Micah Garten, a fundraising professional who grew up in Ottawa as a rabbi’s son, was appointed director of development for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation in August.
As director of development, Garten works with donors to enhance the impact their donations make in the community.
“For the past eight years, I’ve been fundraising for different charities in Ottawa – all outside of the Jewish community,” said Garten who earned a certificate in fundraising management from Ryerson University in Toronto after completing his BA in political science at the University of Victoria. He is also working toward an MBA from the University of Fredericton. Most recently he was the manager of philanthropic relationships at Shepherds of Good Hope.
Garten and wife Jessica are the parents of Winn, an 11 month old daughter, and he says becoming a parent changed his perspective and priorities.
“Growing up in Ottawa, my father, Steven Garten, was the rabbi of Temple Israel,” he said.
But as the future fundraiser grew older, he became less involved in the synagogue and in the Jewish community.
“When my daughter was born, I realized how important the Jewish community is to me,” Garten said.
He says he wants her to have the same Jewish options he had growing up.
“There are so many activities in the Jewish community,” he said, “and Federation and the Foundation strongly enable them.”
Fundraising is wonderful, he said, because it is great to work with people with vision and who invest in making their vision happen; who invest in making a difference in the community.
“It’s very exciting to report to donors on how they made an impact,” he said. By giving money, “donors affirm their commitment – adding new things, new ideas.”
Garten said his job as director of development for Federation and the Foundation is to make donors feel excited about giving Jewishly.