Shabbat Message - February 7, 2020


This message has 730 words and will take about 3 minutes to read.

We have great news to share from our endowment program, the Jewish Community Foundation. We are very pleased to welcome Laura Braude to the position of director! Laura will work closely with executive director, Marcie Flom, to focus on the development and implementation of strategic initiatives, and to manage a range of operating functions, including the Foundation’s successful grant program.

Prior to this, Laura was director of the Federation Annual Campaign, so we know she brings the passion, expertise, and personalized service that fund holders and organizational partners at the Foundation have come to expect. She also brings more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, having worked with a variety of philanthropic, higher education and community organizations before joining Jewish Federation.

This investment in staff resources is one of several outcomes of the Foundation’s strategic planning process, and will enable the Foundation to enhance its boutique approach to philanthropy. It will also give Marcie increased capacity to work closely with fund holders and their families to plan a legacy that reflects their values and fulfills their philanthropic objectives.
The Foundation plays an important role in our work, and growing the assets it manages will support the long-term financial health of the Jewish community. To talk about how you can make a lasting impact in the Jewish community and beyond, email Marcie or Laura, or call them at 604.257.5100. 
Dedicated communal professionals in our organization work hand-in-hand with volunteers, and we had a wonderful opportunity to give some well-deserved kavod to the more than 200 canvassers who volunteer their time and energy to help community members perform the mitzvah of tzedakah. Along with our donors, they are instrumental in ensuring that our community receives the support it needs through the Federation Annual Campaign.
It was our privilege to celebrate them at our annual Canvasser Appreciation Event last night at Ian and Sandy Penn’s art gallery in East Vancouver. Our canvassers spent hundreds of hours in 2019 helping us raise vital funds for our community. It was a beautiful space to honour them in, with an exhibition on display and live music. We also took time to recognize those who have canvassed for the Annual Campaign for more than 18 years - an incredible act of service to our community. Click here for photos.
In case you were wondering, yes, the Annual Campaign is still open – but it won’t be for much longer. Each one of us has a role to play, and if you haven’t yet had a chance to make your gift, it’s not too late. You can make a secure online donation here.
One of the things you will be supporting is sending young Jewish adults on Birthright Israel. Registration is open now, so make sure the young adults in your life sign up for the gift of a life-changing experience in Israel. Then make sure they know about ParTyLV, the Birthright Israel Mega Event that’s happening this Saturday night at The Beaumont Studios.
From young adults to young children and their parents, there’s something for everyone this weekend. Parents, you can join PJ Library and the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival to hear from local author, Anne Andrew, PhD, author of What They Don’t Teach in Prenatal Class: The Key to Raising Trouble-Free Kids & Teens. There will be free childminding on site. We love community partnerships like this.
Building positive relationships beyond the Jewish community is important, too, and it’s a priority for our advocacy agent, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). On Monday, CIJA celebrated UN Interfaith Harmony Week with representatives from several faith-based communities and interfaith groups. We created more than 500 care packages for women and children living in shelters and Indigenous low income housing, and who access the Jewish Food Bank. Click here for photos.
We also had the opportunity to join CIJA at an introductory meeting to open dialogue and cooperation with the newly re-established BC Office of the Human Rights Commissioner. We met with Commissioner Kasari Govender and talked about human rights, online hate, and hate crimes data in British Columbia.
One final note: Our IT supplier will be upgrading our email server this afternoon, starting at 4:00 p.m. They expect it to be complete within about four hours. During this time, we will not be able to receive or respond to email. If you need to contact us between closing time and the start of Shabbat, please leave us a voice mail message. You can click here for a list of direct lines for our staff. 
Shabbat shalom,


Ezra S. Shanken
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. Help us plan ahead to meet the needs of our ageing population by filling out this short survey. We need everyone’s input, not just that of our older community members.

Laura Braude, Director, Jewish Community Foundation

Canvassers were honoured for over 18 years of volunteering