Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Leah Gazan and Yelena Maleyev

Leah Gazan speaking


by Rhonda Spivak March 26, 2015




Twenty six year old Yelena Maleyev who emigrated here from Israel in 1997 when she was nine years old, is one of the new Board members of the Winnipeg section of the National Council for Jewish Women of Canada.

Maleyev, who has a business degree from the Asper School of Business and is a business intelligence analyst at MTS, said she was looking to get involved with "a group that wants to focus on social action and women's issues."

"There are now six of us who are part of a new chapter that I started-the Young Women Professionals group," which is part of the Winnipeg section of NCJWC. [ To Learn more about the group go to ]


Yelena explained that one of the mandates of NCJW across Canada is to increase awareness regarding the problem of Human Trafficking. "National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, and its international body, the International Council of Jewish Women, have established advocacy against human trafficking as a priority campaign," she said. “Trafficking of women and girls is a modern form of slavery. Like slaves, trafficked people are bought, sold and transported against their will, often repeatedly. They are forced into sexual exploitation and servitude through abduction, deception, violence and torture, through the manipulation of fear and threats towards themselves and their families."

Since March 12, 2015 was Manitoba’s second Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Yelena thought it was an opportunity for NCJWC in Winnipeg to hold an event that would "tie in the issues of human trafficking and missing indigenous murdered women ," since "there is a connection between human trafficking and missing indigenous murdered women." 

The event would be a way for Jewish and Aboriginal women to work together.

" RCMP Statistics show that there are over 1000 murdered indigenous women in Canada since 1980, and over 160 missing indigenous women since 1980," Yelena said. "Additionally, recent discussions of human trafficking have foregrounded the vulnerability of Indigenous girls and women. In 2012, for example, both an RCMP report and the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking specifically labeled Aboriginal women and girls as having an increased risk of becoming victims of human trafficking."

To observe the Manitoba's second Human trafficking Awareness day, Yelena initiated an event put on by National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Winnipeg Section titled "United We Care" - an evening in support of the We Care Campaign for education about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The program was held at the Graffiti Art Programming on Higgins Avenue, and raised $800 for the campaign from ticket sales and donations.

As Yelena explained, "The We Care campaign was established to engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to take a united and firm stance to ensure the safety of Indigenous women and girls is realized in Canada. It aims to educate the broader public about the serious crisis relating to violence against Indigenous women. The campaign is an opportunity for all Canadians to demonstrate compassion, love and hope. At the same time, it puts pressure on all levels of government to support a national inquiry and immediate action to address this serious issue impacting families and communities across Canada."

The United We Care evening was comprised of a showing of Aboriginal art and an address from Leah Gazan, an advocate for issues regarding Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and Girls in Manitoba and Canada. Indigenous artist Jessica Canard created a live painting during the event that was auctioned off at the end of the night. All proceeds from ticket sales and the auction went to the We Care Campaign (co-founded by Gazan and Raine Hamilton). (Attendees to the program were also asked to bring an item, such as clothing, blankets, toys, diapers, to the Point Douglas Women's Shelter.) To learn more about the We Care Campaign go to 

Yelena said that she felt very grateful to the NCJW Winnipeg Section for being given the chance to initiate this program, and was very pleased with the outcome. She looks forward to more opportunities in the future to put on meaningful programming which engages in social action and the pursuit of justice, and tikkun olam.
Cindy Lazar, Chair of NCJW Winnipeg Section noted that "This program was a great follow up to last year's film night co-sponsored by NCJWC and the Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood to mark Manitoba's first Human Trafficking Awareness Day. 


"This is both a National and International imperative for us, and NCJWC Sections across Canada, and our international body, ICJW are actively advocating on this topic in their own jurisdictions.


'We are thrilled that Yelena, and her new Young Professional Branch have chosen to take this on.  NCJWC , Winnipeg Section is committed to helping members to program in areas they are passionate about.  If a member sees an area of need, and has an idea for making a difference, we are there to help make that happen."

To learn more about the Winnipeg Section of  National Council of Jewish Women go to

<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • JNF Manitoba / Saskatchewan
  • JCFS
  • JCFS Winnipeg
  • Orthodox Union
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Sobey's
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Tel Aviv University Canada
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Lipkin Family
  • Booke + Partners
  • Red River Coop
  • Gislason Targownik
  • Janice Morley-Lecomte
  • James Teitsma
  • Obby Khan
  • Jon Reyes
  • James Bezan
  • Markus Chambers
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ted Falk
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Chisick Family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • Shinewald Family
  • MLT Aikins
  • MLT Aikins
  • Myers LLP
  • Levene Tadman Golub
  • Equitable Solutions
  • Charach Family
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Preventative Health First
  • Lanny Silver
  • Josef Ryan
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • PFK Lawyers
  • Commercial Pool
  • Simmonds and Associates
  • CVA Systems
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Dr. Brent Schachter and Sora Ludwig
  • Clear Care Periodontal
  • Shindico
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Lazar Family
  • Superlite
  • Chochy's
  • Nick's Inn
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Global Philanthropic
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Peerless Garments
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Roseman Corp
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • Broadway Law Group
  • West Kildonan Auto Service
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
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.