Last fall, when Sharon Appotive invited me for coffee, she had more on her agenda than face-to-face canvassing for my annual Jewish Federation of Ottawa gift. After getting that out of the way, she graciously requested that I consider chairing Choices this year.
I was flattered, but a bit surprised. While I have volunteered for Federation in a number of capacities over the years, I have never been a member of the Choices committee. However, I could honestly say that I had attended every Choices event since its inception.
Like my predecessor, Shari Silber, whether or not the speaker or catering was perfect, I’d always enjoyed the camaraderie of the evening and the chance to connect with women I do not get to see very often. I recognized the importance of this event in bringing people together and strengthening our community. Therefore, I accepted Sharon’s offer, and am honoured to be chairing Choices at this very special milestone, its 10th anniversary.
On Tuesday, November 1, following months of hard work on the part of a very dedicated committee, and with wonderful support from a team of Federation staff, Choices will take place at Kehillat Beth Israel. Our goal is to fill the room with 300 women, representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives, for an informative and inspiring evening. Ten years is reason for celebration, and this year’s Choices promises to be a special and memorable event.
This year, we are thrilled to welcome Jeannie Smith as our guest speaker. Jeannie will share the moving story of her mother, Irene Gut Opdyke, a Polish woman who bravely rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Irene is an inspirational figure who has been honoured as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for her life-saving actions. You can read more about Jeannie and her mother’s story in the September 26 issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – or online at http://tinyurl.com/choices-2016. Irene’s compelling book, In My Hands, will be available for sale at Choices for $15.
Choices is the premiere event of Jewish Federation of Ottawa Women’s Campaign. By attending Choices and making our own, meaningful gifts to Federation’s Annual Campaign, the women of our community are collectively supporting our many Jewish agencies. We are helping our elderly, our vulnerable and our children. We are supporting Israel and we are sending our young adults there to see it for themselves. We are contributing to the future of our Jewish community. You can be a part of that.
Our evening will begin at 5:30 pm, with the opportunity to mingle over wine and delicious hors d’oeuvres by Creative Kosher Catering. Our engaging speaker will follow and then dinner. Couvert for the evening is $54, and all attending are expected to make a meaningful gift to the Annual Campaign. The suggested minimum gift is $150 or an increase over last year’s gift. First time donors under the age of 40 are welcome to make a gift of $36.
Choices participants are typically invited by table captains who reach out to friends, family and colleagues to join them at their respective tables. However, this is a community event and everyone is welcome. If you wish to attend and have not yet been approached by a table captain, you can register online at www.jewishottawa.com/choices and we will find you a table.
For more information about Choices, contact Judy Toombs at 613-798-4696, ext. 305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you at Choices on November 1. #CHOICEScelebrates10