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carolina fridmanBy REBECA KUROPATWA

For some time already, our community has been enjoying positive growth via newcomers from Israel, Argentina, and more.  And, many of these new community members are eager to give back to the community and beyond.


Some newcomers have gravitated toward an organization that has supported new immigrants since its inception – Winnipeg’s National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) – choosing to give back by becoming members of the board.
Recently, Argentinean-born and raised Carolina Fridman (47) was elected as the new president of the chapter, taking over for Cindy Lazar.
Fridman was raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Winnipeg on Jan 3, 1998, when she was 28-years-old, along with her husband, Juan Lempert, and first-born son, Alan, who was 2-years-old at the time.  “In 2000 and 2006, two more additions arrived to our family,” said Fridman.  “Eric and Ian were born in Winnipeg.”
A lawyer by profession, Fridman began her Winnipeg career at an immigration law firm.  And, as of 2014, she branched out on her own – starting up her own immigration law firm (http://www.fridman.ca).
“I became a member of the NCJW in 2011 and a member of the board in 2014,” said Fridman.  “This organization is important, because Jewish women have a lot to contribute.  And, there are not a lot of Jewish women’s groups in Winnipeg right now, aside from the sisterhoods.  We are Canada’s oldest Jewish women’s organization, and the amount of good work we have done, locally and nationally, over the years is phenomenal.
“The Winnipeg chapter has a new board of directors and, including myself, we have three Argentinean-Canadian board members.”
What attracted Fridman to the NCJW was the fact that it is different from other groups, as it is grassroots-driven.  “We support whatever ideas or projects our members feel passionate about, as long as the end result is to do good,” she said.  “We also partner a lot with other organizations.  We are interested in community building, not just in building our own name.
“That is why we program in such a broad variety of areas – from organ donation, to human trafficking, women’s health, and more.  Right now, we are working on purchasing and filling backpacks for kids in contact with JCFS.  We think every kid should be excited about back-to-school.  And, for $55 per backpack, we can help make that happen.”
According to Fridman, the local NCJW wants to attract members from all origins and walks of life.  “Whoever is interested in participating, this organization is open to all – Argentinians, Canadians, Russians, Israelis, whoever is in Winnipeg – it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from.
“I’m a hard worker.  I am a doer.  We need people who are willing to do things.  That is my intention.”
One of the big projects the NCJW is currently involved with is the creation of a new addictions program – a project being led by JCFS.
Nationally, the organization is turning 120 this year, and will be celebrating that milestone at their national meeting in Toronto this Oct 2017.  With Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut, as the guest speaker, the open-to-all public event is sure to be inspiring

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