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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Identity. Heritage. Values.
Jewish peoplehood – my sense of community embraces Jews everywhere and my personal experiences in Jewish communities within different countries validates this global connection.
Israel is our heart and soul. It is the embodiment of Jewish survival and the Jewish people’s capacity to be great.
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.
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..
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.