At Temple Sholom in Vancouver, Rabbi Philip Bregman would sometimes notice a woman attending Shabbat services. She was quiet and kept mostly to herself. Doris Ekdahl was a spiritual seeker. She didn’t have strong social connections at the Temple. She was there to learn and to grow.
Doris came to trust Rabbi Bregman. The depth of this trust was only communicated years later—after Doris’ death. Doris’ will stated that she wanted $1.6 million Canadian dollars to be donated to Israeli organizations that worked with children, And she wanted Rabbi Bregman and another rabbi she knew to select four organizations to receive equal portions of her bequest.
At the time of Doris’ death last year, Rabbi Bregman was working as the Executive Director of Hillel British Columbia. He was familiar with Dror Israel’s work with children from a trip he took with university students. During this trip Rabbi Bregman and the students spent a full day with Dror Israel. They were impressed with the commitment of Dror Israel’s members and with the work they were doing with children. When Rabbi Bregman had the opportunity to recommend destinations for Doris’ estate, Dror Israel and their ability to transform the lives of children quickly came to mind.
Doris Ekdahl’s generosity will help establish the Akko educators' kibbutz and the programs for underprivileged children that will run in it. Although she lived quietly, her contributions will continue past her death and make a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families. Although we never had the opportunity to meet her, we are enormously grateful to Doris Ekdahl and are honored to have been selected by Rabbi Bregman as a fitting destination for her generosity.