A Fitting Tribute

by Josh Kerr | Dec 29, 2021

New CABGU organizational endowment funding scholarship in honour of Sheldon Zamick 

Organizational Endowment Funds (OEF) are a way to create and maintain stability for organizations financially. The steady growth of these OEFs ensures an annual flow of income for its organization forever.

Having an OEF is a new experience for the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (CABGU).

Sheldon Zamick, for seven years, was the Board President for CABGU and was also heavily involved as a volunteer during that time. After stepping down from the Board, one of the remaining Board members suggested finding a way to honour Sheldon's time and involvement with the organization.

In prior years, their way of honouring former Board members was achieved by contributing to a scholarship at the Israeli university.

For Sheldon, they wanted to take it a step further. "The Board came together and decided that a proper way to honour the years of service and dedication that Sheldon showed to the organization would be to create a scholarship that will be awarded in perpetuity," says Zach Ostrove, Winnipeg's Executive Director at CABGU. "The Board, and myself, decided we would all put money toward this fund to get this started."

That fund is the Sheldon & Florence Zamick Family Fund, and each year, a need-based scholarship will be given to a student in his name. The scholarship comes by way of the endowment's annual distribution.

Adopting the idea to establish an OEF with the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba was a lengthy process, as CABGU's mandate is, simply put, to raise funds in support of the University in Israel. Ostrove explains the creation of an endowment rather than distributing the funds themselves necessitated a shift in their usual way of thinking. As a $10,000 donation, he noted, would easily cover the tuition of three students for a single year.

Why put that toward an endowment that initially sees a distribution lower than that? The answer is simple. The donation never runs out.

They managed to find a donor, Larry Vickar, who contributed $10,000 toward establishing the Organizational Endowment Fund to allow the scholarship to exist moving forward.

"I have known Sheldon for many years as a tireless volunteer for many Jewish and non-Jewish organizations," says Vickar. "This endowment will serve as a fitting tribute to an individual who has always been passionate, willing, and able in all his roles."

"Having an Organizational Endowment Fund at the JFM allows us to show the community of Winnipeg that we are here to stay," says Ostrove.

For now, one Ben-Gurion University student will receive the scholarship each year. As new gifts contribute to the fund's growth, the amount of the scholarship will increase as well. Once the amount needed for one student's tuition is passed, the opportunity will arise for multiple students to receive this yearly award.

Any organization may start an endowment fund where the income is directed back to their organization; however, there are options for individuals to get involved as well. Individual donors may open a fund or give a gift to an existing fund underneath an organizational endowment umbrella.

CABGU, with their creative, outside-the-box thinking, put their finger on an effective way to start their OEF and honour Sheldon Zamick at the same time.