A few quick community updates ahead of Yom Kippur

Shabbat Message from CEO Ezra S. Shanken


September 22, 2023 | 7 Tishrei 5783



This message has about 616 words and will take about 3 minute to read.

This is a very poignant period in our calendar, when we seek reconciliation. It is not enough to reflect on our behaviour, we must take action. And so, for any wrongs I have done to you, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask for your forgiveness.


With Shabbat on the horizon and then Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur, we are going to keep it short and sweet this week. Here are a few quick updates to keep you in the know.


Celebrations took place across the region, including the Sea-to-Sky Corridor.


In Whistler and Squamish we saw Rosh Hashanah celebrated with potlucks hosted in homes and Tashlich on the shores of the Mamquam River. Nearly 40 community members from all over the sea to sky region joined on the second day of the New Year to celebrate together.


Thank you to our community connectors, Eliana Mandel and Lyssa Anolik for their great work on this.


This week, I attended CIJA’s board retreat. 


It was an opportunity to dive into the big picture areas of governance and strategic planning with our advocacy agent. From addressing online hate to inter-community partnership to government relations, there was a lot to examine.


Federations across Canada and CIJA are gearing up for our Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It conference in Ottawa in mid-October. At the two-day conference Jews from across the country will immerse themselves in advocacy lessons and then put their learnings into practical action by connecting with elected officials on Parliament Hill. 


Updated community security webpages are now available.  


In last week’s message, Jason Murray, chair of our Community Security Advisory Committee, mentioned new security resources. We are pleased to share those with you today.


Our new security program webpage offers information and resources on security training, policies and procedures, grants, audits, and when and how to file security incident reports. We are pleased to offer security grants to help organizations upgrade their infrastructure. Applications opened this summer and can be found here. Applications close on October 13th, so if you are involved with a community organization, please make sure this is on their radar.


While you’re marking your calendar, save the date for two events that are coming up. 


On October 22nd it’s time to ante up at the Men’s Philanthropy Texas Hold ‘Em Polker Night presented by our Federation and Pollock Clinics. Join us for a delicious deli dinner and drinks.


Choices has a fresh new format: instead of dinner, this year you are invited to join us for brunch! Plan to be there on Sunday, November 5th and celebrate the strength of Women’s Philanthropy.


It is traditional to give tzedakah during the yamim noraaim and these events are open to donors at a very reasonable minimum gift level, so be sure to get your Annual Campaign gift in!


Speaking of the campaign, we are supporting some urgent needs in our partnership region, including a rape crisis centre.


Many of us are concerned and frustrated about the situation in Israel, but now is not the time to turn away from the people in the Upper Galilee who need us. In fact, our partnership is providing a sense of stability that they are not getting from other sources. Hear what they have to say: 


Have you found the hidden gems in the border of our mosaic? 


The Power of Together are not the only words in the mosaic. Look closely and here is what you'll find:  

Chesed—acts of kindness  
Tzedakah—justice, charity  
And, of course, Beyachad—together.   
They are more than words; they are values that guide our lives and our actions. 

Shabbat shalom and g’mar chatimah tova.


Ezra S. Shanken

CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver

Tashlich on the shores of the Mamquam River

The Fed Four

Jewish Federation's Board of Directors visits JFS The Kitchen.

Political leadership program for grades 10-12. Learn more here.

VHEC's High Holidays Cemetery Service this Sunday, September 24.

Support those affected by the Morocco earthquake here.