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MaryAnn Lippay Kanee

On Friday, November 8, we received an interesting email from Brooke Karlaftis, who is a Donor Relations Officer at the University of Manitoba.
In her email, Karlaftis wrote that the Judaic Studies program at the University of Manitoba will be receiving a donation of $100,000 from MaryAnn Lippay Kanee, who lives in Minneapolis, and was married to the late Stephen Kanee.





The donation, according to Karlaftis, is intended to help revive the Judaic Studies program by creating an endowment fund to support the program. As Karlaftis noted, in her email: “I gather from my colleague, Lesley Lewis that you are well informed of the history and the struggles that the Judaic Studies program has had over the years. The Jewish community in Manitoba has been an integral part of this province’s history, and provided support for the program in its early years.  At one time, the department boasted three full time faculty members dedicated to the curriculum, providing a B.A., M.A., and PhD. However, over the years it has been reduced in scope and now offers only a B.A. minor, relying almost completely on external funding.

“It is our goal, with support from students and the public, to grow the program and begin to offer a Degree Major in Judaic Studies, with dedicated full-time faculty. At the moment, Manitobans are underserved in the field of Judaic Studies. It would be great if there were a Jewish oriented education at the university level, especially for those students graduating from Gray Academy who would like to continue in this area of study. Having a thriving Judaic Studies program on campus is essential for students, faculty, and the general community. It helps to promote the preservation and continuity of Jewish people, fight anti-Semitism, enhance the Hebrew program, offer an enhanced Israel experience, and promote human rights.”

Concomitant with the donation from MaryAnn Lippay Kanee, the university has created a website,, where other donors can also contribute to this new endowment fund.
As Karlaftis explained, the “Endowment fund will be used to support instructional costs for courses based in the Judaic Studies Program that relate to the languages of Jewish People (e.g. Hebrew, Yiddish, etc.); and/or courses based in the Judaic Studies Program that have Jewish content.”
We will have further information about Ms. Kanee’s gift and the new endowment fund in a subsequent issue.

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