We all desire a thriving, connected Jewish Edmonton. This year’s United Jewish Appeal (UJA) campaign delves into what we all believe in about the Federation and UJA. Donors to the campaign took the time to write why they believe. You will see these statements on our website, on our social media platforms, and posters hung throughout Jewish Edmonton.
This past week, members of our community came together at the Citadel Theatre to launch the campaign, “I Believe”. The event celebrated Israeli culture and Jewish life. At the event, there were performances by special artists from the Clore Performing Centre of the Arts and Steve Shulman, the CEO of Jewish Federations of Canada - United Israel Appeal, spoke eloquently about why he believes. Whether newly arrived from Ukraine, born in Israel, Russia or Canada, affiliated to one entity or completely unaffiliated, teens to seniors noshed, schmoozed, kvelled and sang along. We focused on what unites us, a commitment to Jewish Edmonton.
I believe that a gift to the UJA campaign supports and sustains our community, touching Jewish lives at all stages. This year, we have seen Shalom Baby continue to engage new families, providing connections to one another and to Jewish Edmonton. The campaign completely supports Hillel, offering a haven to Jewish students on campus. Genesis has flourished and continues to welcome the unaffiliated into the community.
I believe in the power of community, and the centrality of our Federation of Jewish Edmonton. Whether you have received PJ Library books, been on a March of the Living trip, Maccabi games, attended an event, Holocaust Remembrance ceremony, or program, received a bursary for Camp BB, BBYO or Talmud Torah, enjoyed a lunch at the Jewish Drop-in Centre or came out to the Israel Pavillion at Heritage Festival, you have touched the impact of a UJA campaign gift, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our donors.
We are entering a powerful time in the Jewish calendar: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. A time for reflection and renewal. It is a time that we take stock of the year that was and connect to our hopes and aspirations for the year to come. It is also a time when we connect even deeper to our Judaism and Jewish community. A time to ask ourselves, “What do I Believe?”
Through the UJA campaign, we are asking our community to join us, to show their belief—YOUR belief—in a strong future. To believe that we provide dignity to our most vulnerable. To believe that we ensure we do not forget our past, and that we stand up to antisemitism. To believe that we provide access to Jewish life at all stages and to believe that our cultural programs keep us connected and strong.
Let this Rosh Hashana 5784 be a year of renewal for the Jewish people and our community. Let us show our belief in Jewish life here in Edmonton by supporting for the UJA campaign, which cares for so many in this city and around the world wherever Jews are in need.
Shanah Tovah U’Metukah, may you and your loved ones be inscribed in the book of life for a year of blessings and good health.