New generation of fundraisers kick off campaign

By Jacob Hoytema – 

A new generation of community leaders are launching a new kick off event for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Annual Campaign fundraiser.

FED Talks, a take on the popular TED Talks format, will take place at the Centrepointe Theatre on September 9. Rather than just one keynote speaker, as there has been in previous years, the FED Talks event will feature three guests: Allison Josephs, founder of the popular “Jew in the City” blog, well-known Canadian activist Marc Kielburger and comedian Jon Steinberg.

This new format for the Annual Campaign kick off was implemented by members of the Ben Gurion Society. According to the Federation website, the BGS is a “leadership development and recognition program” whose members are those between the ages of 25 and 45 who contribute more than $1,000 to the Annual Campaign.

This passing on to younger leadership fits in with the event’s theme of “l’dor v’dor,” a Hebrew phrase that means “from generation to generation.”

Federation President and CEO, Andrea Freedman, says that while this new approach to the kick off was structured by younger community members, the event will appeal to all generations.

Sharon Appotive (left) the Women’s Campaign Chair for the 2016 Annual Campaign, with Kitchissippi’s Andrea Freedman, the President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. Photo by Howard Sandler
Sharon Appotive (left) the Women’s Campaign Chair for the 2016 Annual Campaign, with Kitchissippi’s Andrea Freedman, the President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. Photo by Howard Sandler

“We really put it to [the organizers] to put together a schedule of issues that will challenge our community members, will stimulate them, and hopefully will engage the next generation as well,” says Freedman.

“You want all generations to be inspired and to be empowered to make a difference in our community.”

While the FED Talks event is technically being chaired collectively by the entire BGS, Tamara Fathi and Stacy Goldstein, both members of the Society, have taken the role of co-chair.

“We very much wanted to do this ‘from generation to generation,’ showing our elders that we’re now stepping up to the leadership and stepping up to the responsibilities in the community,” says Fathi.

“It was sort of our discussion among our peers saying ‘How do we want to change things but still stay true to the essence of what campaign kick off is?’”

Fathi adds that she is most excited to hear from blogger Allison Josephs, whom she describes as “very insightful.” She also expresses pride in supporting comedian Jon Steinberg, who grew up in Ottawa.

The FED Talks will be the kick off event for the JFO’s Annual Campaign for 2016, a fundraiser that Freedman calls “the engine of the community.” Money raised from the campaign goes to a number of organizations both in the city and around the world, such as the Ottawa Jewish Community School or the Hillel Lodge, a Jewish long-term care facility.

This year’s Annual Campaign is still ongoing. In 2014, however, the Campaign raised over $4.2 million.

More information about the FED Talks event is available through the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s website at jewishottawa.com. Tickets can be purchased from Centrepointe Theatre for $20 each at centrepointetheatre.com.

“You want all generations to be inspired and to be empowered to make a difference in our community.”

 

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