Twice a month, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa shares a Shabbat greeting from a member of our Board of Directors. This Friday, we are pleased to share this personal message from current board member and past chair, Kevin Barwin.
Dear friends,

As we approach the beginning of the new Jewish year, I want to use this opportunity through my community message to reflect on the year that has passed and the year ahead and thank all of you for what you have done in your individual ways to contribute to the success of our Ottawa Jewish community.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help another person. Thank you to everyone who responded positively when asked to donate to Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s
Annual Campaign.

(To learn more about this year’s Campaign and its message of turning challenges into opportunities, please visit here.)
As Chair of the Grants and Evaluation Committee, I have the unique opportunity to see how our collective efforts have helped our community grow to be stronger, more vibrant, more inclusive, more engaging, and more connected. We still have work to do but we are well on our way.

I also want to thank my Grants and Evaluation Committee members and professional staff publicly for all they have done this past year. They have taken on a larger than normal workload, allocating community dollars with professionalism and care.

As a committee, we strive to consider our diverse community and always encourage collaboration. We do our best to build on the past but try to give opportunity for innovation in new programming. We recognize that these are community dollars, and we hold our local agencies to be accountable and to deliver measurable outcomes as part of the grant and evaluation process. It truly is a privilege to chair this committee.

In other Jewish community news, earlier this week Federation leadership learned of a bathing suit video shoot that had taken place at the National Holocaust Monument. CEO Andrea Freedman was interviewed by multiple media sources and expressed how such photo sessions were a desecration of a hallowed site and a sign of the need for more Holocaust education. You can read her interview with the Ottawa Citizen here. Thankfully, the issue has been resolved as the company involved quickly apologized and took down the offensive videos and photos.

In broader Canadian news, our Head of State Queen Elizabeth died yesterday. We echo the message shared yesterday by our advocacy partner CIJA in saying that for seven decades, the Queen has served “with grace, dignity, and quiet strength. Her leadership through some of the most tumultuous moments of modern history has been a source of reassurance, stability, and hope for generations of Canadians.” Visit here to read a prayer on the Queen’s passing by Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth.

Lastly, I want to wish you all a Shana Tova, a good and healthy year ahead. Here’s to travelling more, spending more time together at in-person events and to continuing to build a strong and inclusive Ottawa Jewish community.

Shabbat Shalom,

Kevin Barwin
Member of the Board of Directors
and Chair of the Grants and Evaluation Committee

P.S. To help your Rosh Hashanah meal planning, check out the latest recipes shared in the Ottawa Jewish E-Bulletin. Cherry Brisket? Sounds delicious!