Montreal philanthropist contributes to Negev auditorium

Montreal philanthropist contributes to Negev auditorium
The Canadian Jewish News - July 21, 2005

The Rosenthal Family Auditorium in Sapir was recently dedicated.

The ceremony was the realization of a dream for Montreal philanthropist Michael Rosenthal, FEDERATION CJA, and UIA Federations Canada, who have been involved in the region for years. Nine years ago, the Rosenthal Library, adjacent to the new auditorium, was opened.

Sapir, a community of 2,560 in the Central Arava region, is in the Negev, close to Montreal’s Partnership 2000 regions, Be’er Sheva and Bnei Shimon.

The new auditorium allows Sapir residents to enjoy cultural events at home, instead of having to travel to Be’er Sheva, Eilat or Tel Aviv.

At the opening ceremony, Rosenthal cut the ribbon and unveiled a plaque dedicating the facility in memory of his wife, Ruth.

Rosenthal addressed a cheering audience of 300 local residents, saying, “I only played a very small part in this project. I guess what I really did was to light the flame that created the spark…”

He added, “The library took some years to complete, and unfortunately my wife couldn’t see it finished. I’m sure that she is enjoying this inauguration this evening as well, and that wherever she is, God is with her.”

Arava Regional Council head Lilach Morgan said the auditorium will host cultural events and the simchahs of this and future generations.

Robert Einav, of the Israel residents committee of UIA Federations Canada, thanked Rosenthal for the auditorium and also for having donated the library.

Victor Yagoda, deputy director general of UIA Federations Canada, said that “being here today is really a celebration after all the years of efforts by Micky and everyone else who helped complete this auditorium.”