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Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver

July 14, 2017 | 20 Tammuz 5777 | Shabbat Candlelighting at 8:55 p.m.

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There are two things that I want to share with you this week, the first of which is the incredibly successful Jewish Day at the Ballpark that drew a sold out crowd of 200 people to enjoy a kosher BBQ followed by a Canadians game. Some of the reasons for its success are important to understand in the bigger context of the changes taking place in our community.

First, the location was great. Riley Park and Nat Bailey Stadium meant easy access for families and individuals from East Van, the West Side, and downtown. The partners involved reflect how our community’s organizations recognize the geographic shift. More and more community members have established themselves in East Van. If you are one of them, check out the great work of our event partners Chabad East Van and PJ Library, as well as the terrific ways to connect offered by East Side Jews, Or Shalom and others.

Now, our big news – tickets are on sale for FEDtalks (promo code Early123)! You won’t want to miss this year’s campaign opening event, because we have booked the most fantastic speakers:

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
One of the most distinguished Jewish minds of our time, Rabbi Telushkin is the author of Jewish Literacy, the best-selling book on Judaism of the past two decades. He also happens to be one of the top 50 speakers in the US, according to Talk magazine. He is learned, he is inspiring, and he is full of warmth, wit and personality. We are thrilled to have someone of his calibre address our community.

Eric Fingerhut
As the CEO of Hillel International, Eric plays a central role in developing the Jewish leaders of tomorrow. Engaging the next generation and inspiring them looks very different today than when most of us were students. In addition to the challenges around BDS that sees Hillel leading campus advocacy efforts, the core of their work is centred around building Jewish life on 550 campuses in 17 countries. An incredible 94% of Hillel students say that being Jewish will continue to be important to them after graduation. Eric and his team are doing something right, and we’re going to hear about it.

Ruth Wasserman Lande
A Mid-East expert who’s a former advisor to Shimon Peresz”l, Ruth rose through the ranks at the Israeli Embassy in Egypt. A typical day at work once meant dealing with counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation issues. Now there’s a new project close to her heart: transforming a Bedouin village into a model for Israeli society. “Fundamentally,” she says, “this is a deeply Zionistic initiative (that) shall undoubtedly serve to encourage and enhance the loyalty of Shibli's inhabitants… (and) serve as a positive example to other minorities, who find themselves in the crossroads between different vectors which threaten to draw them away from moderate integration into Israeli society.”

Rabbi Jay Henry Moses
We don’t always agree with each other, but we have a centuries old tradition of civil discourse and respectful disagreement, in large part because at the end of the day we are all family. But these days it seems increasing difficult to tap into that when it comes to sensitive topics that are close to our hearts. It isn’t just the Jewish community either; all over the world one can see examples of how civil discourse just isn’t all that civil anymore. As vice-president of The Wexner Foundation, Rabbi Moses is helping shape Jewish leaders at an elite, global level. This is something they talk about, and we’re going to talk about it, too.

Last year’s FEDtalks had rave reviews, and we have risen to the challenge of finding the most compelling speakers the Jewish world has to offer. The result is the most well-rounded program you’ll find anywhere in the Federation system.

We want to make sure everyone can attend, so we’ve dropped the price to $18 and $10 for students and young adults – but only before August 13th (with promo code Early123). After that, regular tickets are $36. Now there’s no reason not to bring your family, your friends, heck, even your whole neighbourhood. As I said last week, it takes every single one of us showing up in order to make a community. All you have to do is click here to be part of one of the biggest community events of the year. Now, how easy was that?

Shabbat shalom.

Ezra S. Shanken
CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver