Ariel Karabelnicoff

By MYRON LOVE

After four years as executive director of the Manitoba/ Saskatchewan office of the Jewish National Fund, Ariel Karabelnicoff is moving on. At the beginning of December, he will be assuming his new role as national sales director for the Israel Bonds organization based in Toronto.


“Honestly, after almost 17 years here, I have mixed feelings about leaving Winnipeg,” he says. “We built a home here. Our kids grew up here. And we have made many friends here.
“We weren’t planning on leaving. The opportunity from Israel Bonds came up very recently. This is an opportunity to continue working on behalf of the State of Israel, but on a larger scale.”
Originally from Argentina, Ariel Karabelnicoff made aliyah when he was 18. He studied Political Science at the Hebrew University – returning to Argentina for a brief time in 1993 with Gaby, his wife - also from Argentina, whom he met and married in Israel. After a year spent studying English and business in England, the couple returned to Israel, where Karabelnicoff went into the IDF, serving in the territories.
In the late 1990s, he worked for a time as an aide to Labour politician and cabinet minister Shlomo Ben-Ami. He left government service in 2000 to work for the Gallup organization. A reorganization of the company left him out in the cold. After returning briefly to an Argentina that was undergoing economic and social turmoil, Ariel and Gaby looked to Canada for a fresh start.
“We had heard about the Winnipeg Jewish community’s efforts to attract Argentinian immigrants,” he recalled in an earlier interview. “Canada seemed like the kind of place where you could make something of yourself if you had talent.”


Karabelnicoff began his working career in Winnipeg in 2003, working for the United Way. After a few months, he was hired to work for investment firm Jory Capital. In 2006, he was appointed as the Winnipeg director for Israel Bonds. At the time of the appointment, he said that he welcomed the opportunity to help Israel.
And, he has been working on behalf of the State of Israel in one capacity or another ever since. Seven years running the Israel Bond office here was followed by two years as executive director of the Winnipeg office of the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University, and four years with the JNF.
“I always said that working for the JNF was a dream come true,” he observes. “It has been a real privilege working with supporters in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to improve the lives of needy Israelis, be it disabled soldiers and other Israelis, battered women, building green spaces and planting trees.
“I feel that working in the service of Israel is more than a job. It is my calling, my purpose in life.”


Karabelnicoff reports that Israel Bonds sales currently raise about $100 million U.S. a year. “Buying Israel Bonds is an excellent way to support Israel,” he suggests. “It is a secure investment. The interest rates are very competitive. Israel Bonds has perfect record of repayment; never has there been a default. Israel Bonds are a smart addition to your portfolio, whether for investment purposes or for your RRSP.”
He adds that you can also buy bonds online. “You can buy a bond for as little as $36,” he points out. “It could be a very nice gift.”
Although Israel Bonds hasn’t had an office in Winnipeg for some years, Karabelnicoff notes that he will be delighted to also be the contact person, along with his colleague, Phyllis, in Calgary. I expect to be keeping in close contact with all of our bondholders in Winnipeg,” he says. “I will just be a phone call away.”