Al & Myrna Kolberg Endowment for Jewish Education

Coleman and Fanny Kolberg and their family arrived in Vancouver in 1923 on their way to Los Angeles. Reverend Pastinsky persuaded my father to stay in Vancouver as they needed another kosher butcher. There were 500 Jewish families and two kosher butchers at the time. Shortly afterwards there were three kosher butchers. We now number at least 23,000 Jews here and until last year we had only one. I mention this to point out how the Jewish observance of our city has changed. Myrna’s family, Louis and Ida Zivot and eight children came to Vancouver in 1936. Times were very difficult in the heart of the depression. I will always remember the “Little Blue Box” of the JNF, the “Pishke”, that was on our window sill in the kitchen. My mother dropped in nickels and dimes every Friday before Shabbat. At that time, it was a great sacrifice. It instilled in us the spirit of sharing for which we are grateful. We have served on the boards of the Talmud Torah, Schara Tzedeck, Zionist Organization and have created family endowment funds in almost every institution of Jewish education in Vancouver and several universities in Israel. Our children and grandchildren have served and are serving in the army in Israel where they live. We feel very strongly regarding the survival of the Jewish people. It is only through Jewish education and the Federation that we can survive.

Myrna and Al Kolberg