Sidney & Doreen Adler z”l

As told by their daughters Sharyn, Wendy & Andrea

Our family story is one of close loving family relationships, Jewish pride, and strong community engagement.

After a whirlwind romance in Winnipeg, our parents married in 1956 and relocated to our dad’s hometown of Vegreville, Alberta.

We all grew up in Vegreville which at one time had a small but vibrant Jewish community of about 50 families, but during our formative years those numbers dwindled down to about five families. Despite being raised in a remote location and without Jewish community supports, our parents made an extraordinary effort to raise us in a proud Jewish household. We lit candles on Shabbat, celebrated the Jewish holidays, attended synagogue services, and had kosher meat shipped to us by our grandmother in Winnipeg.

The Jewish community there was small, but mighty, especially when it came to donating to Israel—our one synagogue was sold in 1973 to raise funds for the Yom Kippur war.

Our parents were incredibly generous and committed to Jewish and non-Jewish causes. Our mother was part of the Hadassah chapter in Vegreville and would often organize rum- mage sales as fundraisers for Israel. Our father ran a department store and would help out our neighbours any way he could. To this day, our parents are remembered fondly for their generosity, leadership, service and dedication to the community.

We try to emulate this thoughtful and generous attitude by using our fund at the Jewish Foundation to support various causes, especially ones that help the Jewish community and Israel. We are also passing this philanthropic spirit onto our children by including them in conversations about family traditions, Jewish identity, and the myriad important causes this fund is supporting. We want them to know that they are part of a community of people from all over the world that share customs and values and are there for each other when needed.

As small-town girls at heart, we believe that helping those who need it is one of the most important things a person can do. Whether it’s Jewish charities, environmental causes, research for diseases, or assisting other minority communities, supporting others is something our parents ingrained in us from a young age and is a trait we hope to instill in our children.

Our parents cared deeply about Israel and being proud Canadian Jews. If we can make a difference in the lives of others and teach the next generation about the importance of giving back, we know our parents would be incredibly proud.