Creating safe spaces for Jewish Edmonton

I am hearing great excitement about a new grocery store opening next to Bliss Baked Goods, however I want to share another exciting milestone for our community—the submission of a development permit application for the new Jewish Community Centre (JCC). While we await city approval, this is a significant step that reflects the hard work of the committee and our project manager, Marshall Hundert.  

The committee continues with the initial planning stages, including preparing grant applications. We look forward to hosting the community for open house events towards the summer (when the weather improves) and engage you in more conversations around the plans for the building and how it will ensure the future of Jewish Edmonton.  

We continue to advocate with law enforcement and the university around issues and concerns of antisemitism and safety. We are hearing a real yearning for a safe and comfortable ‘Jewish space’ for families, teens and older adults. I have been speaking with our community partners, including Jewish Family Services, about how we can use the new JCC to better serve the needs of the community.

This past week I visited with the teachers and students at Talmud Torah (special thank you to Principal Darin Johnson for taking me from class to class) to share a thank you from the children in Israel who were so touched by their cards and gifts. This was the true essence of our gesher chai—a living bridge—that we continue to provide between Etzbah Hagalil and Jewish Edmonton. 

Mark your calendars for Friday, April 5—coming up on six months since October 7—we are hosting an installation of an empty Shabbat table for hostages, with a brief ceremony to bring in Shabbat. Come view the table starting at 3:30 p.m. and stay for the brief ceremony at 5 p.m. Thank you to Jewish National Fund Edmonton for their support and the BBYO teens (with other volunteers) who have offered to come and help set up and tear down! It’s a true community event. We have invited our many allies and encourage you to do so as well.  

Shabbat Shalom,