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Rosalind Prober

Dr. Susan Holt

Nora Kaufman


By Rhonda Spivak

Dr. Susan Holt and Nora Kaufman Recognized at Women's Endowment Fund Luncheon

Rosalind Prober, President and co-founder of Beyond Borders Ensuring Global Justice For Children was the guest speaker before 220 people at the Jewish Foundation Of Manitoba's Women's Endowment Fund Luncheon on May 7 at the Fort Garry Hotel.

At the luncheon, Marsha Cowan, CEO of the Jewish Foundation recognized two philanthropic women, Dr Susan Holt and Nora Kaufman.

"Susan is creating her legacy in a very uncomplicated way – by making a regular annual gift! She is building a donor-advised endowment fund at the Jewish Foundation," said Cowan.

Kaufman has created a legacy by taking the initiative to establish the Foundation’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah fund program. To date, 293 young people have funds set up to commemorate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

“When these funds reach $750, Nora and her husband Dave contribute an additional $250 and the young person then has the privilege of deciding where the annual income should be directed. In 2009, 53 different organizations received distributions from these young fund-holders – organizations as diverse as their favourite Jewish camp to Juvenile Diabetes Research to KidSport Winnipeg. Nora and Dave have made a commitment that this arrangement will continue in perpetuity,” said Cowan.

Cowan reported that notwithstanding the difficult economic times, 2009 saw the Jewish Foundation take in “‘approximately $3.5 million in new donations!”

She added, “Some of this new capital came from us speaking with our donors about including the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba in their wills. Thanks to prudent investment policies, our investments earned just over 15%. We have been able to distribute almost $3 million back into the community this year. This includes grants of $31,615 from the Women’s Endowment Fund to support [numerous] projects.”


Prober began her remarks by noting that  one in four Canadians “will have or have had their lives, or the lives of their friends and family, tragically altered due to child sexual abuse.”   Often the abuser is a “relative, family friend or those who follow careers that put themselves in a position of trust with their target,” she said.

Prober co-founded Beyond Borders  with children’s rights lawyer Mark  Hecht, to protect children at home or abroad, given the horrific cases we hear on the news “of sex crimes against the vulnerable or of guaranteed to reoffend sexual deviates being automatically released to live among us anonymously.”

Prober is the author of the 1996 “Prober Amendment” to Canada’s child sex tourism legislation in the Criminal Code. The Prober Amendment came about as a result of Prober appearing before  the Federal Justice Committee. The amendment broadened the existing legislation so that all Canadians who sexually abuse children or commit child pornography while in a foreign jurisdiction can be held accountable under the law.

As Prober said, the amendment has “become an effective tool in holding travelling abusers accountable including those who travel with our children and think they will commit this crime with impunity.”

Prober spoke about how the internet and Facebook have become conduits for sexual abusers:

“Galloping technology about which most parents have no clue has given youth the power of instant global connectivity and sexual experimentation. As I speak , impulse driven or crafty hard core pedophiles (mostly men) are firing up their computers to watch child pornography or engage in Internet luring on social networking sites or both…They are often well educated professionals, many married with their own families. They will and do travel miles if sex with a minor becomes a possibility [from one continent to the next]...If children make mistakes, especially teenagers naively looking for a  relationship, ISP’s and…Facebook become conduits to devastating crime. Endeavoring as Beyond Borders does, to get corporations that link children with predators to take action on prevention is exceptionally hard work…”

Prober spoke of online swapping forums that allow “cyber pimping,” and noted that the majority of sexually abused and often violently damaged children are “now under 8 years old.” She added, regarding linking customers with child pornography, “Too much money is being made for a child’s privacy rights to be acknowledged let alone respected. Bank and credit card companies are making a fortune as well off these crimes.”

Prober  described how she unsuccessfully asked  the owner of a very high end boutique store to stop selling T shirts for newborns with  the words LITTLE F***ER  on the front. The shirts “validate dangerous thought processes” that children are sexually not “off limits.”

Prober added that  child sex trafficking around the world takes place “where young girls are sex slaves serving men 24/7”, rarely seeing ‘the light of day.”  She  said it was “good news” that the Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg was being built and would help  expose this “age old travesty.”

Prober praised lawyer David Matas for joining beyond Borders early on and  for working usually “for not one penny in compensation.” As she said,

“Good luck to David as he now represents Beyond Borders in the British Columbia courts to end polygamy in Canada and the taking of multiple child brides.”

Prober noted that some progress has been made in regard to child sexual abuse legislation. “The age of consent is finally 16,”she said.

Prober thanked the Women’s Endowment Fund of the Jewish Foundation for inviting her to speak back in 2001 about this issue, and noted that she is now on the board of our international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes]  in Bankok Thailand which gives her “a constant birds eye view of groundbreaking reforms around the world and an opportunity to have an impact at the international level.”

Regarding her personal journey from “wimpette to outspoken NGO”, Prober said:

‘There is something about having crime victimization touch yourself, your family and your friends. Add to that, I am married to a criminal lawyer [Jay Prober] and live very well in part due to crime. Add to that, I look at family pictures way back when and it sort of makes me cringe as I see myself as so pathetically naïve.  The reality is the advocacy I do to help protect kids is still pain driven.  I choose to confront those in denial about this crime and remind everyone here today that 2 to 4% of the male population has a sexual interest in children…”

According to Prober, “one of the barriers to effective activism on this issue is that unlike a bank robbery, for example, imagining a visual image of this crime in process is impossible for  most people.”

She noted how shocked everyone was in her organization when “one of our winning journalists, Sue Montgomery of the Montreal Gazette, revealed for the first time that her grand

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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.