Thanks to a generous donation, a fund has been established at the Edmonton Community Foundation in memory of former Federation CEO and community member, Russ Joseph, z'l.
The fund was established thanks to the Dianne & Irving Kipnes Foundation, and the monies will go towards the Holocaust Education Committee of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. Primarily, the money will be used for scholarships for participants on the March of the Living annual trip to Poland and Israel. Ultimately, it will benefit holocaust education in general.
Russ was a prominent member of the Edmonton Jewish Community for many years. He served as President of Beth Shalom Synagogue and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. Originally from Toronto, he ran Red Deer Toyota for many years while primarily living in Edmonton. When he and his wife, Jan, left Edmonton six years ago, he became Executive Director of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, a position he held until he passed away last year. Holocaust Education was an important subject for him both in his personal and professional capacities.
Dianne and Irv Kipnes share the passion Russ had for Holocaust education and felt this gift would be a fitting way to honour his memory. They already fund the Dianne & Irving Kipnes Holocaust Education Symposium, an annual Jewish Federation of Edmonton program, which educates high school students from across Edmonton about the Holocaust. This program has taken place for the past 20 years in an attempt to supplement the Alberta Education Curriculum for Grade 12 Students, which does not formally include the Holocaust.
The March of the Living (MOL)program has also been run by the Federation for over 20 years, in conjunction with March of the Living International. It takes a group of Jewish Grade 11 & 12 Students to Poland and Israel every other year to show them first hand the horrors of the Holocaust through visits to the camps, and a walk of solidarity between Auschwitz and Birkenau on Yom Ha Shoah. After the Poland portion of the trip, the students fly to Israel, where they celebrate the uplifting holiday of Yom Ha’atzmaut or Israel Independence Day. The MOL trip is accompanied by a preparatory education course conducted by the chaperones.
We thank the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation for their generosity, which will enable students to go on this program, through bursary application, for many years to come. Additional contributions to this fund may be made by individuals through the Edmonton Community Foundation.