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Judaism Jewish Community Honours Sikh Philanthropist

May 23, 2009
Jewish community honours Sikh philanthropist
Presenting the award to Marwah, centre, are Words and Deeds dinner co-chair Tom O’Neill, left, and honorary co-chair Hari Panday. [Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf photo]

TORONTO — The Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto last week honoured Sarabjit S. “Sabi” Marwah with the 2009 Words & Deeds Leadership Award.

The award is presented to community “leaders whose contribution to humanitarian causes, tolerance and inclusion in Canadian society has been outstanding,” according to CIJA and UJA Federation.

Marwah – vice-chair and chief operating officer of Scotiabank – was fêted at a gala dinner at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto by more than 700 guests, including numerous dignitaries, politicians and Jewish and Sikh community leaders. He was recognized for his ongoing philanthropic efforts with United Way Toronto, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and his previous service on the Board of Canadian Council of Christians and Jews.

In his acceptance speech, Marwah thanked the Jewish community for the award and said Jews and Sikhs share many commonalities.

“The fact that I, a Sikh, am being honoured tonight by the Jewish community is a striking illustration of our common humanity,” he said.

“I recently learned of a Jewish proverb that says ‘do not be wise in words, be wise in deeds,’ which is what this award is all about,” he added. “It is also reminiscent of a Sikh tenet which [states], ‘Being good is a virtue; but doing good is a greater virtue.’”


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