CIJA’s History

The former Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) served as the umbrella strategic planning organization for Canadian Jewish Congress, Canada-Israel Committee, Quebec-Israel Committee and University Outreach Committee.

The Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy was formed as a non-partisan organization to oversee Jewish community advocacy efforts aimed at improving the quality of Jewish life in Canada and abroad, increasing support for Israel, and strengthening the Canada-Israel relationship. As the advocacy agent of UIA Federations Canada, with the Canadian Jewish Federations and Regional Communities, CIJA coordinated the activities of Canadian Jewish Congress, Canada-Israel Committee and Quebec-Israel Committee, and the University Outreach Committee.

Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC)

With a rich history stemming back to 1919, CJC served as an advocate for matters affecting the status, rights, and welfare of Jewish Canadians – for the purpose of strengthening Jewish life in Canada. CJC focused on outreach to ethnic and faith-based groups, civil society organizations and labour, and it worked to promote civil discourse, the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Canadians, and Jewish and Canadian shared values.

Canada-Israel Committee (CIC)

CIC was the representative of the organized Canadian Jewish community on matters pertaining to Canada-Israel relations. Aimed at advancing all aspects of the Canada-Israel relationship, CIC communicated on a regular basis with government officials, journalists, academics and other public opinion leaders across the country.

Quebec-Israel Committee (QIC)

Affiliated with Canada-Israel Committee, QIC was mandated by the Jewish community of Quebec to communicate the community’s positions on Israel to all segments of Quebec society with objective of improving understanding and support for Israel in Quebec. Key target audiences included media, government, and volunteer sectors, as well as students, academics and the business community. As in the case of CIC, QIC’s activities included media monitoring and response, missions to Israel, and innovative advocacy programming.

University Outreach Committee (UOC)

Working with Hillels and other Jewish student organizations across Canada, UOC worked to empower Jewish students to advocate for their issues of concern on campus. Its activities included providing students with communications training and advice, liaising with faculty and administration, and designing creative programming to help Jewish students build connections with their non-Jewish colleagues on campus.

After a comprehensive and collaborative restructuring process, CIJA was established in July of 2011 for the purpose of achieving greater impact, efficiency, and responsiveness of Jewish advocacy across Canada. CIJA is now responsible for all activities previously administered by Canadian Jewish Congress, Canada-Israel Committee, Quebec-Israel Committee, and the University Outreach Committee.

CIJA serves as the organized Jewish community’s central address for advocacy advice, support, and strategic resources. Established to better serve the diverse advocacy needs of Jewish Canadians (and pro-Israel Canadians in general), CIJA is based on an integrated national-local model that emphasizes national leadership while empowering grassroots Jewish communities. CIJA works closely with its Jewish Federation partners across Canada, providing strategic advice and advocacy solutions both tailored to local conditions and consistent with the Jewish community’s national advocacy priorities. CIJA maintains offices in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Jerusalem.

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