At FEDtalks last year, campaign chair, Alex Cristall, cast a vision for our community: one in which it is easier to live a Jewish life. Together, our Jewish community made huge strides toward achieving that by surpassing our goal and raising $8.7 million, including $850,000 in targeted funding.
“The strong campaign achievement means we can make an impact on the issues of affordability and accessibility of Jewish life, which affect people across our community,” said Cristall.
This work requires the participation of everyone in our community, and we’re thrilled that under Alex Cristall’s leadership, nearly 500 donors took advantage of a gift-enhancing incentive and were inspired to give for the first time or to renew their giving.
Challenges of Living Jewishly in Greater Vancouver
For Jews living both in Metro Vancouver and in outlying areas, the struggle to connect to Jewish life is real. In emerging Jewish communities outside Vancouver, little to no Jewish communal infrastructure exists. Many families desire to maintain ties to Jewish life and are eager to connect—through services for seniors, cultural programming, or Jewish education for their children—but these services are just too far away.
At the same time, Vancouver’s painfully high cost of living forces many in our community to make difficult choices about the programs and services they can participate in.
Campaign Dollars Help Strengthen Jewish Connections
As the local Jewish community’s primary fundraising initiative, the Federation Annual Campaign supports vital programs and services delivered by 35 partner agencies locally and globally, reaching thousands of people who rely on them.
Funds from the 2017 Federation Annual Campaign will enable Jewish Federation and our partners to address the issues of affordability and accessibility to Jewish life. Surpassing this year’s campaign goal means we are collectively poised to help forge many needed connections to Jewish life.
In the emerging Jewish communities outside of Vancouver, Jewish Federation is focused on extending our reach and that of our partners to develop and deliver grassroots Jewish programming. Our Connect Me In initiative is currently active in areas from Squamish to Abbotsford. In Vancouver, our focus is on keeping the cost of Jewish programs and services low, and on funding more robust subsidies for those who need additional help.
Importance of Giving
Overall, Jewish Federation generated an unprecedented $18.6 million this year. This includes a record $8.8 million in contributions to Jewish Community Foundation endowment funds and an additional $1.1 million in targeted funding to support specific projects, along with the $8.7 million Annual Campaign total.
“At its heart, Jewish life is about community,” said Alex Cristall, “and this year’s campaign reflected that. We could not have achieved this incredible result without the support of our nearly 3,000 donors. I would like to extend a huge thank-you to everyone who donated.”