THE VOICE OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF EDMONTON
L Check out the new program for babies and parents Page 8
HAKOL | VOLUME 8, #3 NOVEMBER 2021
EDMONTON From the desk of our president Page 2 Meet Federation staff Page 4 -5 Donations to foundation leave legacy Page 7 Hillel plans year of events Page 10 Eight ways to light up your Chanukah Page 12
UJA campaign funds impacts from cradle to grave When Darryl Antel and Howie Sniderman think of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) campaign, community comes to mind. “From my point of view, the impact of the UJA campaign is from cradle to grave. We raise funds and distribute them around the community locally, nationally, and in Israel. I see the impact at the start of life in our community, through programs such as Shalom Baby. As we grow through the years, the number of programs and organizations that are supported by UJA also add to the lifeblood, vitality and the strength of our community,” says Howie, the campaign co-chair. “A reason I got involved with the campaign is, not only is it an aspect of what it means to be part of the community, but it makes you feel even more connected to the community,” adds Darryl, who is co-chairing the campaign with Howie. Darryl moved to Edmonton eight years ago and knew very few people. He connected with the Jewish community through the young professionals’ program that the Federation offered. Darryl saw how UJA funds can make an impact through this program by helping others connect. For Howie, funds from past UJA campaigns have
affected him in different ways, but what stands out are his experiences at Camp BB Riback. “The studies that we’ve all seen over the years tell us a Jewish summer camp experience is an important component of an identification with the Jewish community for the rest of your life. In many cases, mine included. It’s where you meet your spouse,” says Howie. “When I look at the impact, it extends for generations— from my in-laws, who were very involved with Jewish summer camps, to my wife Debbie and I, and our own children. And soon enough our grandchildren will attend the camp as well.” Howie became involved with the UJA campaign in the 1980s after he graduated from university. He grew up understanding how important supporting the Jewish community was from an individual perspective and an organizational point of view. “I understood from an early age that we had to give tzedakah. We had to help one another. That’s how we build a powerful community,” he adds. At this stage of his life, Howie thinks of the future and how the UJA campaign is a critical part of creating a future for Jewish Edmonton. ...continued on page 3
FROM THE STEVE SHAFIR DESK OF PRESIDENT At our annual general meeting in December, I will stand before the community for the last time as president of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. This is my final HaKol article. I wish to take the time here to recognize those people who I am most greatly indebted to for making the previous four years successful for me and for our community. I have previously paid tribute to all of our staff, volunteers and donors who have given tirelessly for the betterment of our community frequently over the last four years. The experience of being president of the Federation, while tiring and daunting, has been a great honour. One that I will always remember with fond memories, despite the issues that may have brought me angst and sleepless nights while they were ongoing. Now, for the most important thank yous: Nava, Lexi, and Talya—thank you for giving a piece of me up for the community on many nights over the last four years. Thank you for your patience while I waded through issues that arose, and I had to excuse myself at a moment’s notice to deal with. Thank you for listening to me ramble on for hours about the goings-on at the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. Thank you for your understanding when I missed a tuck-in or a story time as I was in meetings. I owe you for the time I missed, and I want you to know that all the work I did over the past four years was with you in mind—trying to make our community a better, stronger community for you to live in and grow up in. For all the time I have spent dedicated to volunteering for our community over my term as president, I want you to know that I did so thinking of you, of your future, your lives and
your community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel I am leaving our community a better one, and one that you and I can all be proud to be a part of. Nava and Lexi, I hope that one day you will give back to your community. I hope that my work has served as an example for you and you can not only do whatever you put your minds to, but that you can help build your community up and make it what you think would be best for you and your families. I hope you one day look back and know that I tried as hard as I could to do that for you. Talya, thank you for holding down the fort when I was busy with Federation business and could not be around to do my fair share. I thank you for your patience and dedication to everything that needed to be done on the home front, and for always supporting me in everything I do. I have no bigger fan, no bigger supporter, and primarily no better teammate. What I believe is my success is nothing without your sacrifices. For that, I cannot thank you enough. I believe that the community owes you a debt of gratitude for giving up your dad and husband on many occasions over the past number of years. I am looking forward to being around a lot more now that my term is ending. I love you all. With this, I leave the Federation in your hands. I hope we can continue to build on our successes. Steve Shafir, President
...continued from Page 1 “I think of how important it is that we plant that seed today. Although, we might not see the tree grow and not enjoy the fruit from that tree. Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did that for us. They had that foresight. I’m really pleased to be part of an organization with a vast group of volunteers who, together with our professional staff, want to plant that seed today for the future,” he says. Darryl believes that by donating to the campaign, contributors will feel a larger connection to the community, as well as doing their part to support Jewish Edmonton. “Whether it’s doing something for
the community, the city at large, for Israel, or Jews around the world, you’re going to feel like more of a part of something you’ve contributed towards,” he says. Howie adds donors are helping our community to thrive and survive. “I can’t think of a more important investment to make. I hope everyone will consider deeply how important the untold hours of volunteer time for the Federation’s program and services are. The impact of that time and effort is maximized, and the financial support provided by our annual community campaign strengthens our community. I hope they understand that’s why supporting the UJA is so important.”
