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Hartley Mendelsohn photographed on the left next to co-leader and co-worker Jessica Kraut
Photograph Courtesy: Nik Rave, Rave Photo

Meet Hartley Mendelsohn- The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg's Young Adult Division (YAD) Associate

by Rhonda Spivak, January 9, 2018



Twenty five year old Hartley Mendelsohn, who was born and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario arrived in Winnipeg about four months ago to begin his work as the new Young Adult Division (YAD) Associate for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. " Winnipeg has a strong Jewish community and everyone I have met here has been very welcoming and helpful. I am enjoying meeting and reaching out to as many people in the community as possible," says Mendelsohn. He adds that he has adjusted to life in Winnipeg seamlessly notwithstanding he has never been here before.


Mendelsohn is working closely with YAD Co-Chairs Jason Gisser and Lindsey Leipsic, and reports that so far there are already quite a few new donors to the CJA campaign from YAD. "We've had a cell-athon held at a private home and everyone used their cell phones to call potential donors." Mendelsohn is also working closely with co-chairs of the Ben-Gurion Society David and Sarah Carr and Jared and Leanne Akman, and notes that there have also been new donors  to the Ben-Gurion society  (Note: The Ben-Gurion society is for a single person or a household who donates  $1000.00 dollars or more to the CJA Campaign.)


Mendelsohn  studied Sport Management at Brock University (Dean’s List) and Event Marketing at Seneca College (High Honors). He was the "founding father" and president of Alpha Epsilon Pi Niagara Falls Chapter in 2014. " Throughout university and college I was very involved in Hillel,  Chabad & Aish HaTorah.  My birthright trip to Israel in 2012 had a mix of people from the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada with a number of Winnipeggers on it. This was my first intro to Jewish people in Winnipeg," he says.


Prior to moving to Winnipeg, Mendelsohn led a birthright trip this past summer with Jessica Kraut (formerly Kerzner) "which was my first introduction into the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg." Mendelsohn had worked in Israel for part of  2013 in Bat Yam, south of Tel-Aviv, where he taught surfing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking. Prior to taking up his position as YAD Associate with the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, he worked at The HOUSE Media Group, a marketing agency as well as at an event catering company as an Event Specialist for a year and a half. "During this time I volunteered with the UJA of Toronto for the Madrichim In Training program for Birthright Leaders," he notes.


Mendelsohn says he had many positive experiences at Jewish summer camp, which helped forge and strengthen his Jewish identity. " I spent most summers at Jewish overnight camp at Camp Northland B’nai Brith. I spent a number of years there as a camper and transitioned into a staff member specializing in Radio and Entertainment for a number of years. I also spent a year on the Office Administration team."


Mendelsohn emphasizes that everyone he has worked with has been first rate. " My volunteer committees and co-workers have been major assets  in helping me to  learn the community. I am working closely  with YAD volunteers so  YAD can continue to produce great programming that is engaging to young adults. For the past few months, I have been meeting with lots of Young Adults in the Jewish Community and have gotten some great feedback about what they want to see in terms of programming. I would love to meet with more people so definitely don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with me at [email protected]."


December was a busy month for Mendelsohn as on December 3 there was a Tzdaka party for "Budding Philanthropists." The party was for children ages 10 and under and their parents. There was also a Vodka and Latke donor Appreciation event for YAD on Dec 9.


Mendelsohn says that there are more terrific programs in the works.  He adds "'I have been connecting with many other people in similar roles at Jewish Federations across North America to gain more insights, knowledge and feedback on programs and ways to reach out to connect with young adults."  


He says " keep your eyes peeled" for more events coming up. "Coming up March 2nd to kick-off Limmud, we will be hosting a Friday night Shabbat Dinner at the Kitchen Sync featuring Limmud guest speaker, Benji Rothman – comedian! Later on in the month on March 14th at the new MLT Aikins boardroom, Top Donors and the Ben Gurion Society will join together for an evening of inspiration and philanthropy. This evening will provide an opportunity for our Next Generation Leaders to network and learn from the movers and shakers in the community!"



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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