Toronto, ON June 17, 2015 - Despite the stormy weather, 240 people came together at the 4th annual Kitchener-Waterloo Walk for Israel in support of youth at risk in Kiryat Shmona, Israel. The 5-kilometre walk was followed by a kosher lunch at Beth Jacob Synagogue sponsored by the Waterloo Region Jewish Community Council.
“This year’s turnout was phenomenal! More than double from last year!” said event organizer Jeff Budd. “It just goes to show that Kitchener-Waterloo has a vibrant and connected Jewish community. We had a great time – even in the rain – celebrating and supporting Israel.”
The Kitchener-Waterloo Walk for Israel was a once recurring community event. In 2012, after 25 years, Jeff Budd revived this annual tradition that brings people together with a common goal, to celebrate their local community and to support Israel. Since its revival, the walk has raised over $40,000 for Youth Futures Kiryat Shmona.
“It’s heartening to know that Jewish community spirit is very much alive in regional communities across Canada,” said Daniel Stern, Director of Regional development at Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA. “It’s these types of community events that strengthen the bonds between individual community members and also deepens community connections to Israel.”
The Kitchener-waterloo Walk for Israel is sponsored by Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA, the Waterloo Region Jewish Community Council, Beth Jacob Synagogue, Temple Shalom, Chabad Waterloo and dozens of community volunteers.
About Youth Futures
The Jewish Agency's Youth Futures program empowers disadvantaged Israeli youth, providing them with an equal opportunity to develop their academic and social skills. Youth Futures serves nearly 10,000 youth in 32 localities, primarily in the Negev and Galilee. The innovative Youth Futures model is based on "Trustees" - some 300 young adult Israeli social pioneers - who work full time to build a strong relationship with children and their parents. The Trustees tailor an annual work plan for each child, based on his/her strengths and needs. The work plan is developed in coordination with parents, teachers, school counselors, social workers, and other professionals.
About Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA
Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA represents ten Canadian Jewish federations and four regional councils. The organization and its agencies provide direct services to independent regional Jewish communities not served by an organized Jewish Federation. Organizational activities strengthen the connection and commitment of Canadian Jews both to one another and to Israel. Programs and services managed and operated by Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA focus on social services, strengthening Jewish community, building Jewish identity in the next generation, advocating for Israel and world Jewry and representing the interests of the national Jewish collective on both domestic and international stages.