Chai signs on to FundMatch initiative

by Stu Slayen | Aug 25, 2017
Their June 7 concert celebrated “Ancient Roads”. And now, thanks to the generosity of Ahava Halpern and Frank Lavitt, and the late Max Reich, the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble is paving future roads, too.

Chai honoured Halpern and Lavitt at the sold-out concert where Chai’s participation in the JFM’s FundMatch initiative was announced. Under FundMatch, Chai’s endowment will receive additional funding when certain benchmarks are reached. With Halpern and Lavitt’s gift along with Max Reich’s bequest, the first benchmark of $54,000 in new endowment giving is within reach. Once achieved, the JFM will add $18,000 to the fund.

“Contributing to Chai’s endowment fund is a statement that Frank and I are optimistic about Chai’s future,” says Halpern, who danced with the group in her youth. “In the arts, it is important to find ways to be financially sustainable for the long term. A strong endowment fund is the backbone of Chai’s future.”

For over 50 years, Chai has provided a venue for young members of the community to celebrate Jewish and Israeli dance, song, and music. The group has performed in Israel, Mexico, and across Canada, and has represented Winnipeg’s Jewish community at many local multicultural celebrations. Participation in Chai has been a highlight for many families in our community over the years. Families like the Reiches.

“All three of our kids were performers, I volunteered with costumes, and my husband Max was on the Board and served as the Co-Chair with Mickey Rosenberg,” says Fay Reich. “Chai gives our community’s kids a chance to share their talents.”

Max Reich passed away in February 2017. His bequest to Chai’s endowment fund is counted as part of the FundMatch initiative.

“For a community of our size, we should be very proud of the group and I want to see it carry on,” says Fay Reich. 

“I care deeply about Chai and so do many others in the community,” adds Halpern. “I hope other alumni and supporters will rally around the endowment fund.”

To learn more about the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s FundMatch Initiative, click here.