Barbara Kives (Rosenfield)

My Story...

Albert Schweitzer once said that "the only people who can be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." From my earliest recollections I was taught that the beginning and end of Torah is performing acts of human kindness. As a result of this teaching, I actively dedicated myself to volunteer service both in the Jewish community and the community at large.

I was born in Winnipeg in 1947, the only daughter of the four children born to Dr. Victor & Lynn Rosenfield (nee Gershman). My grandparents, Louis & Rose Rosenfield (nee Manishen) came from Russia in the early 20's. My mother's parents, Sam & Sarah Gershman were immigrants from Lithuania who raised their family in Grand Forks, North Dakota. They all provided me with a rich cache of fond memories ... observing Shabbat and the holidays with my extended family...sitting in the Sukkah with my grandfather...trying to pick up the gist of the Yiddish conversations...the smell of "schmaltz" and my grandmother's Yiddish delights... the stories of escape from Russia which seemed to be embellished each time they were told...times at their home were always a joy, and helped to instill in me the traditional Jewish values which are still important to me.

I attended Grosvenor Elementary School, River Heights Junior High, Kelvin High School, United College, and culminated my education with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a degree in education from the University of Manitoba in 1969. Following graduation, I married Raymond Kives and we moved to Minneapolis where we resided four years. We had three daughters, Sari, Stephanie and Reagan while living in Canada and the U.S.A. In 1977 we moved to Brussels, Belgium for two years then to London, England for two years where, in 1981, we had a son, Michael. Our four years in Europe were the most memorable of our lives and we took advantage of the diverse cultures, arts and rich experiences that were afforded us.

On our return to Winnipeg in 1981, I immersed myself in volunteer service. I sat on the boards of Combined Jewish Appeal under my mother's tutelage, and years later co-chaired Women's Division for 4 years. I was active in Hadassah and co-chaired Youth Aliyah Scholarship for 8 years. I have sat on the Boards of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the YMHA, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and actively raised funds for the Alzheimer Society. I presently sit on the Boards of Manitoba Theatre Centre and Combined Jewish Appeal. I am a founding member of the Jewish Foundation's Women's Endowment Fund and, together with Ray, chair the Endowment Book of Life Committee. I have found the interaction with men and women from all walks of life and cultures, and the opportunity to raise funds for many worthwhile causes, to be an enriching and gratifying experience. I am honored and humbled by being awarded the Max Shore Memorial Award for ongoing commitment to the C.J.A. on June 3, 1998.

I am proud to be part of a people that have survived and flourished throughout the ages. Jewish traditions, ethics and values are important to me. Helping to raise funds for worthwhile causes is the rent I pay for my place on earth.

The Endowment Book of Life excites me because it is an opportunity for us all to leave a legacy for future generations. There is so much history in Winnipeg, and the Jewish Foundation and the Endowment Book will be a vehicle to pass on that history and to ensure the continuity and growth of our community.