I became director of Emerging Generation at a very exciting time as the Jewish Federation of Ottawa had just released its new strategic plan, and it includes lofty and exciting goals specifically for the Emerging Generation (EG).
The plan presents the EG as the future of our community and says we must “engage this cohort in Jewish life while instilling a spirit of philanthropy.” Specific and measureable goals are outlined for our division, including a 30 per cent increase in dollars to be raised each year for the next five years with a doubling of the donor base in that time frame. While there is a strong focus on Annual Campaign dollars raised and donor numbers, I think it’s important to note the plan recognizes that the demographic will not be engaged in giving if they are not first engaged in the Jewish community.
These are big goals, but we are already well on our way! Under the leadership of Arielle Kreisman and Adam Aronson, co-chairs of the EG campaign, our canvassers have answered the call to action and the campaign is trending to finish on target of our goal.
The EG Kickoff Pre-party (generously sponsored by David Smith) was a huge success. More than 60 members of the EG division from all sectors of the community came out for sushi and cocktails and to be inspired by Jerry Greenfield’s moving message. And more than 40 young families joined us for Sundaes in the Sukkah put on jointly by the EG division, PJ Library, Machzikei Hadas and the Glebe Shul.
We are moving in the right direction. Now we need to focus on maintaining the momentum.
How are we going to do this? We are currently putting the final touches on the EG steering committee. The committee, representing a cross-section of the demographic, will help to develop the strategic goals of the division and will help in the brainstorming of programming ideas. We will continue partnering with agencies and shuls in the community to broaden our reach to different sectors of the demographic. Most importantly, I will keep meeting with the EG in our community. I want to hear how my peers feel this division can be more engaging, stimulate more connections with the community, and can develop the Emerging Generation into the future leaders of our community.
Arielle Fainer is director of the Emerging Generation at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-798-4696, ext. 240.