Pam Wener

My Story...

I was born in Winnipeg in 1958, the youngest, and only girl, of four children born to Albert and Evelyn Wener. I grew up in River Heights and attended Montrose Elementary School, Grant Park High School, and the University of Manitoba. In 1981, I married Gary Altman, and we have two children, Corey and Daniel.

My life is focused around my family and Judaism, values instilled by my parents. They both set a fine example by showing their children the importance of family and Tzedakah. Although my grandfathers died while I was young, I have a very clear memory of my parents' closeness to their mothers, Rose Wener and Rose Bricker. Friday night dinners always included my Baba and Grandma.

My mother graduated with a B.Sc. in lab technology from the University of Minnesota. She became a full time home-maker when her first child was born in 1951. She was always there for her children, and never ceased to surprise me with her knowledge and understanding of each one of us. She continues to work very hard to ensure that we remain a very close family, always bringing us together.

My father graduated as an optometrist from the University of Toronto in 1948 but became involved successfully in the garment industry by owning and operating United Garments Ltd. He worked very hard but he always made time for his children. I have fond memories of going to the "factory" on the weekend with my father and brother. As a sport enthusiast, he often coached, and always supported his children's activities.

During my youth, my identification with the Jewish community centred around the Y.M.H.A., U.S.Y. , B.B.Y.O. and camp. I attended youth conventions, and have wonderful memories of my times at Camp Tikvah in Minnesota. In recent years I have become involved in the Jewish community. I chaired the Hebrew Bilingual Committee for Brock Corydon School Parent Council, and I have served on the Boards of the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council, the Jewish Museum of Western Canada and Jewish Child and Family Services.

I hope for the future that my children will embrace these values: the ideal of inclusion where all who are Jewish are welcomed, believing that each Jew brings to our community "specialness", regardless of how they choose to be Jewish, and the value of tzedakah, giving to those in need and endowing the next generation to help secure the Jewish community for the future.