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CJA Campaign Kicks Off!

Federation’s Financial Resource Development department is off and running for this year’s annual Combined Jewish Appeal, working with 200 dedicated volunteers to get the word out, inspire donors, and engage members of our community to meet this year’s campaign target of $5.8 million. 

Each of the Combined Jewish Appeal’s divisions has planned opening events to share this year’s challenges with donors. J-PEG donors aged 25-45 will be canvassing peers during cell-a-thons throughout the month. Our top donors will be briefed by Catherine Chatterley on the current state of Anti-Semitism in Canada on September 19th. Winnipegger Karen Morton, whose philanthropic leadership in her adopted Toronto has been widely recognized, will be the keynote speaker at the Women’s Philanthropy opening meeting on September 22 and the September 23rd  Lion of Judah luncheon. The Ben Gurion Society, whose members are under 45 and donate above $1000, will be canvassing peers and are planning a thank you event in the late fall.

The response to the question “Where does my CJA donation go?” is “It depends”.  It depends on where the need is. Funding is distributed at home and away to ensure that Jews are cared for. National and Overseas agencies receive a portion of the funds raised each year to support aliyah and klitah efforts that help new immigrants adjust to life in Israel, develop regional centres in Northern Israel, and provide national advocacy programs run by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).  Impoverished Jews around the world receive assistance for basic needs through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

Ten local agencies receive financial support from the Federation each year, in amounts that vary based on agency need. Across the board, all agencies are facing demand for increased access to their services and programming.

Gray Academy of Jewish Education currently supports 18 special needs students at an annual cost of $200,000. There are special needs students on a wait list because the school budget doesn’t have enough money to hire additional specialized staff to support them.  Shalom Residences supports residents in 6 different homes, and is considering the purchase of a house in the south end to meet increased demand as aging parents pass away.

Camp Massad, BB Camp and the Rady JCC day camps offer camperships to enable Jewish children to have a summer camp experience, at a total cost above $75,000. The Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre would like to extend their sold-out Monday Lunch and Learn program for another year, as the $10K program grant is about to end. Jewish Child and Family Services supports Jewish children in foster care with subsidized tuition and fees at Gray Academy ($2,000 per student) and camperships and aides at summer camp ($28,000 total). With daycare at a premium, Jewish parents are taking children to the Aleph-Bet Child Life Enrichment Program in Garden City from all over the city to benefit from a program heavily infused with Judaic content. The only Jewish educational program available to students not enrolled at Gray Academy or in the Hebrew bilingual schools is offered by Temple Shalom Religious School’s after school program.

The community is invited to volunteer at SuperWeek telethons and attend the campaign kickoff party this Sunday, September 11 at the Asper Jewish Community Campus.  Telethons will run from 10 am to 2 pm, and festivities begin at 5 pm in the Campus gym. All events are free of charge.

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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.