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John Diamond

Bonnie Cham


by Rhonda Spivak, May 1,2024


The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba [JFM], which came into being 60 years ago, has announced a  Million Dollar Matching Initiative in celebration of its 60th anniversary.


As of April 1, 2024, the JFM began MATCHING ALL NEW GIFTS made by individuals up to $18,000.


As John Diamond, the Executive Director of the JFM  indicated at a recent event near the end of March at the Berney Theatre of the Asper Campus,”In Jewish tradition, the number 18, or "chai," signifies life and good luck. It symbolizes our strength and the impact we have made and will continue to make together.”


He added, “The program will last until the matching million has all been used.”


Diamond  noted, “As we focus on engaging new audiences and helping to introduce young philanthropists to the concept of giving to a foundation, we are thrilled that both existing funds AND new funds opened in 2024 will be eligible for the match while funds last. This is a terrific opportunity to establish or further cement a lasting legacy in our community or get your foot in the door as a fundholder.”


“The Foundation's 60th birthday is a tremendous milestone, and we hope this program will be a terrific jumping-off point for our next 60 years,” Diamond stated.


Diamond further explained that  for organizations with Organizational Endowment Funds with the JFM, this matching initiative “will be a great way  to talk to all of your amazing supporters about this opportunity to increase their funds.”


The JFM will be working with  Jewish organizations “to discover ways for them to best take advantage “of this matching opportunity. “These organizations are the lifeblood of the Jewish Community, and their endowment funds ensure a reliable source of annual funding for them,” Diamond stated.


There also  many donors who contribute to the JFM through recurring gifts via monthly contributions, and Diamond pointed out that “those contributions will be matched.” 

“For all of our new and existing donors, monthly donations are a terrific way to reach your philanthropic goals and remain involved throughout the year at a comfortable and appropriate pace,”Diamond indicated.

Diamond made reference to a chat the JFM had with one of its donors about why he chooses to do monthly giving.

The donor said, "It's really easy to not do anything,"


He “explained that switching to monthly contributions keeps him engaged and maintained the momentum he and his family have created philanthropically throughout the year.” 


Diamond also spoke about the JFM’s tribute card program. ‘All tribute card gifts will be matched while the funds still last. Just as the limit of the match sees 18,000 dollars becoming 36,000, 18 dollars becomes 36. This is a program for all of our donors, and every dollar counts,” he noted.


The JFM  has also introducing a limited-run 60th-anniversary tribute card.

“These cards serve as tokens of remembrance for your significant life events and celebrations throughout the year, and their new look honours the events and celebrations we've had until now,”Diamond stated.


At the JFM event, Bonnie Cham, President of the JFM gave some background as to how the JFM came into being.


“Sam Werier, Abe Werier and Joseph Halprin, united community leaders to endorse their vision of a community endowment. This endowment was designed to keep the contributed capital untouched and solely dedicated to investments,” she explained.


Cham added, “With their remarkable foresight, Halprin and the Werier Brothers set the framework of the Foundation in motion, donating a 294-acre parcel near Middlechurch, north of Winnipeg. Anticipating the land eventually being sold, a day that would arrive in 2018 when they sold the land for $905,000 in net proceeds, they ensured it would go into the Halprin-Werier Founders' Fund.”


Kerrie Halprin who is Joseph’s granddaughter was at the event.


As Cham noted, “The [Halprin-Werier Founder’s Fund] earned income is dedicated to charitable and educational pursuits, and since the sale of the land in MiddleChurch , the JFM distributes over forty-thousand dollars each year.”


The sale marked the start of perpetual revenue generation from their initial gift. "‘Their contribution proved to be transformative, laying a solid foundation and serving as an inspiration to many,”Cham concluded.



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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.