Striving for Stability

by Josh Kerr | Sep 15, 2021

Dr. Bonnie Cham takes the helm of the Jewish Foundation

Having just gotten back to the city after a three-week stay at her family cabin in the Whiteshell, it's somewhat hard to believe Bonnie Cham, our incoming Board Chair, can find much time to disconnect and put her feet up. 

"When I'm involved with something, I really want to be involved," says Cham. "I love the idea of accepting responsibility and the opportunity to make an impact that goes along with that." 

For Cham, when describing some of the thought processes behind her desire to take the step into the Chair role, the examples of that responsibility are not hard to find. 

A mother of three sons and owner of a black Labrador retriever, she still found time to thrive as a Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist at CancerCare Manitoba for 20 years and serve as Medical Advisor of Ethics for the WRHA and  Past President of the Shaarey Zedek synagogue, among a host of other roles. The desire to take on new and challenging responsibilities never wanes.

Already being an active member of our Jewish community and a long-time supporter of the Foundation has further cemented the importance of giving back in her eyes. 

"The Foundation has a lot of positive effects on many organizations in the community, and then, of course, it trickles down and has a major impact on the members of the community."

Her next challenge will be creating a continued sense of strength and accountability at the Foundation after a whirlwind 2020 and start to 2021. 

"What I hope for is stability at the Foundation," explains Cham. "Between changing CEOs, acting Executive Officers, and finally now John being on board, we're ready to build on the teamwork that's developed over the last year." 

Along with the changes she mentioned, the cloud of the pandemic looming over everyone has made for a challenging year. 

"In this period of recovery after the pandemic, as people are slowly able to get together and meet in meeting rooms instead of Zoom lobbies," explains Cham. "We must make sure all of the services that have been available for our community continue to be there." 

As services begin to expand once again, Cham knows there will be challenges in getting people engaged and that organizations may need extra help getting back to normal. Stability and accountability from the Foundation can truly ease that process.