Holocaust education ongoing for Jewish Edmonton Holocaust education is continuous for the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. We have programs running year-round. Kristallnacht was marked online this year, starting with the launch of the virtual exhibit of Stars without a Heaven: Children of the Holocaust on November 8. Yad Vashem museum staff provided a tour. This is part of an overall program with the Federations in Ottawa and Hamilton and the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem to bring three Yad Vashem exhibits into public spaces in Edmonton and surrounding communities. After the launch, we will work to bring the physical exhibit (comprising 14 double-sided stand-alone panels) into public spaces, beginning with a showing at Ross Sheppard High School in mid-November. The annual Dianne and Irving Kipnes Holocaust Education Symposium went online last spring, because
of COVID-19. We partnered with Calgary to bring virtual content to Edmonton area high schools. Because of the school semester system and the relative ease of offering online content, Calgary is organizing the virtual symposium both in the spring and the fall this academic year. We plan to bring this content to Edmonton schools. There is an increase in participation and positive feedback from the educators about both the content and the delivery and we are pleased to bring this important material to students. March of the Living has been on hiatus for the past two years. We are working on the possibility of offering a trip this spring 2022 with other communities across Canada. More information will be available at a later date.
Hakol is published three times a year by the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. Editor: Tamara Vineberg
Meet the Federation staff Jennifer Brownridge Financial controller Jennifer grew up in Edmonton’s west end, close to the former site of the Jewish Community Centre. One of her fondest memories is swimming and eating fries and gravy at the JCC. Jennifer discovered the love of numbers and made it into a lifelong career. She handles all the accounting for the Federation. Before her present position, she has contributed to non-profit organizations by properly doing their books. She loves working and volunteering for non-profits because she enjoys seeing the impact they have on communities. What she doesn’t love are Edmonton winters. We can find Jennifer crafting, making junk journals, and reusing items in interesting ways when she isn’t counting numbers. Stacey Leavitt-Wright Chief Executive Officer Stacey became the chief executive officer of the Federation because she wanted to ensure the future of Jewish Edmonton and the opportunity to help create a thriving Jewish Edmonton. She grew up in Montreal where there is a strong culture of philanthropy and community volunteerism. Stacey has volunteered extensively in the Jewish community since she moved here with her family 15 years ago and has a background in leadership development. She loves focusing her work on building relationships and systems in change as she received her Bachelor of Commerce and Masters in Applied Social Science. Stacey loves to walk in the river valley with her dogs and family, spend time in the kitchen cooking and watching Israeli television series. She loves Edmonton for its can do attitude and how the city welcomes people. Jennifer Magalnick Associate Director, Holocaust Education and Community Engagement Page 4
Throughout her career, Jenn has worked in the Jewish community. After graduating from Brandeis University with a master’s in Jewish Communal Service, Education Concentration, she worked in administrative positions in Jewish community centres and synagogues’ early childhood programs. Jenn has lived in Boston, Chicago and Seattle and returned to her native Edmonton. Her current position with the Federation includes managing Holocaust education and the PJ Library/ PJ Our Way program. Jenn loves the opportunity to support community building and the vibrancy of Jewish life in Edmonton. She is committed to ensuring the community is open and embracing to all who want to be involved and connected to the non-Jewish world in Edmonton. When she is not organizing programming, Jenn loves to be active outdoors—cycling, running, and cross-country skiing. She also loves continuous learning because she is completing her second master’s with the focus on education. Jenn loves Edmonton for its river valley. Susan Schiffman Director of Development, Jewish Film Festival Susan has a wealth of experience in fundraising. Over the last 20 years, she held positions in development at the Jewish Public Library, the Douglas Mental Health Institute, and McCord Museum in Montreal. She worked in a variety of management positions in marketing, finance, and public policy and holds an MBA and a master’s degree. Susan moved to Edmonton six years ago and found that the Jewish community was so welcoming that she wanted to become more involved. ...continued on Page 5
