We are very pleased to report that we generated more than $11 million to change countless lives locally, in our partnership region in Israel, and around the world. This is comprised of the record $8.5 million campaign result, $320,000 in donors' special project funding, and a record $2.3 million distributed through the Jewish Community Foundation.
Our work this past year was guided by the implementation of our 2020 Strategic Priorities and the five areas of opportunity identified therein: affordability, accessibility, seniors, engagement and security. We are already seeing some exciting results.
Our Community Security Advisory Committee delved deeper into its work, chaired by our former president, Bernard Pinsky, and we focused the 2016 Federation Annual Campaign in large part on raising the additional funds needed to address community security in a more comprehensive way. Under the leadership of campaign chair, Alex Cristall, community security became a key factor in driving the record $8.5 million Annual Campaign result.
We also continued our work to improve the accessibility of Jewish communal life by supporting the full diversity of Jewish communities throughout the Lower Mainland. On the recommendation of our Regional Communities Task Force, chaired by Shelley Ail and Marnie Goldberg, we hired a manager of community development who has been working with our partners to develop and deliver Jewish programming in communities like Maple Ridge, Coquitlam and Port Moody. From Shabbat brunches to holiday celebrations, more than 400 people took part in these programs, building connections with each other and building community from the ground up.
In recognition that the rising cost of living is making it increasingly difficult for families and individuals to engage fully in Jewish communal life, we presented the Jewish Community Affordability Summit in partnership with the Jewish Family Service Agency, Hebrew Free Loan Association of Vancouver, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Tikva Housing Society, and the Rabbinical Association of Vancouver. Affordability and accessibility have a direct impact on overall Jewish community sustainability. Our community is negatively impacted when community members cannot participate in Jewish programs or provide their children with a Jewish education because all of their income is spent on food and shelter. One of the outcomes of the summit was the establishment of a Food Security Task Force that will be implemented jointly by our Federation and the Jewish Family Service Agency. Our Planning Council will work hand in hand with
both the Regional Communities Task Force and the new Food Security Task Force.
In Israel we continued the important work of creating a more equal society in our partnership region of Etzbah Hagalil, the Galilee panhandle. One of the exciting initiatives that we began to fund this year is Krembo Wings, an organization that brings together able-bodied teens with their peers who have disabilities to create positive change. We were delighted to support the JCC inclusion trip to Israel where participants with diverse needs from our community had a mifgash (encounter) with participants and leaders of Krembo Wings. We also fostered connections
between people living in our community and residents of our partnership region through our support of programs like the King David High School grade eight trip to Israel, which with 59 students and teachers is now the biggest of its kind in North America.
In our 2020 Strategic Priorities we identified a significant growth opportunity for our endowment program, The Jewish Community Foundation. The Foundation held assets of approximately $50 million and distributed just over $2.3 million to support programs and services that reflect our fund holders’ charitable interests locally, nationally and in Israel. The unrestricted grant program continued to provide much needed financial support for new and emerging needs in our community.
Led by chair, Judi Korbin, the Foundation completed a strategic planning process and developed a three-year operational plan that was adopted by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The implementation of the plan is central to positioning the Foundation for growth, and
ensuring it remains a stable source of funding that our Jewish community can rely on for generations to come.
As you read through this year’s Annual Report, we hope you will also take some time to review the separate Annual Report produced by the Jewish Community Foundation, as well as our 2020 Strategic Priorities. These documents provide information that complements Jewish Federation’s Annual Report, providing additional context for the direction the organization as a whole is taking to strengthen Jewish life locally, in Israel and around the world.
|Ezra S. Shaken
Chief Executive Officer