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August 2022
Dear Community Members,

With summer well underway, we hope that you and your families are enjoying the beautiful weather and some downtime. 

This summer, members of the Federation Board of Directors visited our community youth camps, BB Camp and Camp Massad. Overnight camps provide the next generation of leaders with one of the most enriching experiences to build Jewish identity and a sense of belonging in our community. Camp lay leaders and staff showed us the amazing work done on-site, and the impact of Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA) dollars allocated through the Federation Allocations process.
We returned with clarity about how to further support these camps and youth needs in our community, and are excited to incorporate this into our current strategic plans. Thank you to the staff and board of directors at BB Camp and Camp Massad for hosting Federation, and for all the work you do!

Summer strategizing also included gearing up for the CJA Campaign launch this fall. We are pleased to announce that on September 20 at 7:00 pm at the Berney Theatre, we will be holding our CJA launch event, In Conversation with Yaron Deckel, the Regional Director of Canada for The Jewish Agency for Israel. Mr. Deckel is considered one of the most respected and well-known journalists in Israel, having a distinguished career that spanned almost three and a half decades. Please stay tuned for further details.

We saw alarming statistics on hate crimes released to the public last week by Statistics Canada on police-reported hate crime data for 2021 revealing that Jewish Canadians are 10 times more likely than other religions to be targeted by hate crimes, with 487 hate crimes targeting Jews occurring in 2021. This amounts to more than one antisemitic hate crime taking place in Canada each day, with hate crimes targeting religious groups up a staggering 67% from 2020. These statistics are alarming and sound a call to action for all Canadians to stand against antisemitism and all forms of hate.

Over the past week, we watched with great worry and concern for our brothers and sisters in Israel as over 1,100 rockets were indiscriminately fired into Israel by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a designated terror organization. Over 990 of those rockets reached Israel, endangering Israel’s population who spent days in bomb shelters, fearing for their safety and the well-being of their loved ones. Over 200 rockets fired from Gaza fell short of the border and landed in the Gaza Strip, endangering Palestinian civilians and causing 16 Palestinian casualties.

Although a ceasefire is now in place, recent events illustrate the immeasurable harm and suffering inflicted upon both Israeli and Palestinian civilians by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In June 2022, Federation met with Alon Davidi, the Mayor of Sderot, an Israeli town that is several kilometers from the Gaza border. We learned of the situation in Sderot and the impact of PTSD centres in that community. Last week, Mayor Davidi shared a letter in which he paints a vivid picture of the realities that Israelis face living in the shadow of perpetual conflict. We encourage you to take the time read it here. Thank you to David Greaves, Executive Director of JNF Manitoba/Saskatchewan, for sharing this letter.

Israelis have the right to live in peace, and there can be no justification for firing rockets into civilian neighbourhoods in Israel. Israel defends, and provides safety and security to all of its citizens including Christians, Muslims, Jews that live in Israel, as well as citizens from other nations visiting tourist attractions. We pray for a lasting end to the violence, and that the ceasefire remains in place.

Without hesitation, we can say that there is so much more to Israel than what is seen in the news headlines, and invite you to join us as we explore the beauty and ingenuity of Israel. Did you know that our Federation has been organizing missions to Israel for over 25 years? Our engaging, full itinerary allows you to feel the pulse of the country, acquire an understanding of the day-to-day realities that Israelis face, puts you in touch with prominent Israeli leaders and dignitaries, all while experiencing the very best cuisine and sightseeing that Israel has to offer. Israel will turn 75 in 2023, and we hope that you will join us for a life-changing experience in Israel next year. Please see our mission brochure here for further information on our February 15-26, 2023 Mission to Israel.

We wish all of you a safe and enjoyable August and look forward to being in touch with you in  September as we kick off our 2022-2023 Combined Jewish Appeal Campaign!

Shabbat Shalom,
Gustavo Zentner
Elaine Goldstine
Chief Executive Officer
Save the date for these upcoming events!
  Virtual SuperSunday Telethon
September 11
  Level Up: 10 Workshop Leadership Series
Starting September 13
Check out these photos from a recent event!
  Yoga in the Park
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