There are many reasons why partnerships between local Jewish organizations are important. Among them is that when we collaborate, we are creating an accepting, inclusive, and unified community.
Last summer, I met with Cindy Presser Benedek and Abigail Freeman of Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa (CBB) to discuss the idea of a partnership between CBB and Hillel Ottawa. We felt there was a direct and obvious connection between Hillel Ottawa participants and CBB staff and alumni. We thought that working together would help realize some of our long-term goals to ensure community unity, facilitate one’s Jewish journey, and create a stronger and more vibrant Jewish community.
On the weekend of September 15 to 17, 2017, CBB hosted Hillel Ottawa’s Student Executive Leadership and Advocacy Shabbaton at the camp. It was a weekend filled with team building, leadership and advocacy training, and an incredible Shabbat experience.
Cindy and Abigail then went a step further and collaborated on a camp-themed Shabbat dinner. On January 12, a freezing Friday night, over 140 Jewish students attended Hillel’s camp-style Shabbat dinner. Abigail attended the Shabbat dinner on behalf of CBB and gave an inspirational D’var Torah, and discussed the amazing opportunities for young adults to work at the camp.
Events, opportunities, and partnerships like these are small yet significant steps in creating and ensuring a vibrant and growing Jewish community here in Ottawa. We at Hillel Ottawa now look forward to working with CBB again in the future!