Kara Goodwin joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, August 7, as the new director of community collaboration.
Goodwin’s responsibilities include building connections between Jewish community agencies and partners, managing grants and allocations to fund programs, and overseeing Israeli partnership activities, such as the Shinshinim program and Partnership2Gether.
She succeeds Scott Goldstein who has moved to London, Ontario to head up Hillel at Western University.
Goodwin grew up in Brockville, Ontario, and went on to earn her BA in English at the University of Guelph and her MA at Concordia University in Montreal. She then worked in journalism and high-tech before founding the technical communications firm, Arkeveld Communications.
Goodwin lived in Saint John, New Brunswick for 15 years before moving to Calgary, where she enrolled her children at the Calgary Jewish Academy. Goodwin said this resulted in her family becoming more involved in Jewish life.
“When you’re a family coming to a new place without any connections, the Jewish Community Centre can be a really powerful support,” she said. “I think a lot of our engagement in the Jewish community is about making family life better.”
In Calgary, Goodwin changed career direction and began working with the Jewish community. At the Calgary Jewish Federation, she served as director of community relations and communications and as a Holocaust education facilitator, working with second-generation Holocaust survivors to help them tell their families’ stories.
Goodwin brings a passion for people and relationship building to her new job, as well as “experience in process management and improvement.” She says her job is all about making complex ideas easy to understand for people.
“A big part of my role here is not only relationship building and getting people to work together with the Federation, but helping everyone understand their roles and responsibilities and how to work together efficiently and effectively,” she said.
As part of Federation’s Jewish Superhighway initiative, Goodwin is conducting a research project looking at the cost of Jewish life in Ottawa. In her first few weeks on the job, she also prepared for the arrival and welcome of Ottawa’s new Shinshinim, Liam Afota and Inbar Haimovich. The shinshinim, young emissaries from Israel who will spend a year volunteering in the Jewish community, arrived here August 26 (watch for an interview with Liam and Inbar in the September 17 issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin).
Goodwin said her short-term goal is to getting to know the people in the Jewish community here.
“The key to success, I think, is really people. Working with people, building relationships and listening to people so we can all work together effectively is really important.”