Shabbat Message from Ezra S. Shanken

A short message for a long weekend

Shabbat Message from CEO Ezra S. Shanken


August 4, 2023 | 17 Av 5783



This message has about 747 words and will take about 3 minute to read.

As we head into Shabbat, I want to ask you to plan ahead for two important events.


The first is September 10th when we have a unique and exciting Annual Campaign Opening planned. In addition to celebrating community and the impact we make, we are bringing you the incredible harmonies of the three talented tenors of Citizen West!


They’ve performed around the world with the best of the best, from Barbara Streisand to Michael Bublé. We have never done this before, but we know you attend every year, so we like to keep it fresh.


Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America will be here, too. Several years ago, when he was leading Hillel International, Eric presented at our FEDtalks event. Now, as the head of JFNA, he will bring an inside perspective on our continental and international impact.


We're bringing great energy and a great vibe to kick off the Annual Campaign. All you have to do is buy a ticket and join us.


Did you know that the Honourable Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs and MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake, opens her office twice a month for Jewish Family Service’s Burnaby Food Hub? We want to thank her for that and for touring our community with us this week.


One of the highlights was our visit to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre to see their current exhibit.


Age of Influence: Youth and Nazi Propaganda will speak to you and every generation of your family. These days we are inundated with so much hate speech and misinformation, particularly online, it’s powerful to ground our experience in this history.


Looking at information critically and understanding where it is coming from is increasingly important. As you may already know, Meta has started blocking Canadian news articles for Canadian users of Facebook and Instagram in response to the Online News Act. Less access to legitimate news sources is not going to serve any of us well, especially as we continue to fight antisemitism online.


That brings me to the second date you should plan ahead for...


...October 16-17 when CIJA and Jewish Federations across Canada present Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It, co-chaired by Karen James. Over two days in Ottawa, we will learn how to engage all levels of government to step up and help us tackle the rise of antisemitism in Canada.


Speakers from across the world will detail how others are dealing with Jew-hatred. There will be tools to help young Jewish Canadians push back against antisemitism when they see it.


Subsidies are available for two-day attendance. For more information and to register, click here.


Building the Jewish future one bunk at a time.  


That not just the name of an op ed co-authored by Julie Patt, chair of JFNA, and published today, it’s what Jewish summer camps do every session, every summer, every year. Today, I'm at Camp Miriam as part of the series of visits I make to every camp partner each summer to see the impact they have on the next generation. What better way to end the week!

Shabbat Shalom and Happy BC Day,


Ezra S. Shanken

CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver

The Honourable Anne Kang touring the Jewish community

The Fed Four

Kevin Hughey, FBI Attache of the US Consulate, toured VHEC.

Pride Havdalah last weekend.

Can your family host a Shinshin? Email us!

Podcast topic: Regulating extreme voices on social media.