Donna Riback z’l was a born, and raised, Calgarian with deep roots in community engagement and Jewish philanthropy. Inspired by the charitable ways of her parents (Ted and Betty Riback), Donna was the first Calgarian to created an LOJE – an endowment fund to continue her commitment of the United Jewish Appeal in perpetuity. This Lion of Judah Endowment meets the requirements of an annual Lion of Judah donation of $5,000 and a minimum endowment amount of $100,000.
It has always been important to Donna to lead by example. She served on the Board of Directors of Beth Israel Synagogue, Calgary Hebrew School, Calgary Jewish Community Council, UJA, Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary, Beth Israel Players, Partnership2gether, Temple B’nai Tikvah and the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Alberta. Donna’s children Tevy and Mia have been involved in her volunteer activities with UJA and the Foundation. ‘Being charitable by giving of oneself with time, effort and funds, is a given for them’, says Donna. ‘This is why I have established the funds I have with our own Jewish Community Foundation. It’s also why I allow my name to identify the Fund. I want to encourage others to give generously and consistently, and to support in a way the sustains the causes we worked hard to build, long after we are gone.’
As a past chair of the JCFC, Donna was continually working to encourage endowments, and working with the Foundation. And after twenty five years of development, Donna wants to see continued growth so more people and institutions can benefit for many, many years to come.
Donna says, ‘Establishing an endowment for Lion of Judah was very important to me. Having served as Chairman of the UJA campaign for two years, and for several years as Chairperson of the Lion of Judah Division, it became crystal clear that each year the campaign commences many thousands of dollars less than it did the year before. As donors pass on, their past donations no longer exist. ‘
The Lions of Judah are dynamic philanthropic Jewish women, throughout the world, who play a vital role in creating social justice, aiding the vulnerable, preserving human dignity and building Jewish identity. They set an exemplary standard of leadership and giving. There are 17,500 Lions of Judah supporting Federation. Of those, 3600 have endowed their gift and left a legacy totaling $590 million.
For additional information how you can create a Lion of Judah Endowment, please contact the office of The Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary.