“Together, we will ensure that the future of Ottawa’s Jewish community is secure and vibrant,” said Andrea Freedman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation.
Freedman was speaking at the Foundation’s annual general meeting, June 8, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre where attendees were briefed on the Foundation’s successful fiscal year and on the importance of philanthropy to the future of Ottawa’s Jewish community.
Freedman discussed the power donations have, as well as the historic generosity of the Jewish people, and said she hopes to see more and more people donating this upcoming fiscal year.
“The time for action is now,” Freedman stated. “Now is the time for all of us to consider formalizing a legacy gift in our wills and ensuring the community’s needs are met for all future generations.”
“The Foundation is a thriving organization and is always trying to raise the bar higher,” said Foundation Chair Michael Landau. “Here is to next year and the many years after.”
Shelley Crawford, the Federation and Foundation chief financial officer, reported that, despite the turbulent financial markets of the past year, the Foundation was able to end the financial year with a positive 3.7 per cent return on investment. Furthermore, the Foundation received more than $2 million in endowment gifts and was able to allocate $2,682,853 to various charities.
“To me, this says our Jewish population of 14,000 is incredible. It’s incredible, it’s dedicated and it’s caring.” said Federation Chair Linda Kerzner.
The Foundation’s annual George Joseph Cooper Scholarship – valued this year at $16,075 – was presented to Shelby Levine.
“On top of academic excellence, Shelby is a community role model and leader. As president of Hillel Ottawa, she welcomes new students to our community while advocating for Jewish values on campus. A volunteer at Hillel Lodge, a past Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa staff member and supervisor, this active community member also took part in Federation’s social action mission to Israel two years ago to help youth in Metulla, our sister city in Israel’s north,” said Harold Feder, a past chair of the Foundation who sits on the Cooper Scholarship Selection Committee.
Levine will use the scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in psychology at the University of Ottawa. She said she hopes, one day, to make as significant a contribution to someone else’s life as receiving the Cooper Scholarship is making to hers.
The Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program grant – valued at $2,000 was presented to Ausome Ottawa, an organization that works with families with children with autism, offering sports and other recreational programs.
In his D’var Torah, Rabbi Howard Finkelstein of Congregation Beit Tikvah stressed the importance of Jewish unity and philanthropy.