Restoring Memory Symposium 2017

To appraise adequately the Eastern European period in Jewish history, I had to inquire into the life-feeling and life-style of the people. This led to the conclusion that in this period our people attained the highest degree of inwardness. I feel justified in saying that it was the golden period in Jewish history, in the history of the Jewish soul.
– Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (born in Warsaw), The Earth is the Lord’s
Restoring Memory Symposium
Past, Present and Future of the Jewish Community in Poland
During the 7-day study visit, the representatives of Jewish communities from Canada will visit some of the important centers of historical and contemporary Jewish life in Poland. They will visit institutions and meet people thanks to whom they will find that both the past and present Jewish in Poland are much richer and much more complex than they ever imagined.

Delegates will learn about 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland, through – among other things – a visit to the newly opened Polin Museum (winner of the European Museum of the Year 2016), sightseeing of Jewish Krakow – the cradle of the culture of Ashkenazi Jews, or coming to Lublin – once called the Jerusalem of the Polish Kingdom. They will also meet with representatives of the emerging Jewish communities in Warsaw and Krakow and the leaders of modern Jewish institutions. One of the important elements of the visit will also be a visit to the Museum of Markowa and learning about the complex reality of the of Righteous Among the Nations.

The program of the study visit will include meetings and lectures related to specific places visited by the participants (Warsaw, Lublin, Markowa, Kraków), presentations and meetings conducted by the participants themselves and the nightly summaries, to help better understand and process the nuances and experiences of the day.


Anita Wortzman

Anita holds a Bachelor Degree in Commerce: Marketing Major & Law Degree. She is the CEO and founder of Acumen Corporate Development Inc., an investment bank and strategic planning group. She is a former Co-Chair of Canadian Friends of Hebrew University (Winnipeg) Professional Division and a former Chair of Gray Academy of Jewish Education (Winnipeg). Currently she is Chair of Jewish Foundation of Manitoba ($100million+ Endowment Fund for Winnipeg Jewish Community).

Ron Yurman

Ron attended Hebrew school in Winnipeg through grade 7. He moved to Israel from age 13 to 22 where he completed high school and then served with the Israeli Army. He returned to Winnipeg and has been primarily involved with Gray Academy of Jewish Education for the last 10 years.

David Perlov

David is married with 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren. He is a lawyer and an active member of the Rady Jewish Community Centre. Yiddish is his first language. He is a past board member and vice-chair of Bnai Abraham Synagogue. He was in charge of negotiations for Bnai Abraham Synagogue in amalgamation of synagogue with 2 others, and on served on the Management Committee for the amalgamation for the creation of the Etz Chayim Synagogue. He is a former board member of Etz Chayim Synagogue, and currently an active member of the synagogue.

Lisa Kroft

Lisa has a Bachelor Degree in Human Ecology (Foods & Nutrition). She is a former chair of Super Sunday (Combined Jewish Appeal’s campaign telethon). She is a member of the Women’s Philanthropy team at the Jewish Federation.

She is a former chair of the Lion of Judah at the Jewish Federation. She is a former executive member of B’nai B’rith camp. She is a former member of the Rabbi search committee and the membership committee at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. Her husband is the incoming chair of the Combined Jewish Appeal campaign and she will be providing support and insight as she have lots of history with the CJA and federation.


Ahava Halpern

Ahava was a student of Talmud Torah and graduated from Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate in 1983 (Winnipeg). Ahava has been involved with dance since a young age. She studied Israeli folk dance and joined Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble (1981-1983). She also taught Israeli Folk Dance for over 10 years. Ahava studied in the junior professional program with the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers and during the last 15 years has studied Flamenco dance. Ahava has a dance scholarship in her name at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Some of Ahava’s volunteer work during the last 15 years within the Jewish community of Winnipeg has been a leader of a JNF mission to Paris and Israel; completed seven years on the board of Chesed Shel Emes-non profit Jewish funeral home; past President of Jewish Women Intl chapter (JWI). Ahava has also hosted seders for over 200 people for the last four years at the Chabad-Jewish Learning Institute(JLI); Jewish FDTN of Manitoba (JFM) committee work; current board member of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western (JHCWC)Canada and honouree for the June 2017 Chai concert. Aside from volunteer work both within and outside of the Jewish community, Ahava is a restauranteur in Winnipeg.

Carol Sevitt

For the first half of her career Carol was a writer. She had several writing jobs, worked as a freelance writer and wrote many newspaper and magazine articles. She also wrote three nonfiction books. The second half of her career she was as a university instructor. She taught business communication at Ryerson University for 22 years, including business writing, oral presentations, and interpersonal communication. She retired a few years ago. She is an active member of Temple Sinai in Toronto, one of the largest Reform congregations in Canada, and has been singing in its choir for about seven years. She performs in various synagogue services, but also does interfaith performances with several local church choirs. In addition, she performs regularly at a few Jewish seniors residences, including Baycrest.

