Dr. Paula Gordon and Gary Segal have been appointed to the Order of Canada.
On Dec. 29, Governor General of Canada Mary Simon announced new appointments to the Order of Canada. The list included two members of Vancouver’s Jewish community: Dr. Paula Gordon and Gary Segal.
“What a beautiful way to end the year, honouring Order of Canada appointees and learning about the depth and range of their accomplishments,” said Simon in a press release. “Celebrated trailblazers in their respective fields, they are inspiring, educating and mentoring future generations, creating a foundation of excellence in our country that is respected throughout the world. Their commitment to the betterment of Canada fills me with pride and hope for the future. Alianaigusuqatigiivassi. Congratulations.”
Gordon is a clinical professor in the department of radiology at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include breast ultrasound for diagnosis and for supplemental screening for women with dense breasts. She has been the chair of numerous committees, including ones dealing with provincial health policies and screening programs. She has been a reviewer for academic publications, published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, and volunteered in numerous capacities. Gordon was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada for “advancing ultrasound imaging and technology in the early detection of breast cancer, as a prominent radiologist and researcher.”
Segal, executive/principal of Kingswood Capital Corp., is a philanthropist who also volunteers in several organizations. His current roles include chair of the board of directors of the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, several responsibilities with the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, founder and chair of the Bring Back Hope initiative for Ethiopia, governor and founding member of St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, and a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. Segal was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for “his enduring commitment to humanitarian work, philanthropy and service to the community.”
On Jan. 17, JWest announced a leading $36 million capital campaign matching challenge by the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation and the Al Roadburg Foundation. This is the first time the two private charitable foundations have collaborated on a major initiative, and they hope to inspire the community through the Roadburg family’s legacy. This gift marks the single largest donation given to the JWest project.
The Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation was established in 2021 through the estate of the late Vancouver businessman Ronald Roadburg. Rooted in a strong sense of community and responsibility, the foundation engages in philanthropic initiatives in the Jewish and broader communities locally and around the world. Promoting transformational change, it looks to support populations disproportionately affected by circumstance or inequities, strengthen and secure the Jewish community and other at-risk communities, and address complex social challenges.
“Strengthening and securing communities is at the heart of the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation, and we saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do just that,” said foundation chair Bernard Pinsky. “Ronald Roadburg was active in Vancouver real estate. With his vision to establish philanthropic goals for his estate, JWest is a perfect opportunity to leave a legacy in the city of Vancouver.”
Founded in 1997, the Al Roadburg Foundation seeks to support charitable organizations across Vancouver and in Israel responding to food and housing insecurity and health care issues. The foundation also looks to assist groups that help at-risk youth and those with disabilities and debilitating diseases.
“Al Roadburg was a quiet businessman who nevertheless had a presence in many parts of Greater Vancouver,” said its chair, Robert Matas. “The JWest project will create a robust athletic, social and cultural hub that is bound to strengthen both the Jewish community and the broader community across the region. With the Roadburg family’s support for community in mind, we’re pleased to be part of making it happen.”
Al Roadburg was born in Vancouver in 1913. At an early age, he began working as a scrap dealer. Over the years, he built his business, Richmond Steel Recycling, into a multi-million-dollar operation, with the largest automobile shredder in the province. In the 1950s, he began building a portfolio of rental apartments, multi-purpose warehouses, commercial spaces and office buildings. His company, Broadway Properties, bought and held the buildings, providing security for tenants and stability to neighbourhoods in Greater Vancouver. After he died, his son Ronald took over the real estate business.
The Roadburg family lived as active members of the Jewish community and were business leaders in Vancouver. They made decisions that ensured they remained charitable through their estates. With the recent announcement, they have established a legacy that will benefit the city and community where they lived and raised their family.
“We’re immensely grateful to the Roadburg family for issuing this challenge. When the challenge is met, it will represent a profound investment in the Jewish community and the community at large,” said Alex Cristall, JWest capital campaign chair. “To achieve this goal, we will first be meeting with major donors across our community to match this challenge. However, this is a community-wide project and, in due course, we will be inviting everyone to join us in creating a legacy for future generations.”
When complete, JWest will house all programs and services offered at the current Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver in larger, purpose-built spaces. It will also include expanded space for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre and, in the second phase of construction, mixed-use rental housing and a new home for King David High School.
In September 2022, the Diamond Foundation donated $25 million, marking the first philanthropic donation to the project, a contribution that was matched by community donors. The $36 million matching challenge from the Roadburg family foundations brings the total amount raised to $88 million of the $161 million philanthropic goal.
In addition to community philanthropy, JWest gratefully acknowledges the $25 million received from the Government of British Columbia and the $25 million contributed by the Government of Canada.
For more information, visit jwestnow.com/about.