Joseph Kives

My Story...

I was born in Turkey and lived in Istanbul with my parents, brother and sister. My mother died when I was six years old. I completed Grade 5 in Turkish schools, and in 1928, when I was twelve years old, my grandfather and my family left Turkey for Canada.

Life in Turkey was difficult but not impossible for Jews, however, my father Moses, wanted something better, and the promise of land and farming lured him to Hoffer, Saskatchewan, where Jewish settlement was in progress.

Our happiness in Hoffer did not last long because of the devastation of nature. The Prairies became a dust bowl and a great drought ravaged the land between 1929 and1934. Therefore, in 1933, we moved to Winnipeg and I have lived here ever since.

I have always believed in the dignity of all labor and the importance of hard work. In Winnipeg I became a bread driver, operating with a horse and wagon. I can recall the pride I felt when I sold 8,000 loaves in one week. I also got married in Winnipeg, to Rose (Sharknofsky) and we had two sons, Raymond (Barbara) and Harold (Donna). B'nai B'rith and the Brandeis Lodge gave me social and educational Jewish opportunities.

At present I am retired and enjoying life. My wife died in 1981, and I married Claire Nepom whose love and companionship have enhanced my life. I take great pride in my sons' accomplishments - Raymond is a lawyer and Harold is a Chartered Accountant, both are also successful entrepreneurs. Being a grandfather to their talented children also gives me a great deal of joy and satisfaction. I feel blessed with good health and the opportunity to travel (Israel many times) and to be surrounded by a loving extended family.

The Campus has revitalized Jewish community life and I believe it is important to maintain the institutions that perpetuate Jewish identity and values. I am happy to do my small part for the future by being part of the Endowment Book of Life project of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.