Summer Update 2015

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On June 19th in Jerusalem, JFC-UIA and Canada Israel Experience celebrated the 30,000th Canadian Taglit-Birthright Israel participant, Jessica Swan.

 [Pictured L-R: Evan Zelikovitz- Chair of the CIE Management Committee & Chair of the March of the Living Archive Project, Dr. Ralph Shedletsky - immediate past-Chair of JFC-UIA, Julia Berger Reitman - current Chair of JFC-UIA, Jessica Swan - 30,000th CIE participant, Linda Kislowicz - President & CEO of JFC-UIA, and David Engel - Chair of the Birthright Foundation of Canada &  past-Chair of JFC-UIA]
July 2015
I hope you are enjoying a peaceful summer.  

It's hard to believe we have reached the midpoint of 2015. It has so far been an especially interesting year at Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA. In late 2014, we launched an intensive macro review process - chaired by Dr. Ralph Shedletsky - aimed at creating a more effective and sustainable national system that engaged 45 lay and professional leaders from across the country. It will result in improved efficiencies at JFC-UIA and our advocacy agent CIJA. This process, nor any of our successes, would not have been possible without the consistent and invaluable efforts of the professionals and volunteers that work for and on behalf of JFC-UIA.

I am currently in Israel on an extended trip that will bring me to each of our partnership regions. I have had the opportunity to meet with local professionals who work every day to improve the quality of life in struggling communities. I have also had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of families who have benefited tremendously from programs funded by Canadian Federations. It has so far been an incredible experience to learn firsthand about the impact of our work in Israel.

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the annual Keren Hayesod and Jewish Agency meetings in Jerusalem along JFC-UIA lay leaders Dr. Ralph Shedletsky and Julia Berger Reitman and professional and lay leadership from communities across Canada.

The summer travel season is in full swing. Almost 2000 young Canadians will experience Israel on Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. 32 Torontonians are almost finished their 7-week Onward Israel journey, while MASA Israel participants will number over 400 this year.

Below are some highlights of recent national and regional accomplishments since our AGM at the beginning of June. To learn about our 2014 achievements, you can download the Annual Report here.


Linda Kislowicz
President & CEO
Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA
Annual General Meeting
L to R: Julia Berger Reitman, Dr. Ralph Shedletsky, Linda Kislowicz at the Jerusalem home of Canadian Ambassador Vivian Bercovici
At the Annual General Meeting in Toronto on June 7th, CEOs, professionals and lay leaders from federations across Canada gathered in Toronto in June for the JFC-UIA Annual General Meeting. Collaborative discussions addressed strategic planning with regard to the recent internal review processes.

Julia Berger Reitman assumed the role of Chair of the Board, succeeding Dr. Ralph Shedletsky.  Learn more about Julia here.
"I enter Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA at a time of challenge and opportunity. I strongly believe that through renewed collaboration, commitment and compromise we can position ourselves effectively to respond to the changing dynamic of the Canadian Jewish community." 
We thank Ralph for his unwavering commitment to JFC-UIA, the Canadian Jewish community and Israel. His dedication to strengthening the Jewish collective was a driving force in recent successful collaborations with our national partners. 
Young Leaders Acknowledged in Israel

"Young leaders need to provide continuity - but also to change and improve the world"- Avraham Avi-hai, former KH-UIA World Chairman 


At the Keren Hayesod meeting in Israel in June, Jason Rubinoff, past Chair of Keren Hayesod's International Young Leadership Board, received the Avi-hai Prize for Exemplary Young Leadership - along with  Fabienne Meijers from Amsterdam. Both are past chairs of Keren Hayesod's International Young Leadership Board. Jason is past co-chair of JFC-UIA National Young Leadership.  

Walk for Israel in Kitchener-Waterloo Raises $40K
Despite 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 lunch at Beth Jacob Synagogue sponsored by the Waterloo Region Jewish Community Council.  Since 2012, the  Kitchener-Waterloo Walk for Israel has raised almost $40,000.

Pictured L-R:  Michael Bierstock with son Josh, Officer Bachelor, Officer Pett, Deputy Chief Kevin Chalk, Rob Daniels, Jeff Budd, Peter Braid-Tory MP for Kitchener-Waterloo
 Learn more about the Kitchener-Waterloo Walk for Israel here »
Coast-to-Coast Joint Steering Committee Meets in Vancouver
In June, 40 professionals and lay leaders from Israel and Canada attended the Coast-to-Coast - Galilee Panhandle Partnership2Gether Joint Steering Committee meetings in Vancouver. The itinerary included a visit to UBC - Green Farms to tour the farm facility where they met Dr. Andrew Riseman and Dr. Murray Isman, consultants on an organic community farming project in the Galilee which is supported by the coast-to-coast partnership.  

Photos >> 

Learn more about the CTC partnership here >>  


After over 15 years at JFC-UIA in various significant roles within regional community outreach and Israel Experiential education forums, Michael Soberman has officially left JFC-UIA.  During his tenure at Canada Israel Experience, tens of thousands of Canadians experienced and connected to Israel.


Dani Fine has officially succeeded Michael as Director, National Initiatives for the Next Generation and Canada Israel Experience. He has been a valued member of the JFC-UIA team as Director of Hillel Canada and MASA Israel Canada.


On the regional front, Daniel Stern is leaving the role of Director of Campaign and Regional Development at the end of July. His contributions to the regional landscape since 2010 have been invaluable.  Perry Romberg will be returning as Director of Campaign. Perry has a storied career in Jewish communal service, many years of which were at JFC-UIA.   


We are excited to welcome Dani and Perry to their current roles and we wish Michael and Daniel great success in all future endeavours.   

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