Tamir, an organization supporting those with developmental disabilities in a Jewish environment, announced the launch of a new women’s initiative at the annual general meeting of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, held June 10 at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre.
The initiative, the Women’s Health and Wellness education series, will promote self-care and awareness for women already living and working semi-independently in Ottawa and will be funded by the Women’s Collective Endowment Fund (WCEF) grant for 2104.
The Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program (WCPP) awarded the $2,000 grant to Tamir in an effort to support the health and wellness of women with special needs.
“This education series has been in the works for more than a year, and the interest within the Tamir community is strong. Now, thanks to the WCPP, we can get this important project up and running,” said Mark Palmer, Tamir executive director.
“Our grant allocations committee was unanimous in its praise of this year’s recipient,” WCPP co-chair Yaffa Greenbaum said.
Steven Kimmel, chair of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, congratulated the leadership of both the Federation and the Foundation for an “outstanding year” of fundraising and community work, applauding all community members for their involvement in creating a “powerful legacy for our community and our children.”
Foundation Chair Lynne Oreck-Wener said the Foundation attracted 26 new donors this year and enjoyed a very strong fiscal year, with assets growing by almost 21 per cent.
“We have set an ambitious fundraising goal because there is no alternative,” said Andrea Freedman of the goal of $5 million in additional donations by 2018 that is part of the Foundation’s strategic plan.
“Together, with the Federation, the Foundation has a responsibility to meet the needs of our community’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged members” while investing in future generations, the president and CEO of the Federation and Foundation said.
The Foundation’s George Joseph Cooper Scholarship for leadership, academic excellence and involvement in the Jewish community was awarded to Elana Moscoe, 20. The scholarship, valued at approximately $14,000, is granted annually to a member of the Ottawa Jewish community between the ages of 18 and 30, and must be used for further education in artistic, literary or social sciences.
Moscoe, a Queen’s University student, had returned to Ottawa only a few days prior to the AGM after spending a semester in Israel studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“[Studying in Israel] was really cool because it gave me a chance to focus on my own Jewish growth,” she said. “It was really nice to kind of take a step back, and I got to meet people from all over the world.”
Moscoe, who is studying Jewish history and English concurrently with the teacher education program, said Jewish life has been an “integral component in [her] time at Queen’s” to the point where it is strongly influencing her career options.
“I’m hoping to combine my love for teaching and Judaism and communal work,” she said.
Moscoe was a key organizer of Holocaust Education Week at Queen’s, running the campaign for the past two years. She is also a member of the Israel on Campus executive, and is a fellow of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
This coming year, Moscoe will be co-president of Hillel at Queen’s, one of the first Queen’s students who is not from Toronto to fill that role.