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Message from the CEO and President of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg: February 2018

Feb 26, 2018

Dear Community Members,

I hope you are having a good winter here or wherever you may be.

Leave More than Memories Logo.pngWe have a lot to celebrate this year. It is Federation’s 80th anniversary, Israel’s 70th anniversary and we are in a Chai (life) year (2018). We are beginning the year by partnering with the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba to rebrand the Endowment campaign. The Federation’s Leave More Than Memories (LMTM) fund has a new look. More information can be found on our website to the leave more than memories page). Please consider leaving a legacy gift to the Federation and help us to reach our goal of having 80 for 80; 80 newly endowed gifts to LMTM. If you already have an endowment fund, we encourage you to consider directing its interest income to the CJA campaign. A healthy endowment fund will help to sustain the campaign in perpetuity. 

As the campaign winds down, I would like to thank all of our donors for their dedication and generosity. As of today we need $90,000 to reach our goal. Let’s make it happen TOGETHER. Thank you! Click here to donate.

I am very proud to recognize one of our former campaign team members, David Greaves, whose lifelong goal to see an Israeli Bobsled Skeleton team participate in the Olympics has come to fruition. David’s tireless work, as President of Bobsled Skeleton Israel, has helped make this dream come true. Mazel Tov! Click here to find out more-information and pics on our website.

As we think about celebrating with David and with Israel, I would also like to share some more great news.  We will be hosting an honoured guest in Winnipeg this June. We are so pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Gabi Ashkenazi on June 7, 2018 for a community wide event. Mr. Ashkenazi, the Former Chief of the General Staff of the IDF - Israel Defense Forces and CEO of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, retired in 2011, after an illustrious military career that spanned nearly 40 years. Mr. Ashkenazi has a lifetime of outstanding achievements in the military and security sphere. In recognition of his outstanding service to the IDF, Mr. Ashkenazi was awarded the US Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, on behalf of the President of the United States, for “exceptional contribution in his role as Chief of Staff of the IDF and the enhancement of US - Israel bilateral relations”. During his impressive army career, Mr. Ashkenazi earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Haifa and is a graduate of the Harvard Business Management Program for senior executives. In June 2011, Mr. Ashkenazi joined the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC as a distinguished military fellow. Mr. Ashkenazi also serves as the Chairman of the Rashi Foundation. The Rashi Foundation, under Mr. Ashkenazi’s leadership, became a leader in advancing and nurturing the talents of youth in Israel’s geographic and social periphery in order expand the pool of candidates to serve in the IDF’s elite technological units, particularly in the Intelligence Corps, and eventually to lead the high-tech industry in Israel. We hope to see you June 7 at 7pm at Congregation Shaarey Zedek. Watch your inbox for further information.

We have been growing our Winnipeg Jewish community since 1999 through the Provincial Nominee Program and GrowWinnipeg. We work with families from all over the world by supporting them through the immigration process, initial settlement and integration. Over two thousand families have enhanced our community since this process began. Our Community is flourishing thanks to each person who chooses to make Winnipeg their new home. The GrowWinnipeg Welcome Committee has been working on engaging and integrating newcomers by connecting them with homegrown and well established families within the community. The committee’s goal is to facilitate the active participation and integration of newcomers within the broader Winnipeg Jewish community. Whether old or young, single or a family, Winnipeg is a wonderful place to connect and find opportunities for personal and collective growth. If you are a new family looking to connect, or would like to connect with a family that is new to Winnipeg, please email us.

As we celebrate 80 years as a Federation within this wonderful country, our hearts go out to so many asylum-seekers in Israel who also dream about making Canada their home. Over the last number of years, tens of thousands of African asylum-seekers have entered Israel as the first safe country they could reach. This issue shouldn't fall on Israel's shoulders alone. It is a global challenge requiring a global solution. Canada has taken a lead role in sharing the international responsibility to help these asylum-seekers, by aiming to resettle thousands in Canada. This reflects the close partnership between Canada and Israel. But there is an urgent need to expand the capacity of the Canadian Embassy in Israel to process asylum-seekers. This would reduce the backlog and allow more of them to resettle in Canada. There are many groups in Canada ready on the ground to help with resettlement. All that is required is further action from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Click here to ask the Canadian government to take action to ensure more of these asylum-seekers can come to Canada. 

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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.