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Steve Kroft, CJA Campaign Chair

Elaine Goldstine, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg

Regina Teplitsky, Campaign Director

The 2017 CJA Ensures A Vibrant and Thriving Jewish Community

by Rhonda Spivak, November 14, 2017


Winnipeg Jewish Review: Can you tell me how the campaign is progressing?  Are you finding that there are donors who are receptive to increasing their pledges because they understand how important the campaign is to the well-being of our Jewish community?


Regina Teplitsky, Campaign Director: “The 2017 Combined Jewish Appeal [CJA] has had a strong start. Nearly half of the $5.85 million goal has been reached! We have welcomed over 100 new donors to the campaign.  We continue to rely on the generosity of our donors to meet the needs of the Jewish community in Winnipeg, in Israel and abroad. Due to the efforts of our leaders, volunteers and staff we have, thankfully, seen a positive trend of increases. Our donors believe in the campaign’s relevance and value. As we engage in conversations with our community members and partner agencies, it becomes more evident that the quality of Jewish life depends on broad exposure to Jewish experiences including but not limited to day school, summer camps, and a wide-range of Jewish enrichment programs, social services, supports and more.”


Winnipeg Jewish Review: Are there volunteers engaged in the campaign in various capacities?


Regina Teplitsky, Campaign Director: “Our success is driven by our wonderful volunteers! We are fortunate to have such a hard-working and talented campaign cabinet led by Campaign Chair Steve Kroft; Top Donor Co-Chairs Steve Kroft and Murray Palay; Women’s Philanthropy Co-Chairs Ellen Kroft and Paula Parks; Lion of Judah Chair Daniela Jacobsohn; Young Adult Division (YAD) Co-Chairs Jason Gisser and Lindsey Leipsic; Ben-Gurion Society (BGS) Co-Chairs Jared and Leanne Akman and David and Sarah Carr.  We very much appreciate the support and dedication of the hundreds of CJA canvassers who call for donations.  Together we continue to achieve remarkable results!


Winnipeg Jewish Review: Why is the campaign so important for our community and why is it so important for everyone to make a contribution?


Steve Kroft, CJA Campaign Chair:  “The CJA plays a very critical role in our community.  Our partner agencies work incredibly hard to maintain the health and vibrancy of our community.  The staff and volunteers who deliver services -- including to our most vulnerable -- are compassionate and highly dedicated.  It is essential that we do everything possible to ensure that they can continue to deliver wonderful programs and services to our community members.  Each and every member of our community has the opportunity to play a role in supporting this important work.  Without a successful annual CJA campaign, the truly valuable work undertaken by our agencies simply would not be possible. We are at a time when government support for programs is diminishing while the costs to deliver them continue to increase. As individuals, we must do everything possible to pick up the slack.  By coming together, and doing what each of us can - even if it means pushing ourselves a little bit - we can have such an incredible impact on the lives of so many."


Elaine Goldstine, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. “In 2018 the Federation will celebrate 80 years in the Winnipeg community and we are very thankful to each donor who has chosen to donate to the annual campaign.  The concept of collective support has ensured that the Jewish Community in Winnipeg is able to develop and sustain its own social safety net and continues to allow more families to actively engage in Jewish life.”



Winnipeg Jewish Review: Can you tell us about Women’s Philanthropy and why it is such an important part of the campaign?



Regina Teplitsky, Campaign Director. “Co-Chaired by Ellen Kroft and Paula Parks, Women’s Philanthropy believes that women who donate are the change-makers and community-shapers of the world. When a woman gives a gift in her own name, she demonstrates the importance of tzedakah and she takes her place in the long line of women who have carried on this fundamental Jewish tradition. Women who give in their own names increase their credibility and power as leaders and policy makers. In 2016, women contributed over $1.57 million to Winnipeg’s Combined Jewish Appeal as full partners and decision makers in the family and the community”.


 Winnipeg Jewish Review: Are you trying to engage younger donors and as well new donors and how are those efforts going?


We have a vibrant group of young Jewish adults between the age of 24-45 who are highly involved in the community and build leadership through social and philanthropic activities. The Young Adult Division (YAD) is having an eventful year of fundraising and engagement programs. Co-Chaired by Jason Gisser and Lindsey Leipsic, YAD continues to impact fundraising within the community by engaging  new young adult donors and fostering the development of top philanthropists through Ben-Gurion Society gifts (young adults giving $1,000 or more) while creating meaningful involvement in YAD to connect with local, national, and international young leaders.


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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.