The Norman Lesh Philanthropy Award



Award Details:


Valued at $10,000, the award will be presented at the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation Annual General Meeting and is subject to the discretion of the Awards Committee.




The recipient(s) of The Norman Lesh Philanthropy Award must propose an idea for an innovative and creative philanthropic, entrepreneurial activity that offers the potential for ongoing benefits to the Ottawa Jewish community, or surrounding communities.




The Norman Lesh Philanthropy Award honours the legacy of a tireless community leader. Norman Lesh, who was born and raised in Ottawa, gave unlimited time, and boundless energy to the betterment of the Jewish and broader community.


His devotion transcended philosophic and religious differences. Above all, he inspired and supported initiatives that were both innovative and creative. As a philanthropist and a businessman, he displayed an ability to see outside of the box. This forward and creative thinking led to the development of unique and hugely successful fundraiser tools that raised millions of dollars for our community and city.


This award now aims at encouraging other innovative thinkers to develop their own philanthropic legacy. To learn more about Norman Lesh, read this article in the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin..


Applications will open on January 25, 2022 and will close on April 15, 2022.

Grant Guidelines

Application Form


For information, please contact the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation at or 613-798-4696, ext. 252.


Past recipients of the Norman Lesh Philanthropy award

2017 - Tamir - Stepping Out in Style fashion show

2018 - Hillel Lodge LTC Foundation - Viceo Campaign Project

2019 - Ottawa Torah Center - First Annual Ottawa Kosher BBQ Cook-off and Festival

Paul Finn presents the Norman Philanthropy Award to Rabbi Menachem Blum, 2019

In 2020, because of the sudden shut down brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, the Norman Lesh Philanthropy Award was not granted – put simply, it is impossible to fund programs that currently could not run. Instead, the Lesh family donated their grant to Tamir to help manage the extra costs caused by the pandemic.