A Word from Our Chairs: Working for YOU!

You are the reason we are so excited to have been appointed Co-Chairs of the CIJA Board of Directors.

It is community members like you who drive our agenda and inspire our work as Canadian Jewish advocates. It is people like you who remind us that, behind every advocacy challenge, there are people and families directly impacted.

We think of the Jewish student who is confronted with BDS in her first year on campus. When we provide advocacy support to Hillels and bring non-Jewish student leaders on missions to Israel, we help ensure no student is alone in standing up for the truth.

We think of the Jewish parent who works hard every day to ensure that a child challenged by a disability can reach his full potential. As the advocacy agent of JFC-UIA, when we mobilize Jewish social service agencies and disability advocates for a lobby day on Parliament Hill (as CIJA is doing next week), we make sure that the voices of the most vulnerable in our community are heard.

And we think of the countless community members who worry about security when they enter synagogue on Shabbat, something that should be unimaginable in 2019. When our security team provides training, expertise, and incident support to shuls and day schools, we help protect the men, women, and children who use these buildings every day.

Our mission is clear and ambitious: To strengthen the quality of Jewish life in Canada, to build support for the people of Israel, and to help make Canada a better country for all.

We are just two among many volunteers who share this vision and have dedicated our time to CIJA’s work. We have accepted this new role at CIJA at a pivotal time. In addition to welcoming new energy to the CIJA Board, on Monday we saw the return of MPs to Ottawa for the final session of Parliament before the federal election in October. The next year will be a busy one for our community.

We are grateful to Immediate Past Chair David J. Cape and the outgoing members of the CIJA Board for their exemplary work. We would also like to welcome four new Board members who have been elected by the CIJA membership. You can learn more about our diverse Board here. It is a privilege to serve with so many committed people.

On the topic of impressive community leaders, we would like to congratulate Brent Belzberg for his recent appointment as Member of the Order of Canada. In addition to supporting many community institutions, Brent has also served the efforts of Canadian Jewish advocacy for decades, including as Co-Chair of CIJA. This national honour reflects the extraordinary contribution Brent has made to Canada over a lifetime of service.

In our role as Co-Chairs, our door is always open – and we look forward to updating you via these regular emails. Please do not hesitate to be in touch at any time if you have ideas or thoughts to share.

Warm Regards,

Joel Reitman                                         Jeffrey Rosenthal
Co-Chair CIJA Board                          Co-Chair CIJA Board

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