...continued from Page 4 When a position opened with the Federation, she found her perfect fit. Her current role involves leading the United Jewish Appeal campaign and coordinating the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival, both of which have many volunteers and donors supporting Susan in achieving her goals. Susan loves to travel, but the pandemic is keeping her closer to home. Instead, she has been exploring the river valley by bike and foot. Tamara Vineberg Associate Director, Marketing and Communications Tammy knew she wanted to write since elementary school. Her love of writing turned into a career in journalism where she worked at small Alberta town newspapers for 14 years. Her career shifted to public
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Help build a menorah mosaic art piece. Join us to paint your message about antisemitism on a tile.
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Sunday, December 5 2 - 5 p.m. Westridge Community League Hall
d a r k n e s s HAK
relations when she moved to Edmonton in 2006. Tammy gained experience in event management, strategic communications planning, brand journalism, and social media while working for Edmonton’s Food Bank, Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network, and, most recently, the University of Alberta. She is excited about the opportunity to build the Federation’s brand and implement a storytelling strategy in her new role. Tammy is an avid swimmer, exploring Edmonton’s food and cultural scene, and taking photos on day trips to rural Alberta.
jewishedmonton.org L EDMONTON
Kavod Award recognizes community committment What Ivan Steiner loves the most is connecting Israeli students with Edmonton. He was the driver behind the Edmonton Partnership2Gether (P2G) program. It has been Ivan’s love, his passion, his child, his family for nearly a quarter of a century. The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Kavod Award was presented to Ivan for his contribution in 2020 (but given in 2021 because of COVID-19 interruption of the program).
Federation’s mission to sustain and enhance Jewish life in Edmonton. Irv and Dianne were the inaugural winners of the award in 2019. This award embodies everything they stand for. A power-house in Jewish fundraising, Irv chaired
The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Kavod Award was established by the Jewish Federation of Edmonton/ UJA in 2019. Its purpose is to recognize individuals and organizations for their exceptional generosity and commitment to the Edmonton Jewish Community. Ivan is a long-time Edmonton resident and professor emeritus with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. He served as the Edmonton P2G committee chair for 22 years and also chaired the national coast-to-coast committee of P2G for eight years. The cornerstone of the P2G program is the living bridge or Gesher Chai project, student exchanges between Emek Hahula School in the Galilee Panhandle and our own Talmud Torah School. When the Israeli kids visited Edmonton, Ivan gave them a grand tour of Edmonton, rented a van and drove them to Jasper so they would see Canada in all its glory. P2G is also about capacity building in our partner regions. Under Ivan’s leadership, Edmonton has funded dozens of projects that help the region survive and thrive. They include a music room for the Jewish Community Centre in Yesud Hamala, and a classroom for autistic children at Emek Hahula Upper Regional High School. The Kavod award was presented to the Our Parents’ Home (OPH) board of directors this year. They recognized the board for its extraordinary decision to create a $13 million endowment gift benefitting the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, upon the sale of the facility. This “gift of a lifetime” will transform the Jewish Federation, enhancing its stability, reach, and programs. The endowment will be a key pillar of Page 6
the largest UJA campaign in Edmonton history, raising $1.7 million in 1981. Dianne has been an important UJA fundraiser, serving as top-gifts co-chair in 1991-92. The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Kavod Award is important. It allows Federation to give a very personal yet highly visible form of recognition and thank you to volunteers whose service to Federation/UJA and the community has been truly outstanding. It puts a spotlight on those who have contributed to Federation’s mission of building and sustaining strong Jewish community. Watch the video about OPH and the people behind the project. Watch the slideshow about Ivan.
