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Born: Jan 10, 1903

Date of Passing: Aug 09, 2002

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SOPHIE SHIBOU Community Leader Passes Sophie Shibou, peacefully on August 6, 2002 in Winnipeg. Devoted wife of 54 years to Bernard Shibou, who predeceased her 18 years ago; mother to Joy, Keith, and Earl; mother-in-law to Lawrence, Simmie, and Carla; Baba to Lisa, Ginnie, Gary, Sari, Jay, Natalie, Jill, Tracy, Nikki, Aaron, Jordan and Meka; great-grandmother to Jamie, Arielle, Gregory, David, Nathan, Gabby, Hannah, Emma, Emily and Rachel. Sophie Shibou was born January 10, 1903 in Austria, Hungary. She was the youngest of three daughters of Aaron and Rissel Cherashny. She attended King Edward School, St. Johns High School, and subsequently graduated from Teachers College in 1922. In 1917 she was one of the first Jewish children to register in the I.L. Peretz School, and attended after day school classes until 1920. She taught in various rural Manitoba schools and was principal of the Narol School in rural Manitoba for over five years. She married Bernard in 1930 and continued to teach until 1931. During her teaching years she also contributed her time and skills to the development of the communities in which she lived. After settling in Winnipeg in 1931, she participated fervently in both the Jewish Community as well as in many other meaningful causes in the city. She took an active role in the directorship of the Peretz School, where she often voluntarily acted as a substitute teacher. She was instrumental in the creation of several diverse educational classes that were implemented in various city schools. At the time of her demise, she still possessed the title of Vice-President of the Peretz School. During the war years, she became secretary and then president of the Womens Division of the Canadian Jewish Congress, an umbrella group of more than ninety Jewish Womens Organizations in Winnipeg and Western Canadian towns and cities. She was the "Liaison Officer" of the Winnipeg Jewish Community for the Central Volunteer Bureau. Sophie was president of the Winnipeg Aid Association for more than 10 years. She also held office in many other organizations. In 1946 she became president of the Womens Division of the Jewish Welfare Fund (UJA), and was the incumbent president when Israel was declared a State in 1948. Her individual efforts were instrumental in assisting thousands of Jewish children orphaned during the Holocaust to immigrate to Israel where they were able to create new lives. Sophie was the third chairperson of the State of Israel Bond campaign in Manitoba. In 1950, her dedication to the Hadassah-Wizo Organization of Canada resulted in her subsequently being elected to the position of "Overall Chairperson" of Youth Aliyah, an office she held at various times over several decades. Sophie Shibou received many citations for her dedication to numerous charitable and religious organizations, but it was her outstanding dedication to Youth Aliyah that was acknowledged by her being the recipient of the special title, "Honorary Advisor of Youth Aliyah For Life". During her time spent in Palm Springs, CA, in the 1970s, she became a Life Member of American Hadassah Organization and became a chairperson of Youth Aliyah in that region. In tribute to her accomplished speaking skills many organizations in Canada, California, and Israel extended numerous invitations for her to act as a guest speaker. Sophie was an active member of the United Jewish Appeal, Hadassah Wizo Organization, Peretz School, Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood, National Council of Jewish Women, The Jewish Library, and the Jewish Committee of Yiddish, ORT, Golden Rods - Popular Alliance, Histadrut, Shalom Home, Canadian Hard of Hearing, Bnai Brith, Jewish Child and Family Bureau, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Red Cross, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as many other organizations. Sophie Shibou was in every respect the epitome of a "communal volunteer". Her lifes work could best be described in her words - "I gave all I could, I only wish I could have given more". Somehow, despite her dedication to the community, Sophie always found time to be a dedicated, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. There was never a birthday or anniversary that went unacknowledged. She will be forever missed by all. Acknowledgements of Sophies lifetime of efforts may be made by contributions to the Hadassah-Wizo Organization of Canada.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 15, 2002

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