Shabbat Candlelighting 8:38 p.m.                                                Friday, July 30, 2010/19 Av 5770

This message has 603 words, and will take about 2-3 minutes to read.

Join Hillel at the Pride Parade
The annual Vancouver Pride Parade is the city’s largest parade, and one of its most popular outdoor events. An anticipated 650,000 spectators and participants will fill the streets of the West End on Sunday. This year, for the first time, students from Vancouver Hillel are participating in an organized way.

The theme of this year’s Pride Parade is “Educate, Liberate, Celebrate”, and Hillel is fully on board with the message. According to Rael Katz, vice president external of Hillel’s Israel Awareness Club at UBC, Hillel is interested in emphasizing the values that Canada and Israel share. As Katz notes, “LGBTQ rights are one of the strongest platforms on which Canadian and Israeli values and laws compare, so it is only natural for our club to participate and represent both Canadians and Israelis in the parade.”

People of all ages are welcome to participate. Anyone wishing to walk with the Hillel contingent must be at the southeast corner of Thurlow and Barclay by 11:45 a.m. Sunday at the latest. Note that parade organizers will not allow latecomers to join their contingents. For more information and to RSVP, contact Pat at

If watching parades is more your speed than walking in them, look for the Hillel float near the tail end of the procession. After the parade you can enjoy Israeli performer, Yehonatan, who is performing at Sunset Beach.

Thoughts on Conversion Issue
The issue of conversion legislation has clearly touched a nerve for many people in our community and throughout the Jewish world. One of the more thoughtful pieces I’ve read in the immediate aftermath of the Knesset’s adjournment was by Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel who helped spearhead the effort to postpone consideration of the bill. Click here to access his perspective on the opportunities that could come from the seemingly negative initiative.

Additional Local Groups Receive Federal Security Funding
Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced yesterday two additional Security Infrastructure Program grants for local Jewish institutions – Congregation Schara Tzedeck and the Ohel Ya’akov Community Kollel. Both groups received assistance from the Jewish Federation and the Canadian Jewish Congress to conduct security assessments and to plan security changes for their facilities, and received matching funds from Federation’s security grant program that helped leverage the federal dollars.

Parashat Ekev
In this week's parasha, Moses continues with his final speeches to the people. Although he reminds the people of the privations they have suffered during their wanderings in the desert, including subsisting on manna, he also foresees a future when the Israelites will have more means. He warns them that there will be a time when they will have beautiful homes and accumulated wealth and he cautions them that they should not assume that they are solely responsible for their success, but rather that their wealth and means are owed to God's power. The commentators view this as a warning to the Jewish people against arrogance and pride.

We are fortunate to live in a time of great affluence, even in the wake of the economic turmoil of the past two years. Relative to how our people have fared through out the generations, we are blessed by the freedom and comfort in which most Jews in the world now live. In that context, Moses' speech is an important reminder to not take what we have for granted, and to temper our pride. Of course, among the best ways we can do that is by recognizing the needs of those who are less fortunate through acts of tzedakah and service to others.

Shabbat Shalom!

This is an official email sent to you from the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. Federation respects and upholds an individual’s right to privacy and to protection of his or her personal information. We use personal data for providing up-to-date information on our objectives, services, to process donations.