It was with immense sadness that we announced the passing of Frances Bigman z”l, Director of Advancement at TanenbaumCHAT, who died on March 29, 2024.

Frances was born in 1956 in Montreal and grew up in Chomedey. In 1997, she made the move west to Toronto, establishing a career as a fundraiser extraordinaire. With an unwavering dedication to Jewish education, Frances worked tirelessly in our Advancement Department for nearly two decades, and was intent on helping to secure the future of Toronto’s sole community Jewish high school.

It was, as she often said, “by the grace of the community” that she was able to send her daughter, Shawna Maron ’06, to Jewish day school – a personal story that she never hesitated to share and one that informed and bolstered her commitment to ensuring financial accessibility. Under her direction, philanthropy at TanenbaumCHAT grew significantly, and the annual fund campaign she established has provided thousands of students the opportunity to benefit from a TanenbaumCHAT experience.

Frances also executed a host of successful capital campaigns. Her efforts significantly transformed the school, contributing to the establishment of the Meyer/Finkelstein Gymnasium, the Guttman Family Science Wing, the current construction of a new extension, and many other facilities. Some of her visionary programming ideas, born of her creative out-of-the-box thinking, included the school’s Jubilee celebrations and the incredibly popular Generations Day. She prioritized the development of a culture of philanthropy, and her warm and outgoing personality allowed her to forge lasting relationships within our TanenbaumCHAT community.

Colleagues and friends remember Frances for her kindness, her humour, the delightful videos she shared of her granddaughters, Ivy and Aidan and, above all, her love of TanenbaumCHAT and steadfast passion for Jewish education.

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