Dear friends,

In the cycle of the work year, I always appreciate the summer months. Not only is it a time to take holidays, to recharge and enjoy the great outdoors, it is also when we can reflect and plan.
 
The summer is when I meet with new Board members to provide an orientation and hear more from them about what they hope to accomplish. I am delighted to welcome Gillian Presner and Alice Retik to Federation’s Board and Tamara Fathi, Jules Sigler, and Susan Viner Vered to Foundation’s Board. I also meet with departing Board members to better understand their experience and how we can do even better in the future. Thank you, Hartley Stern and Victor Rabinovitch for your service on Federation’s Board and Susan Margles and Lenora Zelikovitz on Foundation’s Board. 

The summer is when we pay close attention to Federation’s Strategic Plan as we evaluate last year’s Business Plan and write our new plan – all with the intent of strengthening the Jewish Superhighway. I look forward to sharing the results with you and to presenting our Year 3 Business Plan in September. 
In the summer, our team engages in performance reflections. We celebrate the successes of the past year, identify goals for the coming year, and determine how we can continue growing as professionals, leaders, and people. 

Our community is fortunate that Federation and Foundation have one of the best teams in the business and I am grateful for my colleagues’ expertise, passion and hard work. This week, we are delighted to welcome our new Chief Financial Officer, Mark Gruner, a highly qualified and experienced finance professional with global experience. Mark can be reached at mgruner@jewishottawa.com.

In the spirit of excitedly planning for a bright future, I am proud to share the latest round of grants from Federation’s Innovation Fund for Capacity Building. These funds are going to organizations already doing terrific and critically important work and are motivated to do even better by capitalizing on new opportunities, in a constantly evolving and shifting environment. It is a testament to the passion of our community agencies that despite many challenges, they continue to strive to build capacity and to engage people with the goal of providing meaningful Jewish experiences for all. 
To conclude, here is a short personal reflection. While I still primarily work from my kitchen table, more and more, I meet with people outside and spend time on the community campus. Yesterday, while at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre, I relished seeing all the children enjoying a stellar summer camp experience. It was so good to speak with colleagues like Greenberg Family Librarian Carlie MacPherson and Archivist Teigan Goldsmith because they had huge smiles on their faces as they shared how delighted they are to welcome people back into the building (by appointment only for now, but soon)!  

Shabbat Shalom and welcome to Stage 3 of Ontario’s re-opening.

Andrea