym transformed and reimagined with  white draping and matching white chairs. The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba Garden outside in front of Schmoozers was all beautifully decked out with white tent canopies in case of rain (which turned out to be needed).



At the event after the this year's signers signed the Endowment Book of Life, Marsha Cowan CEO of  the Jewish Foundation announced with excitement as blue and white balloons dropped from the ceiling that "in 2015, thanks to our donors, our accumulated assets reached $100 million dollars."





Joe Wilder, outgoing President of the Jewish Foundation gave remarks in which he said that "serving as President of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba has been a  highlight of my career in community service."



He spoke about the fact that a" healthy Jewish Foundation of Manitoba helps us  secure our future as a Jewish community."



He continued, "When I was recruited to be a member of the Board of the Jewish Foundation 14 years ago, what particularly attracted me was the prospect that the Foundation had the potential to secure the financial longevity of our community indefinitely. The long term longevity of Diaspora Jewish communities and especially our own longevity as a community has long been a concern of mine. JFM has the capacity to ensure that viability in perpetuity."



Wilder noted that “When I joined the Board in 2001 the Foundation’s asset totaled $44,000,000 and it was paying out approximately $2,000,000 per year to its beneficiaries. “We now have a Foundation, as a result of the efforts of so many dedicated volunteers, staff and donors, worth $100,000,000, and it is about to pay out some $4 million per year.”



He spoke of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba's role as the "ultimate backstop" for the Jewish community:



"The capacity of the Jewish Federation which bears the primary responsibility for the funding of our institutions, and has done a tremendous job in their campaign is finite particularly if this community does not grow appreciably . As the community ages that campaign in the best of hands cannot be expected to meet all of the ever increasing needs of the community.



"If the Jewish Foundation doubles its assets in the next 7 or 8 years as it should, we will be able to pay out at least $8 million per year to our beneficiaries and the effluxion of time alone with proper stewardship will ensure our growth.



"As a consequence I have always regarded the JFM as the ultimate backstop of our community."



As Wilder said, there are three "primary functions" of the Jewish Foundation:

1. To raise funds

2. To husband the capital zealously  

3. To distribute the resulting income wisely" 


Wilder said: “We have reason to be proud of the uses to which we have put our funds. Examine the grants the Board of Directors is called upon to approve each year. One can’t help but be struck by the breadth and diversity of our efforts - from individual scholarships to camps to schools to those who are disadvantaged - there is hardly an area of Jewish life in Winnipeg in which we do not play a vital part.”


While Wilder also noted the many contributions that the Foundation has made to the larger community of Winnipeg - not just the Jewish community. But he said “I have a sense from time to time that we need to remind ourselves that this is the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba."



In closing, Wilder cited the contributions of two individuals in particular: Foundation Executive Director Marsha Cowan, for “her leadership and support - she has put together an organization that is second to none”; and Ian Barnes, Director of Finance of the Foundation who, according to Wilder “is the financial backbone of the organization and without whose leadership we could not have arrived at the place we are today.” (Barnes was also one of the signers of the Book of Life later in the evening.)



In her remarks Marsha Cowan welcomed the new Endowment Book of Life signers (who will be listed at the end of this article).  She called special attention to one of the signers at the event, Mr. David Pollock. "David holds the distinction – at the age of 99 – of being our most senior signer ever."



The remainder of the celebration for the evening took place in the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba Garden and Main Street. As Cowan stated, " I can’t think of a more appropriate setting. Not only did we fund the garden when it opened in 1997 – but the idea of a garden and the image of a tree are so very important to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba."


Cowan added, "The Endowment Book of Life signers have planted trees this evening – trees that will bear fruit for generations to come. We plant today so that our children and grandchildren will benefit."


 "You know, I talk about trees as a symbol, but I must confess that I’m not really much of a botanist and I don’t know how trees really work. I DO know that sometimes seeds and buds and shoots from one tree can help new trees grow in other places.


"There’s great evidence of that fact here tonight. Our signers this year include people who live in Boston, Toronto, Minneapolis, Israel, Montreal, and Vancouver. Once again we demonstrate that there is no such thing as a former Winnipegger. Once a Winnipegger, always a Winnipegger. We’re especially grateful for our signers from out of town. While we’re talking about trees, it feels good to shine a light on people who are so proud of their roots"


Cowan thanked all of the  donors to the  Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. " Since the Jewish Foundation opened its doors - now just over 50 years ago - literally thousands of lives have been changed through the generosity of thousands of donors. We are grateful to our donors, and it is impossible to say thank you too often."


Guests proceeded to the JFM Garden where they enjoyed the music of Shayla Fink, Kinzey Posen, and Brian Klowak, and eat part sandwiches and other food from Schmoozers, taste the specialty coffees provided by Bermax Caffe and enjoy the wide array of treats at the candy bar. All in all, it was a splendid event to cap off the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba's 50th Anniversary celebrations.


Anita Wortzman is the new JFM President.


The 2015 Book of life Signers were: Ian Barnes; Rona Birnboim;Diane & Richard Boroditsky, Alex Burstein; Ruth Lehmann & Eric Ellis;Janis Goodman (Ripstein); Barbara Goszer; Esther Katz in memory of Morris Katz;  Fay-Lynn Katz and Philip Katz (z"l) Ellen & David Kroft; Melanie Martin, Candice Tenenbein,
and Jeffrey Schachter in memory of Janice Arnold; Bert Minuk; David Pollock; Clarice Chell; Carol (Genser) &Ron Slater; Carol Woodward, Anita Wortzman; Adele & Arthur Wortzman; Susan Wortzman; Teresa Rogers & Jason Wortzman, Richard Yaffe in memory of Pearl &Phillip Yaffe.


<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Orthodox Union
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Coughlin Insurance Brokers
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Gislason Targownik
  • Raquel Dancho
  • Ross Eadie
  • James Teitsma
  • Janice Morley-Lecomte
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Chisick Family
  • Stringers Rentals
  • Winnipeg Beach Home Building Centre
  • KC Enterprises
  • John Wishnowski
  • JLS Construction
  • Ingrid Bennett
  • Gulay Plumbing
  • The Paper Fifrildi
  • Joanne Gullachsen Art
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Levene Tadman Golub
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Bridges for Peace
  • CVA Systems
  • Chochy's
  • Lakeside Roofing
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
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.