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Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver
From our CEO | Ezra S. Shaken

February 19, 2016 | 10 Adar 5776 | Shabbat Candlelighting at 5:20 p.m.

This message has 592 words and will take about 3 minutes to read.

We enter into this Shabbat feeling really great about two pieces of news we have to share with you.

Parliament Rejects BDS
Parliament displayed incredible support yesterday from all major parties for the fight against BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions). BDS is one of the most destructive actions being taken against Israel, and to see the major parties stand up in the House of Commons and recognize that publically is cause for celebration. The Liberals and Conservatives are expected to vote in favour of this motion next week, and we expect it to pass.

Our partners have worked tirelessly to build relationships with elected officials across the political spectrum. It is heartening to see them speak against BDS in all its forms - from boycotting Israeli artists and academics, to imposing sanctions, to divesting from Israeli companies. We will continue to fight BDS wherever it rears its head. And thanks to your support, we have the resources to do that and so much more for our community.

$8.3 Million - It’s Another Campaign Record!
I am very proud to announce that, for the second year in a row, the Federation Annual Campaign has raised a record amount for our community. This year’s record result is $8.3 million, an increase of $300,000 over last year – one of our biggest increases in recent memory. Thank you so much for taking our campaign – and more importantly, our ability to help our partner agencies address community needs – from strength to strength.

Our campaign chair, Neil Pollock, said it best at FEDtalks: “Our work is your work. You feed the hungry. You care for the elderly. You nurture the next generation.” We are deeply grateful for your commitment to our community and to our values of chesed, tikkum olam and tzedakah.

This record result means Jewish Federation and our partners can touch even more lives and respond more effectively than ever to community needs.

Stephen Gaerber, our board chair has “witnessed firsthand the challenges in our community and the profound reach of the Federation Annual Campaign. The high cost of living in Vancouver has made it difficult for many community members to connect with Jewish life, either because they cannot afford to live close to Jewish programs and services or because they cannot afford to participate. The Federation Annual Campaign addresses issues like these, builds connections between our community and our partnership region in Israel, and helps Jews in need around the world.”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our campaign leadership, particularly campaign chair, Neil Pollock, and chair of women’s philanthropy, Lisa Pullan; as well as our volunteer canvassers, and the Jewish Federation staff. We are also very thankful to have additional support from generous donors who funded the very successful Face to Face and New Canvasser incentives. Kol hakavod to the campaign team and all our donors for such dedication to our community.

The $8.3 million total isn’t the only impressive number this year. Have a look at the campaign by the numbers to see the extent of this year’s successes:

1,007 Donors Increased their Gifts
225 Donors Gave for the First Time
292 Volunteer Canvassers
75 New Canvassers
608 Face to Face Meetings with Donors
1,459 Community Members Attended Campaign Events
409 Campaign Volunteers
64 Local Programs and Services Supported
17 Israel and Overseas Programs and Services Supported
37 Partner Agencies Supported

On behalf of all of our partner agencies and the thousands of community members who rely on their programs and services, thank you.

Shabbat shalom,

Ezra S. Shanken
CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver

Ezra welcomes your questions and comments. To send him an email, click here.