Ottawa’s Jewish community was founded by caring people who wanted to create a city with a thriving Jewish heritage. The schools, synagogues, aid societies, Jewish community centre, and camps were all built by previous generations and we are proud of the contributions they made. Now, as co-chairs of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s 2018 Annual Campaign, we know quite clearly that it is our turn to step up.
We each want to make a difference in the lives of Ottawa Jews, now and in the future, and we each have our own special causes.
As a “newer” resident of Ottawa, I am amazed by what this community has achieved. My husband Jonathan and I have three daughters, Liat, Tal-Or, and Elishua, all of whom attended the Ottawa Jewish Community School and Yitzhak Rabin High School, and also took part in March of the Living. Our educational facilities and programs help anchor the next generation in our culture and deepen our Jewish roots. In recent years, the PJ Library program has made great inroads in connecting young Jewish families. Jewish reading material is sent right into homes and creates a lasting impression.
Having lived in Israel and Canada, supporting our Jewish homeland comes naturally. Amid all the politics, we must remember that Israel alone is the protector of Jewish freedom in the world and, as such, needs our support.
Sadly, we don’t need to look far away to find people in need of help. There are those among us who are lonely, hungry or in despair. With communal effort, we can make a difference, not only overseas, but, most importantly, in our own community. This is why I volunteer. Please join me in making a difference.
As an Ottawa-born-and-raised Jew, I am deeply committed to continuing the traditions and hard work started by the generation before me. I am filled with a deep awareness that our current success is because we stand on the shoulders of the visionaries and leaders who devoted so much energy to create a thriving Jewish community.
I grew up benefiting from Hillel Academy, JCC Day Camp, Sunday Fun Day, and Camp B’nai Brith. My husband David and I have three children, Ryan, Jaye, and Brody, who have all enjoyed the tremendous impact of various community institutions. I also witnessed firsthand the tremendous care provided to my beloved parents at Hillel Lodge. These connections have motivated me and inspire me to give back. We also never know what is around the corner; unforeseen circumstances can arise when we, too, will need to call on one of our agencies for help. Please join me in supporting these organizations today so they will always be there for everyone in times of need.
To reach our goals, we have introduced the Chai Challenge. This is a special initiative, symbolic of the year 2018, where we are urging donors to be a lifeline and to increase their Campaign gift by a multiple of $18. Whether you give an additional $36 or $1,800, every dollar adds up to make a difference.
We invite you to join us on Sunday, September 17 for the 2018 Annual Campaign Kickoff. Hillel Neuer, of UN Watch, is the keynote speaker. He is a human rights activist who emphasizes the impact of his Canadian heritage and Jewish roots on his work. We also have a special afternoon event for younger families and children, featuring a singalong with beloved entertainers Sharon and Bram. Visit www.jewishottawa.com for tickets and more info.