Carole Berney

My Story...

When my parents Joe and Ruth Kirshrot emigrated to Canada, my father from Russia and my mother from Poland, they settled in North Winnipeg with their respective families. Throughout their marriage, he was successfully involved in the poultry business, while my mother was a homemaker.

My older sister Lovey Esther and I grew up on Matheson Avenue, raised in the Orthodox tradition, attending Beth Jacob and Rosh Pina synagogues regularly. My mother kept a kosher kitchen, and I have warm memories of Shabat dinners and celebrations of Jewish holidays in our home.

I also remember fondly my school years — at the now-legendary Luxton, St. John's High schools and the friendships I enjoyed. I later attended United College, and after, worked for five years at CBC Music.

In 1959, I married Sheldon Berney, who I had always known as part of the community and whose history had intersected with mine in ways we didn't realize until much later: In the early forties, Sheldon's parents moved into the apartment on Bannerman Avenue that my parents were vacating. We also have a photo of the two of us taken around that time that sits to this day on our bookcases in our family home — two small kids in a group picture, oblivious to each other and to our future.

Our daughters, Dawn and Nancy were born in the early sixties. The next decades were devoted to raising them and making our home. I am very proud of having been such a dedicated wife and mother and having raised two accomplished and fine women. Nancy lives in Montreal with her husband and four children, Dawn lives in Toronto with her husband and three daughters.

Sheldon and I have also enjoyed a rich life of friendship and travel.

In addition, I was associated with Hadassah and the National Council of Jewish Women. I served on the board of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and was a member of Compass, an organization helping delinquent children.

I am also proud to have been involved with the Asper Jewish Community Campus, both as a member of our community and with Sheldon as chair of the campus board. I believe that this facility is the anchor which will ensure the vitality of Winnipeg's Jewish future.