Dear friends,
Over the last two years, I have written several times about the partnership between the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation and our local partner organizations in the Life & Legacy initiative
I am pleased to report that thanks to thoughtful community members and a lot of hard work, the Foundation successfully met our Year 2 goals! Since the program's inception, 300 community members (157 in Year 1 and 143 in Year 2) signed a Letter of Intent indicating support for various organizations they are most passionate about, including the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, by leaving a bequest in their will. 

Legacy giving is a wonderful way for people of all means to be impactful philanthropists and Micah Garten would be pleased to have a conversation with you.

Congratulations to all the partners who successfully secured at least 18 letters of intent this past year:  

  • Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa 
  • Congregation Machzikei Hadas 
  • The Bess and Moe Greenberg Family Hillel Lodge 
  • Jewish Education through Torah (JET)
  • Jewish Family Services 
  • Jewish Federation of Ottawa 
  • Kehillat Beth Israel 
  • Ottawa Jewish Community School 
  • Tamir 
  • Temple Israel 

(To learn more about the Year 2 success, read this E-Bulletin article.) 
Recently, Federation distributed close to $30,000 in new funding through our Innovation Fund for Capacity Building.
What makes this particular fund so special is that in a world of soundbites, it is not flashy, but nonetheless critical and delivers real and sustained value for the community. Federation understands that strengthening an organization’s infrastructure, helps them to deliver exceptional service and programming.  

Federation also recently approved additional microgrants for three exciting programs
Through microgrants, relatively modest investments are having a huge impact, bringing new people onto the Jewish Superhighway, (like the young people at the community-wide B'nei Mitzvah Celebration, photos at right).

We recently conducted research on microgrants from July 2021 to July 2022: 

  • 44 microgrants received a total of $77,500. which is an approximately 60% increase from the previous year.  

  • An astounding 6,628 people participated in an experience powered by a microgrant.  

  • 94% of participants rated their experience 8/10 or higher and 93% indicated they were very likely or likely to participate in future Jewish events. 

These are spectacular results and microgrants are bringing more and more people onto the Jewish Superhighway. As one participant shared: “It was great to gather with other Jewish public servants and safely celebrate our faith without having to hide or be othered. This refilled my glass. Thank you so much.”  
On Saturday night, we begin the observance of Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, a major day of communal mourning and the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. We mourn the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples and over the centuries, the many tragedies clustered around this day. But amidst the grief and sadness, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Z”L reminds us that hope remains paramount. “We are the people who gave the concept of hope to the world. We kept faith, we never gave up, and we honestly observed for 26 centuries without a single pause, the line in Tehillim 137, 'I will never forget you, O Jerusalem.' And because we never gave up hope, we finally came back to Jerusalem... The Jewish people kept hope alive, and hope kept the Jewish people alive.” 

This hope that has nourished the Jewish people is also at the core of Federation’s work  our vision of the future is carefully mapped out with strategic decisions like our investment in microgrants and the Foundation’s investment in Life & Legacy, and it is coupled with that intangible value of hope hope for constant betterment.
Shabbat Shalom,