Dear friends,
At our Annual General Meeting (AGM) four years ago (June 2019), the Jewish Federation of Ottawa launched our new five-year strategic plan. Since then, we have been proud that while leading and supporting Jewish Ottawa through the extended global pandemic, we also prioritized meeting our strategic plan objectives and worked hard to build the Jewish Superhighway. 

Our strategic plan was set to expire June 2024 and our Board recently extended the plan by one year, while also approving an important addendum to the original plan pertaining to Jewish engagement and antisemitism
Jewish engagement: since our strategic plan was launched, we have significantly altered engagement models, focusing more on microgrants, micro-communities and 1:1 coffee dates. In fact, last month alone, our team had approximately 85 coffee dates with community members. While many of us love in-person gatherings, there are some in the community who cannot participate in-person and need a virtual option to stay connected or perhaps live out of town and yet still want to participate. For example, at Federation’s upcoming AGM on June 14, (visit here to register), the family of award winners who live out of town can join by livestream and virtually cheer on their loved one. Engagement models are evolving and the strategic plan extension will allow us time to gather the necessary data to make meaningful decisions going forward.  

Antisemitism: our strategic plan written in 2020 references antisemitism, but much has changed since then. The addendum articulates a specific and new objective “return antisemitism to society’s fringe and fight against its normalization.” Our team has worked hard to develop a comprehensive business plan to support this objective (please send me an email if you would like a copy). We need allies in this fight, we need a robust social media presence, and we need resources to push back against antisemitism. 
The Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation is looking forward to our AGM on June 8 at 7 pm. This is a leadership transition year: after two years of impressive service, Lawrence Soloway is ending his term as chair and Sandy Pollack is assuming the helm. We are going from strength to strength and our community is truly blessed. We also have an incredible guest speaker, Stephen Poloz, Former Governor of the Bank of Canada and author of the book The Next Age of Uncertainty. Please join us and register here!

The Foundation has done a terrific job spearheading the Life & Legacy initiative and encouraging legacy giving. Federation is excited to host our first-ever legacy event on June 11 honouring all those who have made a bequest (of any size) to Federation. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out.  
Federation and the Ottawa Vaad HaKashrut are thrilled to host our third Pop Up Kosher Restaurant Experience, Deli Night, featuring Deli Boyz, on June 5, at the Ottawa Torah Centre, 111 Lamplighters Drive. 

Please place your order here by Wednesday, May 31.  
And from meat to dairy… this Shabbat message is coming to you early because this evening we begin celebrating Shavuot. On Shavuot, we appreciate the wisdom, guidance, and values that the Torah imparts upon us, shaping our lives and community. Our community is diverse, with individuals from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. Shavuot reminds us that despite our differences, we are bound by a common thread that runs through our shared traditions and values. Shavuot reminds us of the importance of unity and togetherness. 

May this Shavuot be a time of joy, inspiration, and renewed dedication to our values. Let us celebrate the gift of the Torah, cherishing the wisdom it brings to our lives and striving to embody its teachings. 

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shavuot Sameach, 

P.S. Federation is looking for volunteers for our upcoming PJ in the Park event on June 11.

We need help with setup/cleanup, helping with crafts/activities, greeting/welcoming families.

If you are interested, please contact Emily at