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Joel Lazer and Elaine Goldstine


by Rhonda Spivak, Dec 8,2021

 The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg's online Annual General Meeting held  December 8, 2021 delivered some positive news, which is that the  Combined Jewish Appeal raised a record amount of $6,400,000 in 2020. This amount was almost $400,000 more than had been raised in 2019.  This increase can be explained by factors that would not be repeated in 2021, including some very large onetime donations from local donors due to Covid 19, and a special program created by the Jewish Federations of North America.
As a result of the above increase in revenues for the Federation, the Federation  was able to substantially increase its allocations to the 12 partner agencies of the Federation. 
As Joel Lazer, outgoing President of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg stated at the meeting, "The Combined Jewish Appeal continues to preserve and strengthen Jewish life in our community through generous donations for our community. The 2020-2021 annual campaign raised a total of $6,451,061 from 2,096 donations, $1,351,000 was designated for specific purposes, $2,058,017 was raised in the Women’s Philanthropy division and $165,417 was raised in the Young Adult Division, $445,921 was raised from a 101 donation increase this year.

"In March of 2020, we launched the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund and committed over $100,000 in extra funding to Winnipeg Jewish agencies in emergency need.


"We distributed an extra $230,000 to agencies including to the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre, to help prepare and deliver over 600 meals a week to isolated seniors, and Jewish Child and Family Service, to support increased counselling and technology needs. The Social Services Matching Grant provided by the Jewish Federations of North America was also helpful."



Lazer also noted that " I expect that the cohesion and support we have seen in our community during these tough times is something that will last well after COVID-19 has become a distant memory. Agencies and organizations throughout our community, as well as synagogues, have done a tremendous job of being there for their constituents and congregants.
"I have always been a believer in looking for the positive, especially in tough situations. Going virtual offered us the opportunity to learn and be more adaptable than ever. While it is challenging to brainstorm the best ways to communicate, commemorate, and celebrate virtually, we demonstrated agility and creativity, minimizing disruption to the facets of Jewish life that we hold so dear."


Lazer thanked a number of individuals for helping him during his two-year term as President, especially former President Laurel Malkin and Federation CEO Elaine Goldstine. Lazer also announced that  Gustavo Zentner will succeed him. "I would like to welcome Gustavo Zentner as the incoming President. The community will be in good hands under his capable leadership," he said. Zentner came to Winnipeg 23 years ago from his native Argentina as part of the Federation’s Grow Winnipeg initiative.


In her remarks, Federation CEO Elaine Goldstine noted that there are 75 candidates who have produced the documents that are needed before immigrating to Winnipeg. However, because of  Covid these 75 candidates have not been able to come to our city for the initial visit which is a part of the immigration process for all prospective immigrants.  Goldstine reported that  there are a further 350 individuals who are in the process of producing the required documents  before they are ale to immigrate to Manitoba

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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.