Michael Kay

My Story...

I was born in Winnipeg on June 19, 1953. My parents are Polly Kay and Harold Kay. My maternal grandparents, Peter and Anne Brodsky, came to Winnipeg in the 1920's and my mother was born in Winnipeg and grew up on Robinson St. in the north end. My maternal grandfather was in the wholesale fruit business.

My paternal grandparents were Hyman and Francis Kay. Both grandparents were born in Russia. Hyman Kay immigrated to Winnipeg in 1898 after attending school in England. He was the founder of Kay's Limited 1908 which became one of the largest wholesale companies in Western Canada. Much of our family life revolved around this family business as my father and many of his relatives were involved in this enterprise. Until I was in my 20's I did not realize that you could buy just one pair of socks rather than a whole dozen.

My grandfather, Hyman Kay, was very involved in the Winnipeg Jewish community and was a founding member of many organizations in the city. His legacy has resulted in my involvement in many of the same organizations.

Like my mother, my father also was born in Winnipeg and grew up on Elm St.

Both of my parents graduated from the University of Winnipeg and later obtained post graduate degrees from the University of Toronto. My mother was a social worker and later became a professor of social work at the University of Manitoba.

I grew up in River Heights and attended Grant Park High School and later the University of Manitoba where I obtained a BA and later a LLB. Growing up I was involved in all the usual Jewish organizations including Shaarey Zedek night school, BBYO, the YMHA and BB camp. I also took piano lessons for many years and well into my university days. I still play almost every day. Music has been an important part of my family life. Culture and education were the driving forces of our family values.

I am a partner with the law firm of Myers Weinberg LLP and have been the managing partner for six years. I have taught a course at the Law School for several years. My preferred areas of practice include Real Estate, Corporate and Commercial and Wills and Estates.

I have been very involved in the Jewish community for many years. I have been a canvasser for Combined Jewish Appeal for over 25 years, a president of the Jewish National Fund, a director and advisor for BBYO, a director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and an executive member of the board of directors of Glendale Golf and Country Club. I have also served as legal counsel to several other Jewish organizations over many years.

I married Glenna Mendelson in 1983. We have two sons, Aaron and Daniel.

Glenna is most involved in the Jewish community and has served on many boards over the years. Our family life is centered around the Jewish community and Jewish values. Our children have both attended Ramah Hebrew School and later the Gray Academy of Jewish Education. Both sons are now attending the University of Winnipeg. Both of our children have been to Israel and identify with the Jewish community.

Our family has been extremely fortunate to have been able to grow up as Jews in Canada. We are especially lucky to be part of the Winnipeg Jewish community where we have been able to thrive and contribute back to others. Our hope for the future is that Winnipeg's Jewish community will continue to flourish and that our children also will have the opportunity to thrive here, should they choose to do so.