We are honoured to be the chairs of the 2018 Annual Campaign Kickoff. We take on this responsibility with a deep commitment to the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, to our Jewish community, to our country, and to our homeland of Israel.
We moved to Ottawa in June 2000 and, very quickly, this became our home, in the truest sense of the word. We are both originally from Montreal and our three children – Noah, Matthew and Julie – were born in Toronto. Our decision to move to Ottawa was based primarily on quality of life and proximity to extended family. We each have siblings in Ottawa and Montreal and all four grandparents were in Montreal as well. While raising a young family is busy and challenging, Ottawa offers calmness, a sense of balance, and a lifestyle that we appreciated immediately and we continue to value so greatly.
Our children went to Hillel Academy (now the Ottawa Jewish Community School) which was our initial introduction to the Ottawa Jewish community. We were welcomed with open arms, developing meaningful friendships and connections throughout the years. We have embraced all that the city has to offer – a dynamic Jewish community, a strong cultural centre, and one of the best playgrounds for cycling, running, swimming, skating, skiing and hiking.
We are extremely excited to have Hillel Neuer join us as the keynote speaker for the Kickoff event on Sunday, September 17. He is executive director of UN Watch and a human rights activist, speaking out against injustices throughout the world. A native Montrealer who emphasizes the impact of his Canadian heritage and Jewish roots on his path in life, Neuer is an inspirational individual and an important role model for people of all ages.
We are also continuing the wonderful initiative started by the Dolansky family, last year’s Kickoff chairs, in creating an event for younger families and children. We are looking forward to an entertaining afternoon program with Sharon and Bram, sharing their enthusiasm in bringing generations together through song.
As Canada celebrates 150 years, we are so proud to have Canadian-born guests with us at this year’s launch event. It is important for us to recognize the significant and varied contributions Jews have made to our country and around the world, helping to strengthen the fabric of our nation.
Federation supports and nurtures a wide variety of programs and beneficiary agencies to help strengthen our Jewish community. It also provides support for the State of Israel. The act of giving, whether financially or personally through volunteering, is a gratifying experience. We have a responsibility to carry on the legacy of those who came before us and who devoted themselves to building the tremendous Jewish community we all benefit from in Ottawa. By engaging in our community we create and further develop meaningful connections with each other. As we commit ourselves to strengthening our foundation, we are confident in the knowledge that what we are building today will sustain itself for our children, and for many generations to come.
We look forward to the community coming together on September 17 for what we believe will be an exceptional event. We wish everyone a wonderful summer, enjoying all that our great city has to offer.