Community coming together

Campaign event speakers share powerful messages of unity

Last week's Annual Campaign event, Raise your Voice for CommUNITY, combined musical entertainment and the message that our community can do amazing things when we work together.

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa spoke with volunteers and community members to look at just that — the importance of working together. For those who may have missed the event, we are happy to share the testimonials from participants. Here’s what they had to say.

“Growing up in the Ottawa Jewish Community … volunteer work was not only a requirement to graduate but an important community value that has stuck with me,” says Benjamin Kershman. “I raise my voice for those in marginalized communities.”

“Being raised in the Ottawa Jewish community gave me a real sense of connection and a group of people in my life united to a common goal,” said Zachary Kershman. “I didn’t always appreciate it when I was in it.”

Listen to Benjamin and Zachary’s full messages here:


“I have been canvassing for the Jewish community for years,” said Julie Fine. “My mother always said to me it costs nothing to smile, say hello and be polite.”

“A few years ago when I was first asked to make canvassing calls I said yes!” said Merle Haltrecht-Matte. ”I can tell through the phone line that the person is glad to have the call — and glad to help the Federation.”

Haltrecht-Matte ends her message with a call to volunteers: "I love that the community sticks together despite any differences, so don't shy away from being a volunteer. Pick something easy to start with. Making kindness calls, for example, can be very rewarding. Try it!"

Hear more about why Campaign canvassers Julie and Merle do what they do:

Learn more about the Annual Campaign: