FED Talks – inspired by the internationally successful TED Talks format – is the format for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s 2016 Annual Campaign Kickoff set for Wednesday, September 9, 7:30 pm, at Centrepointe Theatre.
This year’s kickoff is jointly chaired by members of the Ben-Gurion Society of Ottawa, a donor recognition program and networking forum for individuals under age 45 who make an annual gift of at least $1,000 to the Annual Campaign.
Embodying the theme of L’dor v’dor (from generation to generation), the evening will focus on empowering future generations through inspiring talks given by three featured speakers: Marc Kielburger, Allison Josephs and Jon Steinberg.
Marc Kielburger, co-founder with his brother, Craig Kielburger, of Me to We and Free the Children, will speak about how to put the “me to we” philosophy into action. The philosophy is based on “moving from doing things for oneself to being community minded,” said Kielburger who will touch on personal experiences and stories of inspiring people he’s met to “empower young people to be active local and global citizens.”
Kielburger runs a number of youth empowerment initiatives, including the We Act program and We Day events that engage 2.3 million youths across North America and the United Kingdom, including thousands in the Ottawa area.
“Young people are inspired by action, and the example set by their friends, family and members of their community today,” said Kielburger, who believes that setting a good example for future generations is “the key to changing the world for tomorrow.”
Allison Josephs, a Jewish outreach specialist, is the founder and director of Jew in the City – http://jewinthecity.com/ – a website whose mission is “to break down stereotypes about religious Jews and offer a humorous, meaningful outlook into Orthodox Judaism.” Josephs is focused on empowering future generations by making Jewish values relevant for today.
“It’s not about doing what our grandparents did,” said Josephs. “We have to strive to find a way to be actively engaged [in Judaism] and make it about our daily lives.”
Josephs has prepared a talk entitled “You Don’t Got to Flaunt It, Even If You Got It,” on Jewish modesty and how it relates to body image and the influence of celebrity culture.
Even if we don’t realize it, Josephs feels that the “sexist trope, ‘if she’s got it, flaunt it,’ is … trickling down [from celebrity culture] into our own ideas of our body.”
Comedian Jon Steinberg – an Ottawa native – is also looking to influence the next generation.
“Comedy is something that develops from one generation to the next. I’ve definitely been influenced by comics that came before me,” he said.
While some of the comedians that inspired him were Jewish, Steinberg added that the overall number of Jewish comedians is declining, and he wants to encourage future Jewish generations to pursue comedy.
Although Steinberg is still preparing his FED Talks act, he said he’ll be touching on the topic of “comedy and Jewish people in comedy.” He also said he’s excited to be performing in his hometown, something he rarely gets the chance to do.
For more information about the 2016 Annual Campaign Kickoff, contact Rena Garshowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-798-4696, ext. 241. Tickets are $20 and are on sale now at www.centrepointetheatre.com.