As the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a non-partisan organization that creates and implements strategies for the purpose of improving the quality of Jewish life in Canada and abroad, increasing support for Israel, and strengthening the Canada-Israel relationship.
Previously, the Jewish community in Canada had been well served for decades by two primary advocacy organizations: Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and Canada-Israel Committee (CIC). Supported by the organized Jewish community through Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA, these agencies responded to the needs and reflected the consensus within the Canadian Jewish Community.
Beginning in 2004, the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) served as the management umbrella for CJC and CIC and, with the establishment of the University Outreach Committee (UOC), worked to address growing needs on Canadian campuses. Until 2011, each organization was governed and directed by independent Boards of Directors and professional staff.
In 2011, these separate bodies were consolidated into one comprehensive and streamlined structure, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which has been designed as the single address for all advocacy issues of concern to Canadian Jewry. The new structure provides for a robust, cohesive, and dynamic organization to represent the aspirations of Jewish Canadians across the country. As a non-partisan organization, the Centre creates and implements strategies to improve the quality of Jewish life in Canada and abroad, advance the public policy interests of the Canadian Jewish community, enhance ties with Jewish communities around the world, and strengthen the Canada-Israel relationship to the benefit of both countries.
The Centre serves as the national advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada, with Centre staff located in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Jerusalem. Using research to better understand issues and opinions, the Centre works to coordinate, streamline, and direct strategic, targeted advocacy programming on behalf of Canada’s diverse Jewish community. The Centre aims to enhance Jewish unity across Canada but not uniformity of viewpoints, an approach that is premised on the belief that, when combined with a broad sense of solidarity, a healthy diversity of opinion among Jewish Canadians is a source of community strength and vitality.
Recognizing the historic role the Jewish community has played in Canada’s development, the Centre strives to build on this legacy of national contribution. It works to build and strengthen mutually beneficial relations with other faith and ethno-cultural communities in order to advance issues of shared concern. The Centre further provides information, education, and research to Canadians in a variety of fields – including government, media, and academia – on a range of key topics, including the Middle East, antisemitism, human rights, and various domestic public and social policy matters.