Michael Landau will receive the 2018 Shem Tov Community Volunteer Award from the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. The award is given annually to an outstanding volunteer for a lifetime of service dedicated to the betterment and enrichment of Jewish life in Ottawa.
Landau began fundraising for the United Jewish Appeal in Toronto while he was still in dental school there.
“When I came back here in 1991, I kept on fundraising,” said Landau, now 54. “My parents did volunteer work as long as I can remember; it’s just something you do. You somehow discover you’re comfortable with it, and you just keep on.
“Whatever it is you do outside your regular job, do it because it’s satisfying not because you’re forced to, or someone made you. It’s not a chore, it’s fulfilling,” he said.
“With everything I do, what’s important is the interaction with people. It’s interaction with people at a different level compared to your work, and it’s very interesting and enjoyable… The hope is my children, who are now in university or beyond, will learn from what I do. I hope that in their time they will take on their responsibility as best they can.”
Landau has an extensive history chairing major community fundraisers such as golf tournaments, Federation’s Annual Campaign and the community walkathon.
He is the immediate past-chair of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation and currently sits on the Foundation’s board and fundraising committee. In addition to these leadership roles, he helps the community in other ways, whether serving as a gabbai at Kehillat Beth Israel or as a member of the Chevra Kadisha, he always makes himself available to lend a helping hand.
“When I’m asked to volunteer for something, I’m thankful for being given the opportunity to help in some way and to be valued in such a way that I can help,” he said. “It means that someone values my abilities and I’m appreciative of that.”
“Michael’s volunteer activities could be best described as continuous and considerate,” wrote Maxine Miska, assistant executive director of the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (SJCC) in her letter nominating Landau for the Shem Tov Award. “He does what needs to be done for many community organizations, and he embodies the principles of kindness and respect.”
“Fundraising for the community at various levels seems to be a lifelong endeavour,” said Landau. “I hope to always do what I can, however I can.”
The 2018 Community Service Awards will be presented at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, June 20, 7 pm, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. For more information, contact Solange Ashe at email@example.com or 613-798-4696, ext. 236.