List of recipients 2019: Dianne and Irving Kipnes 2020: Ivan Steiner 2021: Our Parents’ Home Board of Directors
Consider giving a gift that will last for generations By Stephanie Hendin Leaving a legacy in the Jewish community is important to many. The Edmonton Jewish Community Charitable Foundation (EJCCF) provides an avenue for those who choose to have a lasting imprint for generations to come. The EJCCF completed steps in December 2020 to ensure all legacies will be secure with entrusting the management of its donor funds to the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF). Grants provided through the EJCCF in 2021 continue to enrich Jewish communal life, supporting some muchloved initiatives, says EJCCF Chair Stephanie Hendin. Recent examples include a grant supporting the Jewish Seniors Citizen Center’s purchase of kitchen equipment, back to camp programming at Camp BB Riback, and the challah bake organized by the Beth Israel Congregation. Contributions to the EJCCF continued to be received to various funds, and we have established new family funds. All enhance the EJCCF’s ability to grow and therefore distribute grants in our community today and in the future. Creating a fund is easy and becomes fully operational at $10,000 or more. If you think that a fund is out of your reach, consider building one with gifts over time.
at 780-487-0585. As always, EJCCF is also on the lookout for volunteers. They should be willing to bring their time and talent to conversations with community members about gifts that will keep on giving l’dor v’dor—from generation to generation.
2021 Grant Allocations Congregation Beth Israel: Challah Bake Camp BB Riback: Summer back to camp programming Chabad Lubavitch of Edmonton: Defibrilator Jewish Senior Citizen’s Centre: Kitchen equipment and takeout supplies Jewish Archives and Historical Society of Edmonton and Northern Alberta: Archiving materials Jewish Family Services: Meal delivery program for seniors Temple Beth Ora: Music series Talmud Torah Society: Judaica early childhood classroom supplies Edmonton Beth Shalom Congregation: Back to shul programming Jewish Federation of Edmonton: Heritage Festival BBYO Edmonton: Leadership Training Institute
For the plan best suited to your personal situation and charitable objectives, we recommend you consult with your legal and financial counsel and with the foundation. With the help of EJCCF and our new partner, the ECF—you can make a difference that lasts your lifetime and provide support for generations to come. A planned gift to the Jewish community ensures the perpetuation of your family name—no matter where or when in the future, you can be there to help. Hendin urges community members who are interested in establishing a fund to support their most cherished Jewish community programs or causes to contact her at email@example.com. You can also leave a phone message at the Jewish Federation of Edmonton
Program conceived to connect new parents By Faren Hochman (VP, Outreach) As offices and schools were vacated and plans were canceled, many assumed a COVID baby boom would arrive in early 2021. The number of children in my house doubled, and plenty of Jewish babies were indeed born in our community. Along with all these babies, a new program offered by the Jewish Federation of Edmonton was born—Shalom Baby. Last summer, Sarah Troster and I hosted outreach focus groups with young professionals. During our Zoom sessions, the seed of a Shalom Baby program was planted. Throughout the pandemic, it grew and grew, until finally Shalom Baby was born into our community this past July.
The inaugural Shalom Baby Edmonton event took place in mid-July. Seven new mothers and their babies met at the Federation office, on the second floor balcony. They socialized over muffins and coffee, sharing the highs and lows of their week. In August, 12 moms and babies attended another meet-up over sandwiches. In October, programming shifted to a virtual platform, featuring a tot Shabbat hosted by Cantor David Mannes. The program included Shabbat songs, as well as an opportunity for socialization. Shalom Baby Edmonton is also arranging for participants to receive a “welcome baby” package.
Modeled after the Shalom Baby initiatives seen at many Federations across North America, this outreach program welcomes newborns and their parents into the Jewish community. More specifically, Shalom Baby Edmonton is designed to connect parents with other members of the Edmonton Jewish community, to offer Jewish content activities for parents and their babies, and to provide tools and resources to parents and families.
