Shabbat Message from Ezra S. Shanken

Introducing...The Fed Four! 

Shabbat Message from CEO Ezra S. Shanken


July 14, 2023 | 25 Tammuz 5783



This message has about 650 words and will take about 2.5 minute to read.

In the spring of 2021 our country undertook a large-scale project: the census. In the next few months, we expect to receive information specific to our local Jewish community, including insights into how and where we have grown.


But sometimes the changes are already clear, such as along the Sea-to-Sky Corridor.


My family and I are in Whistler this week, and it is impossible not to bump into members of the growing (and thriving) Jewish community here. We recently evolved our community outreach model and hired community connectors in each of the regional communities where we are active.


Eliana Mandel, our Whistler community connector, and I had a great conversation with the acting mayor, Councillor Jeff Murl, about the importance of strengthening etho-cultural and faith-based communities, like ours, within Whistler, and how we can partner together to do that.


Whether it’s having a menorah in the middle of the village at Hanukkah or the Passover seder that Eliana is already planning, we’re looking for creative opportunities to work together.


Check out The Fed Four at the bottom of this message for more.


This new section is where we’ll highlight four super short items to get you caught up in a hurry. Scroll down to see who else we caught up with in Whistler.


Our community is growing across the Lower Mainland.


Over 25 people gathered last Friday at Confederation Park in Burnaby to welcome Shabbat over grape juice, challah and lots of laughter and community connection. I want to thank the incredible staff and volunteers who helped organize this.


We also approved a Community Engagement Grant for Chabad of Coquitlam to help kids access Camp Gan Israel. We are very proud to be covering the cost of transportation so more kids can have a Jewish summer camp experience.


The people of our partnership region are an important part of our community, too.


That’s why we’re building on the success of the Galil-Up young leadership program with GalilEast. Having a critical mass of “change leaders” in key positions who trust each other will provide opportunities to move on some of the key issues holding back the region’s development. I am proud to say that we have a diverse field of candidates with representation from nearly all East Galilee Cluster municipalities.


Strengthening regionalism through trust building is an essential component in tackling some of the region’s most complex challenges related to disparities in medical services, lower level of government investment in education, infrastructure (transportation, housing) and more.


We are confident that GalilEast will strengthen regional cooperation, and so are our key partners, including the Eastern Galilee Regional Cluster, the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation, Tel Hai College, and other important stakeholders. 


While we’re on the topic of Israel...


It’s been another challenging week there, with proposed legislation barring courts from reviewing the reasonableness of elected officials’ decisions passing the first reading in the Knesset and public protests increasing.


There is no question that what happens in Israel is important to all of us. There is also no question about our commitment to the people of our partnership region, and that we will continue to support programs and services that raise them up.


We are welcoming Shinshinim back to our community. Meet Na’ama and Shelley!


Na’ama Rickel is from Kfar Blum and loves theatre production and helping out with kids' activities on the kibbutz.


Shelley Inbar is from Hod HaSharon and likes reading, going to the beach, and being a Scouts counselor.


They will volunteer with young people here and help them learn about Israel and Israeli culture. They are part of a Jewish Agency program that connects dynamic high school graduates with diaspora communities for a year of volunteering before their military service. It also provides the Shinshinim with an immersive experience in a diaspora Jewish community.


The success of this program relies on finding host families (hint, hint). See what past host families had to say, and then be in touch with Lissa Weinberger for details.


Now, keep scrolling for The Fed Four...

Shabbat Shalom,


Ezra S. Shanken

CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver

Community connector Eliana Mandel, Ezra S. Shanken and Councillor Jeff Murl

Connect Me In Shabbat event at Confederation Park in Burnaby

Meet our two shinshinim Naama Rickel and Shelley Inbar

The Fed Four

Ezra, Eliana & Rabbi Gabay in Whistler with their families.

Nico Slobinsky, Consul General Ricardo Arredondo and Shirly Berelowitz at the celebration of Argentina Independence Day.

White Rock-South Surrey JCC & Stable Harvest Farm's event focused on the Jewish approach to agriculture.

Leaders and staff from Federation and CIJA visited the Chinese Canadian Museum.