Meirav Or maintains her connection to Israel by volunteering for the Jewish Federation of Edmonton events. She moved to this city from Israel 20 years ago and first became involved with Talmud Torah, Naa’mat, and the Aviv dancers. She started coming forward for the Federation after passing these stages of life and found the organization aligned with her values.
“I’ve always tried to help, even when I was with other organizations. What we do here at the Federation, it’s for everybody,” says Meirav. “For me, it helps to preserve the sense of community.”
Meirav was the chair for the recent Yom Hazikaron service at Congregation Beth Shalom. They held this service in-person and live streamed. It’s a day of remembrance for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. “It’s an opportunity for people to get together and remember the soldiers and the victims,” she says.
She also led a committee to organize the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration at Beth Israel to mark Israel’s 74th birthday. Families filled the room at the synagogue. They enjoyed song and dance performances from Aviv, Talmud Torah students, and a local band. There was also face painting, a photo booth, playing Kahoot, and socializing. The last time the Jewish community gathered in-person for this festivity was before the pandemic.
She’s grateful for the support of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton and many volunteers for making these events possible.
In Israel, both days are of great significance. Meirav adds it’s important to celebrate these holidays in Edmonton by the Jewish community as well. “We are all affected by what’s going on in Israel and by commemorating these days, it can make us a stronger community. For me, it’s feeling connected to my heritage, my culture, and my people.