Playing with children in Kiev (2015)

With the Canadian contingency at Prime Minister Harper's historic address at the Knesset (2014)

With the Spertus College MAJPS Class of 2014

At the GA in Jerusalem (2013)

Dr. Ralph Shedletsky has been an active lay leader in the Jewish community since 1975. He is immediate past-chair of Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA.


What is the main theme of your work?

I initially served on committees and boards of local social services agencies and subsequently got involved with broader community service providers. Eventually I served on various committees and as chair/president of the board at UJA of Greater Toronto, Circle of Care Toronto & Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA.  I have also been involved on the Boards of JFCS, Leo Baeck and Temple Emanuel.


Favorite part of the Community Work

My favorite part of the job is witnessing firsthand the impact of our philanthropic initiatives on individual lives and on community organizations. By creating alignment among different stakeholders in the voluntary and professional ranks, we are able to channel our energies more constructively.


What inspires you to work in Jewish communal service?

My parents came to Canada from Europe post-WW2 after having been interned in Siberia. They landed with nothing. When they were finally able to look beyond survival and providing the basic necessities for our family, they both became engaged with the community in different ways and dedicated themselves to helping in their own small way.


When I moved from Montreal to Toronto, to complete my education and start my career and family, I consciously decided that I wanted to be a contributing member of the local Jewish Community. But given that I was just starting out, and had young kids enrolled in Jewish Day School and attending Jewish summer camp, my choice was to give of my time and energy.


What motivates you to continue in your philanthropic efforts when the going gets tough?

That’s when the community needs us most and we need to stand up and be counted. Each person counts. We cannot succeed if people assume that the next person will carry the load. Success depends on everyone holding themselves accountable for the role they serve.


What does being ‘Jewish’ mean to you?

Identity. Heritage. Values.


What does ‘Jewish community’ mean to you?

Jewish peoplehood – my sense of community embraces Jews everywhere and my personal experiences in Jewish communities within different countries validates this global connection.


Why is Israel important to you?

Israel is our heart and soul. It is the embodiment of Jewish survival and the Jewish people’s capacity to be great.


What would you tell young people about getting active in community?

You’ll get so much from your involvement. You’ll learn new skills and be enriched by the people you meet and experiences you share. Not only will you gain an incomparable sense of accomplishment from the impact you have, your life will have greater purpose and meaning.


Is there one thing about JFC-UIA  that is not widely known and would surprise some people?

JFC-UIA is not locally focused like UJA.  It is a key, if not primary, connector of Jews within Canada, regardless of how remote or small the community,  and between Canada and Israel and the rest of the Diaspora..


If you could only share one aspect/attribute of JFC-UIA, what would it be?

The JFC-UIA table is where the collective will of Canadian Jewish community, from federations of all sizes to independent communities, is expressed. It is where we respond as a Jewish people to needs in Canada, Israel and elsewhere in the world.

Ralph has been on the Board and Executive of JFC-UIA since 2002. He served as Chair from 2014-2016, as treasurer for four years and he led the Governance Review Committee and the Strategic Planning Review. He has sat on numerous other Boards including Jewish Family and Child Services, Leo Baeck, Temple Emanuel and Circle of Care where he also served as President. Ralph sat on the board at UJA Federation of Greater Toronto for over 15 years and served as Chair from 2001-2003.
This spring, Ralph is excited to launch the next chapter in his career. He will be providing executive coaching and board advisory services to leaders and corporations across North America. Ralph is currently the Chief Customer Officer at LHH Knightsbridge, a global integrated human capital services company with business and offices across Canada, the US, UK, Australia and the Middle East. He was a founding partner of Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions and GSW Consultants, a firm acquired by Knightsbridge in 2002. Since then he has been in the role of Managing Director, COO and is currently Chief Customer Officer. Ralph has a doctoral degree in Organizational Psychology, is a Certified Management Consultant and acts as an advisor on privately held company Boards.
Ralph and Anita are members of Adath Israel synagogue and very proud parents of: Mark and Diana; Eric and Jacqueline; Diana and Dan. They are very devoted grandparents to Ryan and Bianca; Miles and Lyla; Damon and Romy.