By Francie Greenspoon
Jewish Federation of Ottawa
Ottawa’s incredible Jewish community has once again answered the call to meet the needs of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s beneficiary agencies and the many people they serve.
Thanks to the tireless work of hundreds of dedicated canvassers and volunteers, the Campaign leadership of Jeff Miller and Leiba Krantzberg, and the support of many generous donors, Campaign 2015 raised the bar on the community’s fundraising, approaching $4.3 million by April 2015 as pledges continue to come in.
Looking at the numbers, the Annual Campaign reflects the great work of the team. The Campaign to date has 2,013 donors, 33 per cent of whom increased their gift, with more than 200 new donors. One hundred and twenty-eight Emerging Generation participants gave more than $24,500, a substantial increase over
last year. The funds raised support more than two dozen local agencies in delivering quality services to those in need while reinforcing our connection to Israel and the Jewish world through advocacy, programming and direct support.
“We have been so very fortunate to have had the incredible passion, talent and commitment of Jeff and Leiba in leading an increased Annual Campaign,” said Federation President and CEO Andrea Freedman. “I would like to sincerely thank Leiba for all her hard work and tremendous contribution to the campaign. I know we are in good hands with the continued leadership of Jeff and the strong addition of incoming Women’s Campaign Chair Sharon Appotive. As Sharon takes the reins from Leiba, we are truly going from strength to strength.”
Together, Jeff and Sharon hope to engage and inspire volunteers and canvassers to build upon and beyond this year’s success.
“I’ve known Sharon a long time and I am very excited about her vision for the Campaign and what she brings to the table. She will be a key to the success of the Campaign,” said Jeff. “In 2016, we’re going to focus on increasing the donor participation rate across all demographics. Our goals are lofty, but we believe in our team and our community’s generosity.”
Sharon, who is no stranger to volunteering, was an original member of the Young Women’s Leadership Program. She has been an active canvasser for the Annual Campaign, and co-chaired the Chai-Pomegranate and Lion of Judah Divisions for a number of years. After seeing the tremendous impact community institutions like Hillel Academy, Camp B’nai Brith and the March of the Living had on her three children, and experiencing first-hand the tremendous care and support provided to her mother and father at Hillel Lodge, she now feels it’s her turn and responsibility to give back.
“I hope to play my part in ensuring that Ottawa’s Jewish community continues to thrive,” said Sharon. “I want to impress upon people that we can all make a difference in our own individual way and that each of us has a responsibility and role to play in ensuring that our community continues to be strong and vital for future generations.”
Campaign volunteers and staff are already meeting to map out the upcoming Campaign. As both needs and costs continue to increase and new challenges arise, Jeff and Sharon want to make a difference in the community by inspiring donors and volunteers to raise the bar once again for the 2016 Campaign.