Elham and Joseph Farah weren’t familiar with the community foundation concept until recently but they discovered a true meeting of minds when a friend referred them to Hamilton Community Foundation.
For this globally-conscious couple, it became an easy decision to develop their family foundation – a long-time goal of theirs – within HCF. “I like the way the Foundation operates and the work that they have been doing in the community,” says Elham, a learning resource teacher for children with special needs. “At the Foundation we are with a group of people that share the same vision, who want to bring people together and improve life in Hamilton.”
Joseph, a busy entrepreneur who owns the Farahs Food Mart, Hasty Market and Mini-Mart convenience store chains, adds that HCF’s experience in managing endowment funds was a strong selling point. “We’d be in a learning process, and I don’t have the time to do it. This way, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel and we have the comfort of being part of a successful foundation.”
Parents to three children, all young adults, the Farahs make time for volunteer work, with Joseph sitting on the Hamilton Health Sciences board of directors, and Elham active in the Canadian Club and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs.
The Farahs are both from Nazareth, the largest Arab-populated city in Israel, and have made Hamilton their home since the late 1970s. It’s no coincidence that their interest leans toward creating forums for education and understanding. “We were born and raised in a different culture,” Elham explains. “I believe it’s important to share the human experience, to exchange ideas and knowledge. As a society we need to pay more attention to human development.”
The Farah’s fund will support educational and cultural projects that promote tolerance and understanding.
Excerpt from 2005-2006 Annual Report