Lynne Oreck-Wener ended her two-year term as chair of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, June 10, at the Foundation’s annual general meeting. She was succeeded by Michael Landau.
Harold Feder, a past-chair of the Foundation, paid tribute to Oreck-Wener and recalled her promise to devote 100 per cent of her efforts to the job when she took on the chair’s role at the Foundation’s AGM in 2013.
“It was clear from that moment, that Lynne was the perfect person for the position,” said Feder.
Oreck-Wener, who first joined the Foundation Board six years ago, said her efforts were on behalf of the community and its future.
“We [the Foundation] are guaranteeing that our people will have a thriving vibrant community for generations to come,” said Oreck-Wener, who added she felt pride and gratitude looking back “on all we accomplished together.”
Oreck-Wener, who founded the Foundation’s Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program, said her time as chair has been a “most enriching experience.”
“We are in good order and good hands,” she said of the transition to Landau’s leadership. “Mike will be a most productive chair.”
“I’m very happy … to be in this role,” said Landau. “The Foundation means a lot of things to a lot of people.”
For Landau, one of the things the Foundation means is “history and tradition,” which he demonstrated by holding up a copy of the November 17, 1989 issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin noting the induction of his father, the late Issie Landau, as president of the Foundation.
“[The Foundation] offers many ways to make a philanthropic difference,” said Landau, who is optimistic about ensuring a strong future for Ottawa’s Jewish community.
He said long-term fundraising will be a priority and promised to “roll up our sleeves and get right to it.”
During the meeting, the Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program announced grants to two deserving initiatives.
The Na’amat Ottawa Council received a grant for its program, which provides school supplies to children living with their mothers in women’s shelters. The backpacks filled with the school supplies are distributed via Jewish Family Services to families in need.
Hillel Ottawa, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, received a grant toward creating an education awareness initiative in support of women’s safety on Ottawa’s university campuses.
The Foundation’s George Joseph Cooper Scholarship was presented to Tal-Or Ben-Choreen. The scholarship is granted annually to a community member who displays excellent leadership and academic qualities and a strong commitment to the Ottawa Jewish community.
The presentation of the scholarship – valued this year at $15,505 – was made by Paul Finn, chair of the Cooper Scholarship Committee, who described Ben-Choreen as “a young woman going places in the world.”
Ben-Choreen has a master’s degree in art history and is currently pursuing her doctorate at Concordia University in Montreal. The combination of her academic background and active community role made her a “perfect fit” for the scholarship, said Finn.
Ben-Choreen expressed appreciation for having grown up in a community with so many role models to draw inspiration from.
Ben-Choreen said she will continue to be a community volunteer, noting that “communities are often built on a few hours of donated time.”