May 28th, 2024

CRH gets big boost from local Hebrew congregation

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on April 24, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman CRH Foundation executive director Crystal Elliot stands with Hebrew Congregation of Lethbridge members David Serkin, Dan Shapiro and Garry Kohn after receiving a large donation towards purchasing medical equipment.


The Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation has received a significant donation from the Hebrew Congregation of Lethbridge to be used for the purchase of some much-needed equipment.

Garry Kohn, president of the Hebrew Congregation of Lethbridge, told the Herald the funds were the result of having to sell their synagogue. This allowed them to donate $218,490 to the CRH Foundation.

Kohn explained the downsizing of the congregation led to the sale of the synagogue and once they had the funds, they needed to figure out what to do with them.

“We’ve been sitting on the money for quite some time looking for a good home for it and we thought that the regional hospital would be a fine recipient of the donation,” said Kohn.

 He said it made sense to congregation members donate the money to the hospital as all of them at one time or another may or may not have use of the hospital.

 “Hospitals are always short of money, the equipment that is required in here is very expensive, so we thought it proper to have our money put toward medical equipment,” said Kohn.

Crystal Elliott, CEO of the CRH Foundation, said she was grateful to the Hebrew congregation because their donation has made a big difference, allowing them to purchase some expensive medical equipment.

“They provided $150,000 in funding for a PMI Lumera microscope for optomology to assist in eye procedures. This microscope is over $300,000 and the cost it’s been supplemented by the Locatelli Endowment Fund that has been in place for many years,” said Elliott.

She said the donation is also helping with the cost of bladder scanners, isolation carts, two Emergency Room stretchers, as well as a Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) tower scope for speech and language.

“It’s so incredible to see the community members stepping in and stepping up to give back, we couldn’t do it without them,” said Elliott.

She explained that the microscope has been ordered but will take 30 weeks to arrive.

 “The letters of approval have gone forward to Alberta Health Services so that they can move forward with the ordering and we anticipate that some of those will be arriving in the very near future,” said Elliott.

Kohn says that even though their donation to the CRH Foundation was significant, a portion of the funds received from selling the synagogue went to other recipients as well.

“We have other organizations that we donate to also, the schools for scholarships, the music festival, the symphony and Habitat for Humanity, as well as the college,” said Kohn.

 He explained that charity work is a primary focus of their faith and that is why when they were in a position to help, they did.

“We are required to be charitable in any way that we can and one of the highest forms of being charitable is not to be asked but just to give,” said Kohn.

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Wonderful to read this. Although a place of worship had to go, much of the financial worth of it has been given to a place where it will do the most good for the most people. Well done!

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