2017 Negev Gala

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The Project



Helping special needs children in Jerusalem

JNF Canada supports special needs populations by developing sites that enhance their quality of life.

The Ilanot Jerusalem special education school is a public school for special needs students aged 6 -21, with severe motor and cognitive disabilities. The specially designed therapeutic schoolyard offers an accessible and stimulating environment where students can develop their motor and cognitive skills while fostering social and emotional growth. Its shady, green environment will be a pleasant setting for physical therapy and other treatments specifically tailored for individual students.

Frank Simkevitz was very dedicated to the welfare of people with special needs, both in Canada and in Israel. This project was particularly close to his heart; he initiated it at the Negev event in Windsor in 2013.

Your contribution to this year’s Negev Gala will both help ensure the continuation of a holistic treatment and teaching environment that meets the needs of children and youth with major educational challenges and also honour Frank’s memory.

Remembering Frank Simkevitz

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Franklin Simkevitz, z”l was the Executive Director of JNF’s Ontario region from 2003-2016. He was a leader, a mentor, a mensch; a true friend to all who knew him.

Frank worked tirelessly, putting a hundred and ten percent of himself into everything he undertook.  He spearheaded arrangements for countless Negev Dinners in Hamilton and Windsor and more recently, Gala events in London. He also led numerous Mission tours to Israel, allowing participants to see JNF’s work there first hand.

Over the years, Frank established a particularly strong relationship with London’s Jewish Community.  Before moving to JNF, he already had many friends here through his work with both the London Jewish Foundation and the United Jewish Appeal.

Frank forged excellent relationships with numerous volunteer boards. He had a special gift for relating to all volunteers; he never asked any of them to do anything which he would not have done himself, and appreciated all their efforts, both large and small.

He is sadly missed by his wife Elaine, and all his family. Tonight’s Gala event gives us an opportunity to celebrate his many contributions to our London community.


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Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and Debra McGrath (Little Mosque on the Prairie) present their acclaimed one-couple show based on their 27 years of marriage, 60 years of performing around the world and 1 year on Instagram. Combining heart-warming and hilarious stories from their life, improv with the audience and surprise video guests, Colin and Deb will entertain you with their charm, wit and promise of cash prizes.


Colin Mochrie is an alumnus of Toronto’s famous Second City comedy troupe and is widely considered to be one of the leading improvisers in the world. In 2013, Colin Mochrie was named Canadian Comedy Person of the Year at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Deb, a graduate from Ryerson theatre, honed her comedy skills at the famed Second City in Toronto where she met her husband Colin Mochrie. Deb was nominated for an Actra Award for the movie Expecting and has been inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame, a proud moment for this former Scarborough girl.

Tickets & Sponsorship Opportunities



Tickets have been mailed, remember to bring them with you.

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