An update on recent developments in the news and accomplishments by Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA and its partners and affiliates in recent months. These highlights illustrate our core organizational mission to connect Jewish Canadians and communities to one other and to Israel.
Message from the Chair

While often compared to Halloween because of the dress-up, the central theme of Purim celebrates the faith and courage of an inspiring Jewish woman, Esther, who put herself in danger to save the Jewish people. 

Purim is an ideal time to personally look forward with a rearview mirror, to consider what lessons we want to take from our past to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Currently, we are undergoing a strategic review at JFC-UIA, with the goal of enhancing and strengthening this historic and vital organization. At the December Board meeting, following the approval of a strategic planning framework, a committee of lay leaders and professionals from across Canada began to develop a plan that will propel JFC-UIA into the future.

The committee is looking back on organizational history through a targeted lens, to discover past trials, failures and triumphs, to see where things went wrong and where they went right, in a strategic effort to chart a successful course.

As every Jewish community is vital to the health and strength of our national community, we are working with each in a collaborative environment with a shared understanding of the end goal of the process - a robust national system that meets the needs of its stakeholders.   

JFC-UIA aims to serve Jewish communities across Canada and connect them with one other. Together, we will build on past challenges and triumphs to build a brighter future for our national community. We will also connect in spirit as we proudly celebrate Jewish religion and culture.

We are excited about the discovery process and moving JFC-UIA forward.
Chag Sameach to you and your loved ones. 

Leslie Gales, Chair
Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA

It seems like only yesterday that I lived in Israel. Even though it’s been 24 years, if I close my eyes I could swear it was just a moment ago that I was a student at Hebrew University,

But as I drove through the streets of Jerusalem in February, a short distance away from where I used to walk every day to catch the Eged 4א bus get to the Mount Scopus campus, much as I felt like no time had passed, I also realized just how much Jerusalem has changed since I called it home..........
On March 18th, we welcomed Jeremy Grafstein on board as Chief Financial and Operations Officer. We are confident that Jeremy's significant experience in the private sector will be a great asset in streamlining operations and processes at Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA.

Howard Driman will be retiring after 18 years at JFC-UIA at the end of March. We are grateful for Howard's contributions and wish him the best in all future endeavours.
On March 12, the results of a major survey conducted in 2018 by the Environics Institute for Survey Research, in partnership with the University of Toronto and York University, were released. The research team worked closely with regional survey partners, including; the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Federation CJA (Montreal), and the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

Benchmarked against comparable research in the USA, the results show that Canadian Jews as a whole are distinct from their American counterparts in being more connected to Jewish life through education, membership in Jewish organizations, friendships, and connections to Israel.

F indings about Jewish identity, practices and experiences will be invaluable to Federations and community organizations for program planning and development.
318 young adults from across Canada experienced Israel on one of the most successful winter seasons. We are looking forward to a busy summer season.

"It was fascinating to hear diverse perspectives on everything from Jewish identity to Israel’s connection with the Diaspora. [..] The atmosphere was one of learning and openness designed to make us feel comfortable about asking questions and raising issues." - Tom R.
Over 50 people from Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax attended the annual western hospitality event in Palm Springs, hosted by Ruby and Gerry Gales. Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, spoke about the special connection between Israel and the Diaspora. The event was organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA.
Last week, representatives from the Knesset visited schools in Vancouver, Toronto, Kingston and Hamilton to speak about the workings of the Knesset, the electoral process and how Israel forms its government. This program was a joint effort of the Knesset, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA, the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Queen’s Hillel and the Hamilton Jewish Federation.
25 Canadians enjoyed a day of exclusive access to industry influencers and change-makers in the fields of technology and venture capitalism in Manhattan. The group had in-depth meetings with  Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chief Scientist of the State of Israel Chair, Israel Innovation Authority; Uri Tamir, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, Mobileye; Joel Steinhaus, Director, Strategic Relations, WeWork; Inon Elroy, Israel’s Economic Minister to North America; Guy Franklin, General Manager of SOSA NY, Corporate Innovation, Global Cyber Center and Founder "Israeli Mapped in NY"; Mark Anthony Thomas, Senior Vice President, Partnerships at New York City Economic Development Corporation; and Eyal Gruner, co-founder and CEO of Cynet co-founder of Cymulate, co-founder and former CEO of BugSec. To top it off, they spent the evening in conversation with Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of the State of Israel to New York.
International Lion of Judah Conference
Over 3,200 Lions of Judah from across the globe, including 65 Canadians, gathered at the Diplomat Hotel in Hallandale, Florida for the International Lion of Judah Conference. The range of motivational speakers included Aly Raisman, American gymnast and powerful voice in the #MeToo movement.

Fundraising expert Vicki Agron spoke to the Canadian Lions about the values to live by for philanthropy and community enrichment.  
Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month 2019
February was Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). Its mission is to build awareness in Jewish communities and increase community engagement in this agenda. JDAIM celebrates our community's commitment to removing barriers, celebrating diversity and connecting with our Jewish values. On February 5th, Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD), representatives from Jewish communities across Canada met with government officials in Ottawa to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.
Sent by United Israel Appeal of Canada Inc., a registered charity | Registration number 134593391RR0001
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