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Israel Ludwig

 
ISRAEL LUDWIG IS PART OF A GROUP OF FORMER CANADIAN JEWISH CONGRESS LEADERS THAT HAS ESTABLISHED THE CANADIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY FORUM

by Rhonda Spivak, June 17, 2021

 

Winnipeg lawyer Israel Ludwig is part of a group of former Canadian Jewish Congress senior leaders from coast to coast, as well as some new young leadership,  who have come together to establish the Canadian Jewish Community Forum (CJCF)

 

A press release issued by CJCF notes that " For 92 years, until its dissolution in 2011, Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) was  recognized as  the Parliament of Canadian Jewry and served as the community’s democratic and grassroots voice, advocate and intervenor with governments, courts and other communities, domestically and internationally. Over the years, it was “the forum” where all issues of concern to Jews in Canada were discussed and debated, and appropriate action was determined while maintaining unity and consensus."

 

In its statement of purpose, it is emphasized that the new CJCF will  provide a forum to educate, discuss and debate issues of interest and concern, both regional and national, that impact Canada, the Canadian Jewish community and the welfare of the people of Israel.

 

Ludwig, who is a past president of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, says that when he was involved in Federation he was elected to the executive of the CJC and “I was very impressed with the way they did their job”.  He notes that “they were excellent at lobbying with politicians, and reaching out to other communities, be they indigenous, black, LGBTQ or others, that suffered racism. In return these other communities were there to back us up when we faced anti Semitism.” 

 

Ludwig thinks it is time "to revive  the CJC", which is what the CJCF aims to accomplish.

 

Ludwig says that in addition to lobbying governments, the CJCF “wants to put together institutional seminars across the country so people can learn what shapes and forms antisemitism is taking today such that they can recognize it and fight against it."

 

Ludwig notes that a national steering committee for CJCF was established in January, as well as a larger advisory body, and meetings have been taking place virtually.


The press release issued by the CJCF  states that "The group hopes to engage the former leadership of CJC and new young leaders to honour, learn and draw from the legacy of Congress, a body that worked and fought for social justice in Canada. The CJC understood that making Canada a peaceful, inclusive and just society is good for all of its peoples.

 

“It is the prime objective of the CJCF to take lessons from the past and use them to inform communal policy in the present and future, to promote Jewish values of chesed, diversity, anti-racism and embrace harmony within a Canadian context. In  the spirit of the former CJC it wishes to create a forum for the greater Jewish community to provide input and determine what the current urgent issues are that our own community and society are facing and witnessing here in Canada and globally.”

 

Ludwig explains, ”The CJCF is now a federally incorporated all-volunteer organization.”

Ludwig is a member of the new group’s  steering committee . The other members of the steering committee are  Les Scheininger, Toronto (former national president); Bernie Farber, Toronto (former CEO);  Renee Switzer, Vancouver  (former National Executive Chair); Dr. Michael Elterman, Vancouver (former Pacific Region Chair);Dorothy Zalcman Howard (former National Executive Chair); Frank Schlesinger, Montreal (former National Legal Counsel);  Mike Cohen, Montreal  (former National Director of Communications);  Len Dolgoy, Edmonton (former Alberta Chair); Hal Joffe, Calgary (former National Community Relations Chair);  Jon Goldberg, Halifax (former Atlantic Jewish Council Executive Director); Ivan Levine, Fredericton (former Atlantic Jewish Council President); and  young leaders  Henry Paikin and Jimmy Gutman of Ottawa, both of whom were very active in campus life. A Saskatchewan rep will be named soon. 

 

Ludwig says “Our goal is to form regional committees across the country that can elect people who will be the national leadership of this new organization. The CJCF wants to be democratically elected so that we can properly say that we are the representing voice of the Jewish community.”

 

Ludwig adds that he has been talking to some people in Winnipeg to see if they would be interested in becoming involved and has been encouraged by the response he has been getting. ‘We’re going ahead, and if we can get like minded people in the community saying we like the work you’re doing, then that is what we’ll do.”

 

Regarding funding for the CJCF, Ludwig points out that “people in the East are looking into all sources of potential funding, and if they are successful we’d be happy to create staff positions and hire people.”

 

Ludwig notes that Winnipeg’s Sol Kanee was a founder of CJC and a national chair of that organization.

 

A website for CJCF (cjcf.ca/fcjc.ca)  is in development. For now you can go to https://cjc1919.blogspot.com  for more details and email [email protected].

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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