Members of Shalom Baby met in person mid-July and the number has grown for each meeting since the launch of the program.
The Federation team secured support for the program through a competitive PJ Library Engagement grant, as well as grant funding from the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Community and Social Services. Anika Zepp, a first-time mom, is currently working alongside Jenn Magalnick, Federation Jewish education and engagement specialist. As a parent connector, Anika’s roles are to help organize events (e.g., meet-ups, speakers on relevant postpartum topics), to invite new parents to the program, to connect families and their babies to community organizations that align with their values, and to promote baby and child-friendly activities and programs happening within the community. Page 8
Gift bags are being hand-assembled to include contributions shared on behalf of organizations in the local Jewish community. Featured items may include a PJ library baby book, hand-knit or crocheted hat, milestone cards, bibs, onesies, and other Jewish baby resources. If you or someone you know has had a baby within the past year, please contact Anika (anikazepp@ gmail.com) or Jenn (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive your welcome baby gift and to register for upcoming programs.
Jewish summer programs offered to families For one Jewish Edmonton family, having access to a summer program made an exciting experience for their children. “Kids really liked the activities in the aerial park and enjoyed mining the crystals and fossils. They are still talking with lots of excitement about the ice cream party they had and the magician show,” says the mom.
ups—Shabbark in the Park and the End of Summer Picnic. Thank you to all families who took part in these very well attended activities.
The Jewish Federation of Edmonton held a Summer Fun Series to provide opportunities for social connection and supporting needs, such as children’s activities and community engagement. Since many summer programs were unavailable because of COVID-19, the Federation stepped in with the support of a Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) grant from the Government of Alberta to organize activities. We asked parents with children under the age of 12 what would be helpful. Based on their needs, we held the Pop-Up Camp Days. These pop-up days included a bike day, an art workshop and field trips to the Edmonton Valley Zoo and Camp BB. Summer student Shira Or led these activities, which saw an average of 30 kids a day or 122 spots over the summer. The FCSS grant also funded the Family Activity Series, which held two events, one at the Snow Valley Aerial Park and the other at the Edmonton Corn Maze. The Shabbat Series offered two meet
One of the participants at the Snow Valley Aerial Park pauses while climbing. The aerial park was one of the summer programs offered by the Jewish Federation of Edmonton.
Hillel kicks off school year with events By Lior Erlich The Hillel executive board comprises six diligent and motivated students who are working hard to bring new, fun events for this school year. Our organization creates Jewish connections and builds leadership skills for post-secondary students. Hillel recognizes that university is a natural time for exploration and identity formation. We rely on leadership, motivated students, and community support to create positive Jewish memories for scores of students. We appreciate the support we receive from the Jewish Federation and the United Jewish Appeal.
Hillel Edmonton began the new semester at a bowling alley where students from multiple campuses in Edmonton, including the University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan, NAIT, and NorQuest College gathered. We met to enjoy a night of bowling accompanied by delicious goodies from Bliss Baked Goods. Our corn maze event provided an opportunity where students explored the maze with friends, along with some hot chocolate, followed by an educational and inspiring speech. One of our executives delivered this speech, and it connected Judaism to student life. Our famous Jews & Brews event has returned monthly for students to grab a drink and socialize. We will offer other events, such as our lunch and learn. We will invite speakers each month to discuss different topics, ranging from Jewish history to Israeli culture and politics. We are excited to announce two upcoming big events: a Jewish horror themed movie night and a Chanukah party in collaboration with the Jewish Medical Students’ Association. We are hoping to create other engaging, unique events in the future and will continue to provide a welcoming Jewish community for all university and college students in Edmonton. Top photo: Hillel members pose during their outing to the Edmonton Corn Maze. Bottom photo: Hillel students enjoy beers and bonding at the Jews and Brews event.
Israeli pavillion wins festival award
The Jewish Federation of Edmonton thanks all the volunteers who helped make this year’s Heritage Festival a success. Because of their hard work, Catering by Eddie and the Israeli Pavillion received a cleanilness award from Alberta Health Services. (Top left) Volunteer Ran Kondor with Eddie Yedgarova. (Top right) Volunteers Rebecca Asbell and Harold Flohr.