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Message from the CEO - Jewish Federation of Winnipeg March 2018

March 7, 2018

Dear Community Members,

This is crunch time! The 2017-2018 CJA Campaign closes March 31st and we are so close to reaching our goal. Once we reach that goal, we will be able to provide much needed operational funding to our 12 local and 6 national and overseas partner agencies. Learn more about these agencies and the wonderful work they do here. Your donation ensures that our partner agencies continue to meet ongoing needs and that we move forward with excellence as a caring community. If you have never made a donation, today is the perfect day to start as it is never too late to make a difference; now is a great time. Donate now.

The campaign is now at $5,729,528 and we have welcomed 234 new donors. Thank you to each donor! Our campaign department is active all year round and we welcome your feedback at any time. Please contact me with any comments, suggestions or questions. Thank you to Steve Kroft and the entire campaign team! Watch for more highlights in my April CEO email once the campaign officially closes.

Last month you received information regarding the Leave More Than Memories (LMTM) endowment re-launch and the 80 for 80 as part of our 80th anniversary. The more individuals who create or add to their own LMTM endowment fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba (JFM), the more secure our future will be. We are off to a great start! A fund can be opened for as little as $100 and you too can leave a legacy that will enrich lives within our community. Click here to create or build on your own LMTM endowment fund.

Over the next few months, various donors who have established a LMTM endowment fund will be highlighted in my CEO email. If you have a LMTM fund, we may be approaching you to share your unique story and message about why leaving a legacy is important to you or your family.

March is an event filled month with thought provoking presentations, culture, and great food; from Shabbat Across Winnipeg that began on Friday with an event for young adults to a weekend full of ideas and education at LimmudWe invite you to join us, along with Jewish Child and Family Service (JCFS) and JFM who have partnered to present Our Jewish Family: A Conference on Diversity and Inclusion on March 12th. This conference is an excellent example of our community coming together to make positive changes that we hope will ensure each new face and family feels welcome and included. This is a community where everyone counts! Please registerto join us for any of the sessions. As a community member or lay leader, the evening session is one you do not want miss.

Continue your learning by attending a Federation and Winnipeg Chapter of StandWithUs Canada co-hosted event on March 21st. We will be screening the award winning documentary film, “The Forgotten Refugees”, followed by a WordSwap project presentation. WordSwap members from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds (Bedouins, Druze, and Muslims) engage Canadian students in conversations to help them get to know Israel for what it really is - a complex, diverse and beautiful country. This will be their first time in Winnipeg so let’s give them a warm Winnipeg welcome! Click here to purchase tickets.

In April, the global Jewish community will publicly remember the Holocaust, honour Holocaust survivors and pay solemn respect to the over 6 million who were murdered during the Holocaust. Our community plans an entire week of Shoah commemoration. A full list of programs can be found here. The Federation plans two community programs that you are invited to:

  • April 8th Annual Community Holocaust service at Congregation Etz Chayim. March of the Living Alumni will be present as we mark the March’s 30th anniversary.
  • April 12th Public Yom HaShoah service on the MB Legislature grounds (inclement weather location inside the MB Legislature)

It may come as a surprise to you that many people are still unfamiliar with the Holocaust. We encourage you to not only attend an event, but invite a friend or colleague. If you would like to share some resources with friends or colleagues about the Holocaust, or would like to learn more yourself, the Holocaust Education Centre has provided us with links to a short video and a website full of valuable information and testimonials.

As we prepare for Shoah week programs, we were saddened by the Polish government’s recent decision to sign into law the amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance. The Holocaust Education Centre has sent a response as this amendment brings with it the possibility of a government-imposed fine or imprisonment to persons, both within and outside of Poland, who “ascribe to the Polish People or to the Polish state responsibility or co-responsibility for the Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich.” Many of our Winnipeg survivors originate from Poland. We are grateful for the courageous individuals who hid and protected many survivors. However, we cannot ignore the difficult stories of bystanders and of those who actively participated in the persecution and murder of their former Jewish neighbours and friends.

Our community welcomed child survivors of the Holocaust who were placed in homes with local families. Many of these children later formed a group called A.N.A.V. (Ezrat Noar Vaed-Help Youth Forever). In my April CEO email you will receive information on this special group of people and an event in their honour.

In May we will turn our attention to a time of celebration as we honour our community’s wonderful volunteers at the May 17 (please note new date) Kavod Evening at Congregation Shaarey Zedek. This evening is very inspiring. Please join us! This year's winners include:

  • David Asper, recipient of the Sol Kanee Distinguished Community Service Medal
  • Serky Goldberg, recipient of the Max and Mollie Shore Award
  • Josh Blatt, recipient of the Max Nathanson Young Leadership Award
  • Lindsey Leipsic, recipient of the Harry Silverberg Young Leader of Distinction Award
  • Emily Shane, recipient of the Larry Hurtig Jewish Communal Professional Award
  • Daniela Jacobsohn, recipient of the CJA Shem Tov Award

We invite you also to save the June 7th evening to attend a very special event with Gabi Ashkenazi Former head of the IDF. You will find more information on Mr. Ashkenazi and his upcoming visit to Winnipeg here.

National update

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, our national advocacy aprtner, has recently confirmed their new Board of Driectors which includes our very own Vice President, Joel Lazer. For more information click here.

Local update

Would you like to volunteer with one of our partner agencies?

Rady JCC Israel Pavilion – Shalom Square invites you to apply for Youth & Adult Ambassador Positions

Connecting families in our Community

If you are a new family in Winnipeg and would like to connect with families in our community email

If you are a family from Winnipeg and you would love to meet a new family that moved here from another country please email


Please join us for these upcoming events and programs:

Wishing you a Happy Pesach!

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.