By Angelica Haggert
Honoured. Delighted. Pleased.
That’s how the artists whose works now grace the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation’s Special 50th Anniversary Tribute Card series said they feel about their art being chosen.
Tribute cards are a way for people to feel connected -- especially important in these difficult pandemic times. For a minimum $18 donation, you can send a tribute card to wish someone mazel tov or refuah shlema, to say thank you, to express condolences, or with any other message that you choose, all the while supporting a fund that helps a cause you hold dear.
To celebrate the Foundation's 50th anniversary, a contest was launched calling on community members to submit their artwork or photography to create a special commemorative card. Five new cards were chosen each for a special occasion. “The Twelve Tribes” by Stephanie Moore is a card to celebrate births and any simcha; “Tulip and Branches” photographed by Barbara Legowski is a consolation card; “Apples and Potted Plant” by Rachel Benmergui is a Rosh Hashanah card; “Menorah” by Floralove Katz helps mark Chanukah and “Seder Plate” by Rayna Gorber is the special card for Passover.
“I’m excited and proud that my painting is being used,” said Stephanie Moore, who was formerly the executive director of Congregation Beth Shalom. She took inspiration from panels within the sanctuary.
“I hope people will be pleased to see it.”
Grade 10 student Rayna Gorber, 15, had never had her artwork published, but her seder plate image will now be available as a tribute card.
“I’m in the Canterbury High School arts program, so I thought this would be a fun thing to do even if I didn’t win,” said Gorber. “It’s a really cool opportunity.”
Barbara Legowski, a previous advisor to the World Health Organization, said she hopes her image of tulips is consoling or enjoyed by people who receive it as a tribute card. She made it using “compositions influenced by principles of Ikebana design,” which is the Japanese art of flower arranging.
For Floralove Katz, a wedding officiant, her “whimsical” Chanukah artwork showcases her dedication to Judaism.
“It’s my love of rejoicing during holidays with family and friends and my dedication to fighting for human rights -- that’s captured in the celebration of Chanukah,” said Katz. “I hope to evoke a sense of the warmth and golden light of the Chanukah candles.”
Rachel Benmurgui, who is a resident at the Bess and Moe Greenberg Hillel Lodge, could not be reached for an interview, was described as a “sweet lady and talented artist” by Mitch Miller, executive director of the Lodge’s Foundation.
Tribute cards support a myriad of funds, managed by the Foundation, to help donors make the most of their charitable gifts.
“One of the reasons people open funds is to feel connected, particularly these days, rather than a letter or an email,” said Micah Garten, director of development. Funds can be family or memorial funds, endowment funds or funds for various organizations.
Along with these new designs, Foundation is pleased to introduce the new Tribute Card Administrator Solange Hosselet, a long-time Ottawa native with a depth of expertise in administrative and support roles with experience in the healthcare sector.
"I am very pleased and proud to be working with the Foundation and look forward to helping people place their card orders in honour of their loved ones."
You may order your cards through Solange at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613.798.4696 ext. 274.