HomeFeaturesMexican-born Uri and Tania Shefer love their new home...

Mexican-born Uri and Tania Shefer love their new home town

By MYRON LOVE For Mexican-born Uri Shefer, his first visit to Canada was akin to love at first sight. It was 2003 and the just graduated high school student had an opportunity to spend three months in Vancouver staying with a Jewish family that was active in the local Jewish community and take some courses. He was able to return to Vancouver – and the University of British Columbia – for his third year of university.
“I would have liked to continue my schooling at UBC,” he recalls. “There were some different possible options. The problem was that UBC wouldn’t recognize some of my Mexican university credits. That meant that I would have had to spend an extra year in college. So I decided to go back (to Mexico).”
(Shefer graduated from university in Mexico City with a BA in International Relations and Affairs in 2007.)
Last summer – on August 1 – Uri, his wife, Tania and their children, Ron (11), Gad (8), Ariel (6) and Ilana (4) landed in Winnipeg and – he hopes – their new happily-ever-after-and-forever home.
Shefer notes that he is – or was – a third generation resident of Mexico on his mother’s side of the family. His father was a third generation Israeli who moved to Mexico City more than 40 years ago.
“Mexico City – with more than 20 million people – is a great city with a fast pace of life,” observes Shefer, who had been working for the past few years in management and marketing for Grupo Salinas, which is involved in broadcasting, soccer and other business ventures. “We (he and Tania) were looking to move to a smaller city which could still offer us the amenities of a larger city.”
The couple, he notes, did have some familiarity with our fair town because Tania’s brother had settled in Winnipeg three years before.
“We started the process of immigration by reaching out to Dalia (Szpiro – the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg’s GrowWinnipeg director) and were all ready to fly here for an exploratory visit,” Shefer recalls. “We had our tickets and flight reservation. Then, two weeks before we were scheduled to go, Covid broke and the borders were closed.”
However, even though Uri and Tania were not able to visit in person, they were able to get to know Winnipeg and our Jewish community virtually. “Dalia arranged Zoom sessions for us and YouTube videos,” Uri says. “She also put us in touch – virtually – with people from the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. And, after a three year delay, here we are.”
After deciding to immigrate to Canada, Shefer notes, he left Grupo Salinas and joined Gus and Friends – a team of business consultants – which was founded by Shefer’s first boss at Grupo Salinas. Even though he is now based in Winnipeg, Shefer is still working with Gus & Friends.
“We specialize in sports and media related businesses,” he reports. “Currently, we are working on a couple of projects in Mexico City.”
Shefer adds that he is also considering getting into the import and export business.
Tania, he notes, works for Worker Bee TV, a Winnipeg-based company that provides video solutions to regional, national and global clients. It is an international technology company that connects employers and workers.
The Shefer family has wasted no time becoming involved in the community. The kids have all been enrolled in Gray Academy and Uri has been invited to join the board of the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

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