A thriving arts and culture sector is a cornerstone of a flourishing community. Our Jewish community is fortunate to have a group of organizations whose work is dedicated to illuminating our people’s history, traditions and values through the powerful lens of arts and culture.
At a time when so much attention has been focused on the critical needs facing community members, the important contributions that these organizations make to our community’s vitality and our individual well-being can sometimes be overshadowed by other pressing concerns.
The day will come when the pandemic subsides, and we all want our community to continue to be vibrant when it does. In the meantime, the transformative power of arts and cultural experiences on mental health and overall wellness remains an important part of what these organizations offer to our community. We are proud to fund their programs, which add so much to the quality of daily life.
Like countless businesses forced to re-imagine their delivery of services when COVID hit, these organizations quickly transitioned to online offerings, enabling community members to access valued arts and cultural programming. Here is a snapshot of their impressive work during these past nine months.
- The Vancouver Jewish Film Centre (VJFC), known for their imaginative and thoughtful programming, has been providing film fans with a full roster of online films and shows to screen at home in lieu of their in-person community outreach activities. Watch for the return of the popular annual Vancouver Jewish Film Festival in February 2021, which will be held digitally this year. Learn more here.
- The Jewish Museum and Archives BC (JMABC) offers a variety of programs designed to promote the rich and varied history of BC’s Jewish community. They have enhanced their online exhibits, and are busy planning a full calendar of virtual events, displays and podcasts in celebration of JMABC’s 50th anniversary. Learn more here.
- The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC) is dedicated to bringing Holocaust-based anti-racism programs to community members, students and educators through exhibits, seminars and special events. When COVID hit, they successfully adapted their school-based programs to an online format and continue to create opportunities to experience the emotional impact of pivotal historic events, such as Kristallnacht, through virtual commemorations. They have also reconfigured the Centre along COVID safety guidelines, enabling staff to host tours by appointment. Learn more here.
- The Peretz Centre (PC) presents a secular humanist approach to Jewish life, grounded in an appreciation of Jewish history and Yiddish culture. Although in-person activities were cancelled in the spring for the foreseeable future, PC quickly moved a number of its programs to Zoom, enabling community members to participate in online language classes, speakers’ series and book club discussion groups. Learn more here.
The JCC, which does not exclusively focus on programs in this arena, has also adapted its virtual repertoire to ensure favourite cultural events, such as the Chutzpah! Festival and the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival, could be presented to audiences this year.
Your gift to the Annual Campaign enables Jewish Federation to support Jewish arts and cultural organizations, whose programs provide invaluable experiences to explore and connect with the diversity and richness of Jewish life.
You can make a secure online gift at jewishvancouver.com/donate or call us at 604 257 5100.