Scholarships created to honour the life of Adi Vital-Kaploun z"l

Adi Vital-Kaploun was a brilliant, shining light, a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, athlete and a scholar. She enjoyed playing sports, especially basketball, and was a dancer and saxophone player. 

Tragically, her precious life was cut short during the terror attack by Hamas on October 7. Adi defended her children and her father that day, picking up a rifle and fighting back against the terrorists. Sadly, she was murdered, but her father and children survived. She was a remarkable woman who had a dream of farming in the desert and raising her family on a kibbutz. And that dream had become a reality when she and her husband founded Kibbutz Holit. 

The relationship between the Ottawa Jewish community and the Vital family is palpable. Although Adi’s mother, Jacqui, made aliyah years ago (her father is a 9th generation Israeli), they have deep and extended family roots in Ottawa, and Adi was a regular visitor throughout her childhood. 

“Adi spent almost every summer growing up coming to Canada, to spend time with her grandfather, Irving Rivers, and her aunts and uncles and cousins,” explains her cousin, Erin Smith. “Spending time in the market, enjoying Ottawa summers, and having fun at camp. Adi especially loved Soloway JCC Sports Camp, where she showed and cultivated her love for basketball and all sports.”

To honour her memory and her values, the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation has established the Adi Vital-Kaploun JCC Sports Camp Scholarship Fund. Through this fund, more children will be able to access the sports camp as financial barriers will be lifted. 

The second scholarship has been established through Ben Gurion University, from which Adi was a graduate. 

“Adi was the brightest student I ever worked with,” said Professor Muhammad Bashouti who worked closely with Adi during her master’s program in desert studies, solar energy and environmental physics. 

Ben Gurion University is located in the Negev (Israeli desert) and specializes in fields of study that relate to desert life, managing its resources, and innovating to make life better for those living in the desert, throughout the country, and throughout the world. It is a university of international acclaim and is committed to social and environmental responsibility.

Through an endowed scholarship one student will be supported each year in perpetuity. 

It is important to her family that Adi be remembered not for how she died, but how she lived. As a brilliant scholar, it is fitting to honour her memory with a scholarship in her name to a needy student studying in a related field.

“One of our last memories of Adi in Canada, was having her and her family in our sukkah for a surprise birthday party for my mom. We will cherish the memories we made with her, in Canada and in Israel, and it is an honour to be able to start a scholarship fund that will enable children to access JCC sports camp and enable students to be able to access educational opportunities in Israel,” said Smith. “Hopefully, the children and students who are able to attend because of these scholarships will love it just as much as Adi did.”