Tributes

Becoming Human

Irene’s photo of Dr. Jean Vanier appears on the cover of the 10th  Anniversary Edition of “Becoming Human”- Published in 1998 by House of Anansi Press. Inc

“To Irene Borins Ash with my love- peace to you and to those you love. Keep on putting reality on paper to keep people awake”. Jean Vanier

Dr. Jean Vanier is the son of the late Governor General George Vanier and Pauline Vanier. Jean is a philosopher, social visionary, author of numerous books including “Becoming Human.” Jean founded L’Arche in 1964 for people with developmental disabilities. The homes are found in 35 countries. “Becoming Human” comprises the 1998 Massey Lectures and was broadcast in November 1998 as part of CBC Radio’s “Ideas series”. Jean is a Member of the Order of Canada, National Order of Quebec, Pacem in Terris Award and the coveted “Templeton Award”. Jean was friends with the late Mother Theresa and Pope Jean Paul 11.


Rings of Peace

“I applaud your act of social engagement for justice. May this begin a body of work that stretches the hearts and minds of all those who will be confronted with your images. Eyes forward.”

Chester Higgins Jr.
Chester Higgins Jr. is a renowned photographer for the New York Times and an author of several books including “The Nobility of Aging”.


“Irene, You are a gift and a blessing to the world. Your photo ministry is letting us all see and know what we all must do if we are to truly be ONE family.
Thank you for your faithfulness and the pictures.”

Gerald Durley
Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley is the pastor of the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Durley is a psychologist who was deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s. He is a board member of Interfaith Power & Light and is an environmentalist activist.


“It’s a great documentation of solidarity. Well done.”

V. Tony Hauser
Tony is renowned as one of Canada’s leading portrait photographers. He is an artist who has taken “the heritage of Yousuf Karsh and created a new style which is nevertheless in the same grand manner”.


“Great pics Irene on a very important day. This is Toronto at its best. We build in the good times the relationships that will sustain us in the bad times. The work that we have been doing for years is now paying off.

Be well and thanks for doing all you do.”

Councillor Joe Mihevc
Joe has a M.A. and PhD in Theology and Social Ethics, thesis on Holocaust Studies and Canadian Mennonites respectively. Joe is the Councillor representing Ward 21, St. Paul’s West. He is an advocate for strong neighborhoods, healthy communities and safe streets.


One Planet: Harnessing Hope – Videos

“Congratulations…a wonderful accomplishment and much needed to the conversation. And you certainly made the best of your journey in what Tom Barry would call contributing to “The Great Work”. (May I show your video in my Think Class at OCADU where I am teaching on this very subject?) Roberto

Roberto Chiotti, Principal Larkin Architect Limited” Architect for St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish.

“I am absolutely “blown away”by the beauty, meaning & substance of your Video! Yasher Koach (may you go in strength) to you on an amazing job!I am extremely proud of you and so proud to call you my close friend!!” Love Susan.

Susan Enid Mintz, M.S.W., R.S.W. Geriatric Outreach Social Worker- William Osler Health System & Social Worker Therapist. In 2016 Susan was awarded the William Osler Award for “Patient Experience and Compassionate Caring Award of Excellence.”

“Hey Girl!!! Way to go!!! I’ve just had time to watch the video!!! And how grand it is!!! Congratulations!!! I’ll be sending it along to friends. It is a great work and it shows such passion for our world!!! You deserve to be very proud!!!!”

Heather M. Beecroft, Director of Beecroft Fine Arts who has a life-long passion for nature and the Canadian landscape including all First Nations People and their art.

Honest Ed’s Closing Day Photo

“Lovely photo and wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it with me. People are fascinating and many don’t realize just how fascinating their lives are. They think they are living ordinary lives….No such thing. Blessings on your ministry as you continue to seek, capture and tell stories of human lives.”

The Reverend Canon Linda Nixon,
St. James Anglican Church- Cambridge, Ontario


“Thanks for sharing Irene. Note that it’s people like you who do the difficult work each and every day to remind us that we are all in this together, striving to make an inclusive difference through the passage of time so that we can leave a better world for those that follow.”

Cecil Ramnauth- of the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir
Community Leader and Chair of the Diversity and Community Engagement Committee (DACE) for the Town of Ajax. Cecil and others have been involved with “Hindu Heritage Month in November for the Province of Ontario”.


One Planet: Harnessing Hope

“I Nathan Leipciger, holocaust survivor and lay educator attest Irene Borins Ash to be a most sensitive and caring individual. She has demonstrated this through the nature and quality of her publications. Her interest and work in the field of promoting harmony and understanding among various groups and individuals is outstanding and praiseworthy. As a Holocaust survivor who has suffered and witnessed men’s inhumanity to men only because I was born to Jewish parents consider inter-faith dialogue essential in the quests for Tikun Olam (healing the world). Healing of the world must involve reducing if not eliminating hate and violence. Part of that quest must be to reach beyond understanding of how fragile our environment is and how our actions and inaction will affect our world and our wellbeing. I know, Irene is equally concerned with this matter. Irene Borins Ash is not only an advocate but a hands on participant.”

Nathan Leipciger was featured in Irene’s first Book, “Treasured Legacies: Older and Still Great” 2003, Second Story Press. Nate is a retired Consulting Engineer and a tireless speaker regarding the Holocaust and inter-faith understanding. Irene is thrilled to receive such a heartfelt endorsement.


“Irene’s lens captures people in action that are involved in working to help the environmental situation with the hope that action can make a possible difference in the world. She has created an exhibit entitled “One Planet: Harnessing Hope” and has captured images of people and organizations that are involved in helping to find solutions for our environmental issues today with the hope that awareness can help make a positive difference.”

This quote comes from The Reverend Canon Dr. Alice Medcof, Canadian representative to the International Anglican Woman’s Network.