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David Greaves

David Greaves is New Executive Director of JNF; David Broza with WSO will be the featured Entertainment for JNF Gala Honouring Ted Lyons October 27, 2020

by Rhonda Spivak, March 1, 2020

David Greaves, who has recently been appointed the executive director of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Manitoba and Saskatchewan region is excited to announce that Israeli singer/songwriter, David Broza, accompanied by members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), will be this year's featured entertainment for the JNF Gala honouring Ted Lyons on Octboer 27 , 2020.

Funds from this year's JNF Gala will go towards supporting the Beit KKL- JNF Canada House Community Centre that is being built in Sderot, in the south of Israel near Gaza. Greaves explains that “It’s like an after-school community center for tweens and teens that allows them to focus on  subjects of interest,  such as science, technology, and math. It help kids to get into better army units, and good universities or wherever their studies take them." Greaves adds that "The centres are missile proof and there are a few of these Centres being built across Israel. There’s one in northern Israel (Nof Hagallil) where Ted and Harriet Lyons visited a few months ago.” (A short video of the Nof Hagallil building is available here: “Ted and Harriet also went down to meet the mayor of Sderot, to see the land where JNF Canada will be building this  suburb facility. They were very impressed with all of the kids and the people they talked to,” said Greaves. (As an aside, during Israel's war with Hamas in the summer of 2014, Greaves himself went to Israel to volunteer for an organization called Lev Echad (One Heart), which ran community centres and day camps in southern Israel to support kids and their families. He went to volunteer for a week with Lev Echad in Kiryat Malachi, located some 30 kms from Gaza. "As he recalls, he bought supplies for the kids, and spent time with them at camp. "The air raid siren would sound and we were running in and out of bomb shelters daily. I developed enormous respect for people who live in the south of Israel, so near the Gaza strip. That's why the project that Ted Lyons has chosen, which will help  tweens and teens in Sderot is such a worthy project," Greaves notes.)

Greaves has always been passionate about Israel. In 2002, he founded the Israeli National Bobsleigh Team which led to his decision to become an Israeli citizen. "Making aliyah was a very meaningful experience for me. It wasn't just done so I could compete. Years later after the competing, it's still very special to met that I am an Israeli,” Greaves notes. He adds that he is still the volunteer President  of  Bobsleigh Skeleton Israel, and a member of the Israeli Olympic Plenum, but in his new role, he is very excite about JNF and its good work in  Israel. He describes his new JNF job as “a dream come true."

Greaves is a seasoned fundraising professional in the Jewish community. He worked with the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg for six years and the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba  for four years before deciding six years ago to open Protexia, a consulting business that helps charitable non-profits achieve and exceed their fundraising objectives. Greaves enjoyed running his own business but  was attracted by the opportunity to become JNF's Executive Director. “I was grateful to bump into Larry Vickar recently, and he mentioned that this position at JNF was available, as Ariel Karbelnicoff had left to move to Toronto to take up a national sales position  with Israel Bonds.” Greaves  says he  has  transitioned Protexia over to colleagues in order take on the position of  executive director of JNF. 

Greaves says he has received a lot of comments from many people in the community telling him that he and the JNF are "a perfect fit" or telling him how happy they are for him that he has gotten his new job. "I feel  I made the right choice, and that people know me for my commitment to and love of Israel,” he says

"I have received tremendous support from the local and national JNF professionals," he notes, adding he is "grateful" for this. " I am also excited that Lara London has joined our team as our new office administrator. It's great having her here and will be a huge boost for us because of her connection to the community."

Looking at the community overall Greaves notes that "There's a great group of Winnipeg born and raised young professionals who are taking over, which is a very encouraging sign for our community's long term health." He adds that "I am looking forward to being more collaborative with our community organizations. If any of our organizations receives a new donor, board member, student or congregant, we should all celebrate that, even if it's not our organization that receives the direct benefit. We celebrate though because any increase in the engagement of our community members is good for all of us. This is our family business. If we grow as a family, we should celebrate as a family too." he says.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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