By Stacy Goldstein and Tamara Fathi
‘What a great way to spotlight the next generation of Jewish leadership!’ we both thought when Ottawa’s Ben-Gurion Society (BGS) was asked to collectively chair the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s 2016 Annual Campaign kickoff event.
The BGS is a donor recognition program and networking forum for those under the age of 45 who make an annual gift of at least $1,000 to the Annual Campaign. We choose to be part of this donor group because we staunchly believe in the principles upon which BGS was founded with the goal to build a strong and responsible Jewish community at home, in Israel, and around the world. BGS and its 31 members in Ottawa now have this wonderful opportunity to flex our young leadership muscles and plan one of the largest community events – launching Federation’s Annual Campaign – the engine that drives our community.
As engaged and driven leaders in the young adult community, and as a current (Stacy) and past (Tamara) member of the Federation’s board, it seemed right that the two of us step forward to represent the BGS in co-chairing this year’s Kickoff event on Wednesday, September 9 at Centrepointe Theatre.
When planning the program, it was very important to us that we follow in the footsteps of those who came before us – the dedicated donors and community leaders who have led by example and inspired our involvement. We maintained the goal of helping to shape our Ottawa Jewish community of the future, by being the next generation of young Jewish leaders and philanthropists. With this in mind, we have planned a program that includes a variety of featured speakers who reflect both a traditional and novel approach to community engagement.
We are hosting what we are fondly calling FED Talks, which is based on the well-known TED Talks format devoted to spreading ideas via short powerful talks by some of the most engaging speakers around the world sharing innovative and inspiring ideas. We wanted to engage young, dynamic and philanthropic trailblazers in today’s world to share their innovative ideas and approaches based on one theme, “L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation: inspiring and empowering future generations.”
We were thrilled to get renowned social entrepreneur, and co-founder of Free the Children, Marc Kielburger, and Jew in the City blogger and outreach maven, Allison Josephs. Plus, a little levity will be added to the program with the help of comedian and Ottawa native Jon Steinberg.
Although our generation is often perceived as the “What’s in it for me?” generation, we want the community to know that we, and all of BGS, are committed and engaged young Jewish adults with a strong desire to make a difference, to lead by example and to inspire others to get involved to ensure our community continues to thrive L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.
We are thrilled by the initial positive response to FED Talks and hope to see you there!
The Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s 2016 Annual Campaign Kickoff is Wednesday, September 9, 7:30 pm, at Centrepointe Theatre, 101 Centrepointe Drive. Tickets are $20 and are available at www.centrepointetheatre.com. For more information, contact Rena Garshowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-798-4696, ext. 241.