Cary Rubenfeld

Former member of the Board of Directors of the Conservative Synagogue in Winnipeg. Active member of the community, often leading services in the capacity of the lay cantor and overseeing the kashrut standards in the community as a member of the local va’ad hakashrut.

Marion Yarema

Currently Marion volunteers with the local Chevra Kadisha, the Jewish Burial Society. Along with a group of women she sews shrouds for ritual Jewish burials. She is also an active member of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework. Their mission is to pass needlework traditions to other generations of women and men through the sharing of knowledge and techniques for the creation of handcrafted items. These items are intended for both Jewish ritual and cultural use. To this end she is engaged in the creation of quilts, wall hangings, challah covers and other items with a Judaic theme. Former member of Jewish Women International. Every year she also volunteers at a local cultural festival known as Folklorama. Her responsibilities are in “Shalom Square” – the Jewish pavilion, where she greets and serves various community dignitaries and leaders.

Fran Winograd

Fran was born in Winnipeg, went to elementary school at Talmud Torah and graduated from Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate. She has participated and contributed for the last ten years at the Megillat Hashoah commemorative service at the Congregation Shaarey Zedek, where she has been a member for 40 years. Her dad Philip Weiss spoke to Dr. Robert Young’s history class at the University of Winnipeg about his life in Poland, his journey to liberation from Mathausen and subsequent life in Winnipeg as an emigre. Since her father’s passing Dr. Young has asked annually for the last eight years that she continues her father’s message.She is a graduate Interior Designer and returned to the University of Manitoba to complete a Masters thesis.

Titled, Furnishing an Identity,it was her father’s story, his furniture designs and his identity created as result of the war.

Saul Simmonds

Saul is a criminal lawyer and frequent lecturer at the Law Society of Manitoba in all areas of Criminal Law. He served on the transformation committee for the amalgamation of the Bnay Abraham and Ross Piña Syngogues. As president of the Manitoba Criminal Lawyers Association he oversaw many Jewish Refugee cases particularly from the early Days when there were still many seeking refuge from Russia. He is an active at Chabad and assist in the financial process to collect funds for the maintenance of the orthodox congregation where he is a member. As his brother is a rabbi, and as his brother’s seven sons are also rabbis, I am in tune with the developments of the community in Winnipeg. His practice as a criminal lawyer has allowed me to represent many who are in need, particularly Jews who are indigent and require services when they are charged. He was the first recipient of the Islamic Community award for service, and the first Jew, to provide legal services to indigent members of their community in areas of both criminal and immigration law .

Brian Sevitt
He is a practicing cardiologist and he is affiliated with Trillium Hospital in Mississauga. His involvement with the Jewish community is mainly cultural. He is a member of Temple Sinai in Toronto and attends services and programs there. In addition, he attend various Jewish artistic and educational events around the city — Holocaust Education Week, Harold Green Jewish Theatre, Ashkenaz Music Festival, Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

Yvette Perlov

Born and raised in Winnipeg to Holocaust parents, she attended a Jewish school for 8 years where we studied both Yiddish and Hebrew (and English). She has always felt a close tie to her Jewish roots. When she found herself with time on her hands she chose to volunteer with Jewish Family Services in Ottawa where she was teamed with an elderly shut-in lady. She also volunteered at a Jewish Montessori school. She is enrolled to Walk with Israel fund raiser in May 2017. In short, she feels a great attachment to her Jewish roots and choose to put her energies/donations to Jewish causes.

Saul Perlov

Saul was born in Siberia and emigrated to Winnipeg in 1948 at age 2 years. He was one of 4 children raised by holocaust survivors. His first language was Yiddish and continued to speak it to his parents throughout his life. Attended Peretz Folk Shul. Within the Jewish community he has been involved in various events such as participation in Holocaust Rememberance events, Walks for Israel, donations to Jewish/Israeli organizations, and attending JDL Rallies in support of Israel. He has been to Israel 4 times and participated in the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. He has done volunteer work at the Jewish nursing home.

Marni Hellner

Marni works as an interior designer. Her focus in the past 20 years has been to raise 3 daughters in a meaningful Jewish way – in encouraging them to be actively involved in youth leadership roles, education and affiliation with Israel. Marni hosts Passover Sedars , Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur dinners for members of our community that would not otherwise be invited to such simcha functions or have not have had the privilege of being raised by their Jewish parent.