Steven Rubin made two promises to his wife, Ilana. The first was that one day they would return to her beloved Israel and the second was that a scholarship to help students would be established in their names. Through the establishment of the Ilana and Steven Rubin Educational Endowment Fund, he has now kept both promises.
The Ilana and Steven Rubin Scholarship, valued at $1,800, will be awarded to a student to help him or her attend a Canadian or Israeli post-secondary institution. Students applying for the scholarship must have graduated from high school with an average between B and A- and must demonstrate financial need through qualification for the Ontario Student Assistance Program.
Rubin says the scholarship was created for those wishing to go to university or other institute of higher learning. Many good students who aren’t at the A+ threshold still need financial help to fulfil their academic aspirations.
Ilana Rubin, a second generation Holocaust survivor, was a Hebrew teacher at several Ottawa Jewish schools between 1978 and 1990. After the Rubins moved to Florida, she continued teaching until 2004, even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2001. When she could no longer teach, she refused to give up, serving as a teacher’s aide until 2006. Ilana was loved by her students as well as fellow faculty members, her husband explained.
Ilana, he said, treated her students like family and was known in both Ottawa and Florida for her kindness and generosity. She often helped students learn Hebrew and prepare for their bar and bat mitzvahs without charge.
Steven Rubin is a native Ottawan, recently returned to the city after a 28-year absence. Having lived in Canada, Israel and the U.S., he still thinks Ottawa is the best place to reside. Rubin said he will add to the endowment fund over time with a goal of helping at least five students attend university each year. The endowment fund is open to donations, which can be made through the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation (tax receipts will be provided).
To apply for the Ilana and Steven Rubin Scholarship, contact Arieh Rosenblum at the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-798-4696, ext. 270. Deadline for applications is December 1.