One Year-Round Impact: Dive into Our Annual Report

Shabbat Message from CEO Ezra S. Shanken


October 6, 2023 | 21 Tishrei 5783



This message has about 928 words and will take about 4 minutes to read.

Many people think about their charitable impact at Annual Campaign time—which is great—but we think about it all year long. I am pleased to share with you our Annual Report and invite you to look through it. Whether you flip through and skim it or read it word for word, it is the quickest and easiest way to see our impact. As always, our impact is your impact, and you’ll find a lot to feel proud of.


There has been a lot to be proud of throughout Sukkot, too. 


As we celebrated Sukkot here in Vancouver, our community connectors worked with volunteers to create opportunities for connection in their respective emerging communities.


Over the chag, we have supported events in Squamish, Whistler, Delta and Langley. From PJ Library Story Time in Squamish to the Wild West SukkahFest in Langley, emerging Jewish communities continue to grow and thrive.


The Annual Campaign is only one way that we make an impact in the community.


The Jewish Community Foundation’s Unrestricted Grant Program provides crucial funding that enables organizations to undertake new initiatives, launch new programs, and address emerging needs.


The Foundation’s 2024 grant round is now open, and charitable organizations have been invited to apply for grants supporting projects that benefit our Jewish community.


Grants through this program have supported an array of transformative initiatives, ranging from the launch of a pilot program offering interest-free loans to community members struggling with housing relocation expenses, to ensuring a safe and ample water supply for one of our cherished Jewish summer camps, and to volunteer training programs that provide invaluable support to our seniors, among others.


The Foundation's Unrestricted Grant Program complements the Federations' Annual Campaign allocation process by extending funding opportunities for new and innovative projects that fall outside the scope of funding provided through the Annual Campaign.


I want to let you know about some important changes to our Israel department.

Eran Shmueli-David has worked with our Federation for the past 15 years supporting our work in our partnership region of the Upper Galilee. This past year Eran has been working with both Federation and the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation and as of November 1st he’ll be full-time with the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation. We are excited for Eran and wish him mazel tov.

This created an opportunity for us to secure new, full-time representation on the ground in Israel—a shift that we believe will serve the organization, the community and the partnership region well, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our work. For the first time ever, we will have a professional in the partnership region dedicated solely to our investments there. This will help maximize our ability to make a lasting impact on the lives of people in the Upper Galilee.

This new position of Director of the Israel Office will be filled by Rachel Sachs. Both we and the members of our Israel and Global Engagement Committee previously worked with Rachel when she was VP Global Partnerships and Development at Tel Hai College. Rachel lives in the partnership region and will work closely with our partners (and potential partners) on the ground. We look forward to introducing you to her soon.

While this move will enhance our work, it necessitated the very difficult decision to eliminate the position held locally by If’at Eilon Heiber.

This decision was made as part of implementing the best possible structure for our Federation, now and for years to come. We have the utmost respect and appreciation for If’at and the tremendous contributions she has made over the years. We wish her all the very best as she starts a new chapter.

Our local Israel engagement staff will focus on inbound local-Israel connections and continue to be based here in Vancouver. 


Speaking of Israel, you’re invited to a Jewish Federations of North America webinar: As the Knesset Reconvenes, Where are We Headed on Judicial Reforms in Israel?

The webinar on October 11 will feature The Times of Israel’s political and legal correspondent Carrie Keller-Lynn, and we'll hear where things stand on judicial reforms and what can we expect in the coming weeks and months. Register here. Find more resources on our website.

Tonight marks the end of Sukkot and tomorrow evening is Simchat Torah. This time is about more than reading the Torah all over again; it's also about re-examining what we think we know. So, we wish you a restful, restorative, contemplative and joyous holiday and long weekend.

Shabbat shalom.


Ezra S. Shanken

CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver

Squamish's Jewish community came together to celebrate Shabbat in the Sukkah

If'at Eilon Heiber

The Fed Four + Four

Join us for Choices on November 5th. Purchase tickets today.

Sign up for the poker tournament on October 22.

Join us, the JCC & CIJA's Middle East briefing on October 28th at the JCC.

The Affordability Summit recommended advocating for a national school food program.

Tikva Housing & Schara Tzedeck's event on the impact of having a safe and secure home.

Jewish Federation of Canada UIA's Steven Shulman recognized as one of 50 Most Influential Jews.

Sarah Mali shares on Times of Israel the historical importance of Sukkot.

Clarification: UnXeptable brought Ora Peled and Professor Michal Muzskat Barken to Vancouver.