Working together for a stronger community

As a Jewish Federation, we are a central body that raises funds in order to better support the community, through programs, events, services and allocations. I appreciate our role as funder, whereby an allocations committee review applications and determine how best to meet the needs as expressed by our community agencies. The latest round was offered to all registered organizations to apply for co-programming funds. We are looking forward to supporting the bagel loop organized by the Jewish Drop in Centre, the grand opening of the JAHSENA  library catalog,  the continuation of the LGBTQ+ support group at Jewish Family Services, a new coding program at Camp BB, as well as other youth programming taking place at synagogues and Talmud Torah. Funds allocated earlier in the year support the integrated bursary program (IBP), ensuring that the most vulnerable can access Jewish life through camp, school, and BBYO, with anonymity and dignity. IBP applications are being accepted now and a committee of representatives and volunteers will adjudicate in early June.  

I read somewhere recently that with all that we are seeing on campuses and around the world, the next generation will understand why there were Jewish schools, Jewish clubs and Jewish hospitals;  that many spaces are becoming inhospitable- even hostile- for the jewish community. While we remain vigilant and monitor what we see unfolding through your reports and feedback in and around the streets of Edmonton, in our public schools and on campuses, we are not requiring our own ‘Jewish’ institutions. What we do require, however, is a safe place where we can easily gather and attend to the cultural needs of our community. I am eager to have our new JCC in place so that we can continue to strengthen our youth and bridge the community through tailored and robust programming while welcoming and bridging with greater Edmonton.  

Our committee will be selecting an architect shortly, as we have sent out an RFP to many firms who are now responding. We look forward to hosting open houses and consultations to get your input and feedback this spring, and are developing a webpage to keep you updated throughout this project. 

We do not need to wait for a JCC to see one another. Shortly after Passover is complete, we head into the cycle of commemorations and celebration. 

This year will feel different, but I encourage you to join with the community for Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. They are all planned by your fellow community members, and our staff team have been supporting their efforts. We hope to welcome new families who have arrived from Israel as well as all newcomers to Jewish Edmonton (please contact us at if you are one of them!)  If you see a new face enter the room, please be sure to give them a warm hello! 

If you have not yet bought your tickets to the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival, you can do so online. There is still time to advertise or sponsor the Film Festival- a double mitzvah as all proceeds will support the respite visit of 20 Israeli youth at Camp BB this summer.  

Shabbat Shalom