November 18, 2021
On behalf of everyone at Tamir, we want to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the community for embracing Tamir and its mission for the past 36 years. We look forward to continued partnership and collaboration with the Jewish Community and the broader Ottawa community. Please enjoy the recording of the event and know that everyone involved played a vital role in the success of the evening.
Please see all our vignettes and special 36th Celebration videos on our YouTube channel: Tamir Foundation – YouTube
On November 13th, Kehillat Beth Israel hosted a Shabbat Service in honour of the long-standing relationship between KBI and Tamir and in honor of Tamir’s 36th Anniversary. Debbie Applebaum and our Executive Director, Risa Plotnick were invited to speak.
Here’s what they had to say:
November 13, 2021
The Torah is like a precious jewel. It sparkles with truth and wisdom.
The Book of Genesis, Bereishit, begins with the amazing creation of the world. Reading Genesis takes us on a journey through the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, where we witness the birth of the future 12 tribes of Israel.
The parsha this week is Vayetze. Jacob goes to Lavan’s house. He wants to marry Rachel, but Lavan deceives him. After working for Lavan for twenty years, he leaves with two wives, two handmaidens, and twelve children.
The stained glass windows, created by Marc Chagall for the synagogue of Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Centre, in Jerusalem, represent the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob. The sons are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Joseph, Benjamin, Asher, Naphtali, Gad, and Dan.
You can see the pictures of these stained glass windows by Marc Chagall down the hall in this synagogue, where I like to come with my Tamir friends.
Tamir helps me in many ways with different events, groceries, cooking some meals for us (God bless them), appointments, and errands. They teach and support us. I am thankful to have Tamir’s support when I need them most.
Thank you Tamir.
November 13, 2021
Risa Plotnick, Executive Director, Tamir
This week’s parsha opens up with the story of Jacob having spent the night “in a certain place.” During the night he had a dream about messengers of G-d going up and down a ladder. When he awoke in the morning he took the stone he had used as a pillow, and set up an altar, proclaiming, “Why, G-d is in this place, and I did not know it.”
As we look back on 36 years of Tamir history it’s easy to see that G-d was there and we did know it. It’s easy to see that Lily and Jerry’s commitment to their Jewish identity and to supporting their son to live a Jewish life was what inspired them to create this fantastic organization. Throughout Tamir’s history we have seen G-d’s hand in so many ways.
The support provided by Tamir, is all about helping people live their best life. In doing so we create moments that fill us with joy and gratitude. Some of these moments include, seeing a participant become more independent and make their own decisions, watching a family breathe a sigh of relief that they are no longer solely responsible for providing 24/7 care for their child and can watch them leave the nest, and sitting here today, embraced by this congregation. It’s the everyday moments, in addition, to the well documented and more public events that make Tamir the truly remarkable place that it is.
We are so proud of the major events that we have put on. For our 25th Anniversary we did a truly inclusive production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. We have had golf tournaments, two fantastic fashion shows, three trips to Israel, Tea parties, an annual Chanukah party, sukkot party, and Passover 3rd Seder. Even during COVID we had 100 people join our virtual 3rd Seder. Not to mention our smaller ongoing programs like music classes, Hebrew classes, Shabbat dinners, community Havdallah services, apple picking, and so much more. We are thankful for all the community partners who have supported us all these years.
KBI is one of those partners and we have a long history of supporting each other, working together, and being one community under two rooves. We often say that we aim “to bring Tamir to the community and the community into Tamir,” but at KBI we don’t have to do that. We are already in a place we can call home.
Tamir is a part of the fabric of this shul and it’s so evident when participants help lead the Shabbat service on a weekly basis, when the clergy call participants on their birthdays, and when the B’nai mitzvah families bring in Shabbat with shul members who live in a Tamir home. There would be no way to separate our two communities and that is true meaning of belonging. When you can’t see where one ends and the other begins.
I’m not sure if Jerry and Lily could foresee how close our two communities would become or if it was the happiest of accidents, but we have all benefitted from it. To belong is to be able to dance like no one is watching, to know that you will be accepted for who you are, no questions asked. That is what Tamir feels when we come to KBI. It’s something we are grateful for and we will always aim to give a reciprocal feeling to KBI members when they visit our homes.
However, Jerry, Lily, and KBI have not supported Tamir alone. We have the most outstanding staff. Our front line worker, supervisors, and senior staff have all worked tirelessly to make sure that people are living their best lives. We are so proud that we have staff who have been with us for decades. In addition, we can’t forget to thank Mark Palmer for 30 years of outstanding leadership. He helped Tamir grow from supporting 3 people to supporting over 100. And of course, our Board of Directors. No agency can be successful without a strong and dedicated Board. They work to make sure that Tamir is always moving forward and planning for the next exciting venture.
In the Torah, Jacob was awestruck by the revelation that G-d was in that place. He then acknowledges that he will be taken care of as long as he remembers that G-d is with him. 36 years ago, whether they knew it or not, G-d was there guiding Lily and Jerry to create a place where people of all backgrounds could be supported to be their best selves, to explore their spiritual and cultural identities, Jewish or not, and to be active members of the community. We love knowing that KBI will always embrace the people supported by Tamir and have always been a leader in inclusion in Ottawa. Thank you and we look forward to many more years of friendship and community.