By now, I hope you have read the wonderful news about the $5.1-million grant from the Ontario government and $2.5 million from The Azrieli Foundation to build Tamir’s Integrated Living Centre on the Jewish community campus. This is exciting news for Tamir and our entire Jewish community. The announcement of $7.6 million in new funds flowing to Tamir and Ottawa’s Jewish community is epic, and I am not overstating the case.
Tamir had a bold vision for a new model of how best to support individuals with development disabilities. They worked extremely hard, with a handful of key stakeholders, including the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, to bring their vision to reality. It has taken time and persistence, but by 2020, we will all see and benefit from this project.
This collaboration of people from the developmental services field, the political arena and the community is a shining example of what we can all accomplish when we work together. Going forward we can take inspiration from what Tamir’s collaboration has achieved with the knowledge that together we can reach our goals and help address other areas of need in our community.
Virtually whenever I can, I speak and write about the Jewish Superhighway – interconnected, meaningful experiences and Jewish journeys, where Jewish life is vibrant and no one is left behind. The Jewish superhighway is about forward-thinking investments in our community, like Tamir’s Integrated Living Centre (ILC).
Let me share three thoughts:
First, compassionate care for our most vulnerable is a key tenet of the Jewish Superhighway. Just as Federation’s Annual Campaign has changed over time, so has the field of health services. Tamir’s development of the ILC’s model of comprehensive care, and even incorporating some housing for seniors as part of the project, is an important example of the evolution of the industry. The hope is that this becomes the model for Ontario.
Second, the Jewish Superhighway is about inclusion. It has been said that the true measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. By this standard, the entire community should take enormous pride in Tamir’s ILC, which will not only expand care for people with disabilities and seniors, but will bring them into the centre of our communal life by operating right in the midst of the Jewish campus. Residents and clients will be able to benefit from the proximity to the Soloway JCC and be able to join in community programs and social events. The ILC itself will offer a community hub for our entire community with new facilities and fresh opportunities for engagement among individuals and organizations on campus.
Finally, the Jewish Superhighway is about raising the bar – raising the bar so that we can do business differently, so we can do business even better. I can think of no better way of launching our vision of the Jewish Superhighway than by celebrating Tamir’s ILC! Mazel tov to all those who worked so hard to make this happen.
Welcome back, Michael!
While I have enjoyed writing this column for the Bulletin, I am truly delighted to cede the space back to our editor Michael Regenstreif who has sufficiently recovered from surgery and is ready to take back the reins. We missed Michael and are grateful to interim editor Laura Robin and Federation’s communications director Pauline Colwin for doing all the heavy lifting the past few months.