A Rae of Light

November 29, 2019

Remembering a trailblazer

About 15 years ago, Rachel (Rae) Margolis was discharged from the hospital after bowel surgery. The very next day she insisted that she and her husband Gary go to Chesed Shel Emes to keep their commitment to help tidy up the basement. Not exactly a doctor-recommended approach to recovering from surgery, but that’s how much Chesed Shel Emes meant to her.

“She cared so much,” says Gary of Rae, who passed away in November 2018. “She felt it was important for the community that we treat the deceased with dignity, respect, and with the proper rituals.”

A portrait of Rae Margolis outdoors with bright greenery behind her.

Rae Margolis z’l was an active Board member for 19 years. “She’d be very happy to see people contributing to this campaign,” says her husband Gary.

Rae Margolis was a very active volunteer with Chesed Shel Emes. She served on the Board as a representative of Rosh Pina Synagogue and then as a member-at-large. Over her 19 years on the Board, she was the Treasurer, House Chair (the first woman to hold that position), and the first woman to serve as a Vice-President. She retired from the Board in 2011, and was named an Honorary Life Member in 2013.

As a Board member, she took a special interest in the physical condition of the facility.

“She’d be very happy to see people contributing to this campaign to replace the south building,” says Gary Margolis.

Aside from her volunteerism at Chesed Shel Emes, Rae Margolis served as President of the Talmud Torah/Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate PTA (she was hands-on with hot lunches and fundraising casinos). She was also on the Boards of the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council and Rosh Pina Synagogue. She was recognized for her volunteer work even before she became involved with Chesed Shel Emes when she was presented with the Max Nathanson Young Leadership Award in 1986.

“The community meant so much to Rae,” says Gary. “She converted to Judaism and loved it. And she cared deeply about Chesed Shel Emes.”

Indeed, Rae Margolis celebrated Jewish life. She embraced the Jewish community. And the Jewish community embraced her. She is missed by her former colleagues around the Chesed Shel Emes Board table.