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Phil Cary ReissBy GERRY POSNER
And then there were the Reiss brothers. When they talk about exports from Winnipeg to the United States, there ought to be a tax levied on some of the brainpower that we send to them. The Reiss boys would demand a high duty for certain.


The Reiss boys are brothers Cary and Philip Reiss, sons of Bayla and Sam Reiss. Both boys are products of the Jewish school system in Winnipeg, having attended Ramah Hebrew School and Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate. Separated by only about 17 months, they were a year apart in school and, though they headed in different paths, they remain very close to one another.
Cary Reiss is a lawyer and he can boast to that status in both Canada and the U.S., as he is a member of the Manitoba and New York Bars. After graduating from Joseph Wolinsky, he proceeded to earn  a B.A. at the University of Manitoba. where he was the 1990 gold medallist  in Arts, then on to law school at the U of M,  where he was the 1993 gold medallist. He joined the  law firm of Fillmore Riley, first as an associate, later as a partner. He would have been quite content to remain in Winnipeg except for the intervention indirectly of his brother Phil who, by that time, was living in the New York area. Cary says:” I had no intention of leaving Winnipeg but fate, in the form of fantastic Phil, flew in the face of my fidelity to the fatherland.” When he visited Phil, he entered the world of JDate, one thing led to another, and soon he met his future wife,Talia Gil. It was not long thereafter that Cary and Talia married in Winnipeg - in 2006. Cary is now the father to two daughters: Isabella and Eliza. Subsequently Cary became a member of the NY Bar and is now practising law with Richards, Kibbe, in the rather exotic field of advising hedge funds in commercial transactions. Not a field for the faint hearted and a long way from  Queenston Street in Winnipeg, Cary’s first home.
The thing about Cary Reiss is that, despite his distance from Winnipeg, his heart is very much in this city - so much so that whenever the Winnipeg Jets are in the metropolitan New York region, Cary Reiss will be there. He was gloating when he said that he was able to get tickets to a game on Long Island with the Islanders behind the Jets bench for $28 a ticket... even in US funds, that’s a bargain!
That he has been able to make the transition to New York from Winnipeg, from what used to be a 15 minute drive to his office to an hour and 20  minute commute and integrate so easily into life in the U.S. speaks volumes about Cary. No doubt his sense of humour has assisted him in this major life change.
Younger brother Philip Reiss has an equally compelling story, Philip was, as one of his former educators at Joseph Wolinsky said, “a one in a career.” Awards for scholarships, - you name them, he had most of them. Phil graduated from JW, then was off to yeshivot between 1988-1990 in both New York and Israel. He returned to Winnipeg and completed a B.A. from the University of Manitoba in mathematics in 1993. He did graduate studies at the University of Toronto, earning a Masters of Science in mathematics, then finished most of the requirements for a PhD, switched to statistics and did yet another M.Sc. in 1998. At that point, and  until 2002, Phil entered the work force as a statistician, firt at Statistics Canada in Ottawa, later at Brown University in Rhode Island, and then Wyeth Research in Pennsylvania. His travels reveal the beauty of mathematics - so very portable. It was in this period he met his future wife, the former Shari Rosenberg, on a blind date. As Phil puts it, “she had many fine qualities, but tolerance for cold weather was not among them.” Hence, the pair married in New York in 2000 and remained in the northeastern US.
From 2002-2006, Reiss returned to school earning a PhD in Biostatistics at Columbia University in New York. He then joined the Faculty of NYU, School of Medicine and later became an associate professor there in the Departments of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Population Health. During this time, Phil and Shari became parents of three kids, Uri, David and Shoshana. They settled into a home in 2004 in Highland Park, New Jersey, a very Jewish area. Yet, they had thought a lot about aliyah. As the events of Operation Protective Edge came forward in 2014, Phil and Shari realized that they were no longer content watching what was happening in Israel across the Atlantic. Phil had been imbued with a Zionist passion during his growing up years in Winnipeg and saw aliyah as a fulfillment of this sentiment. Thus it came to pass that, in August 2015, Phil and Shari took the plunge and made a dream a reality by moving to Israel - in particular to Moreshet, a settlement in the Galil. Phil is now in the midst of transitioning from NYU to a faculty position at the University of Haifa, a process akin to coming from a Russian hockey rink and playing in the NHL. Meanwhile, his wife is doing a post doctoral programme in education and social policy at Tel Aviv University. All the while, Phil maintains an occasional Times of Israel blog on Israel and matters of Judaic interest. Not hard to see where “the one in a career” came from.
Winnipeg has turned out some stars in a variety of fields. The Reiss brothers rank right up there with the best of these stars.