100 years of building community
1 The leadership of the inaugural fundraising campaign of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, January 1917. 2 How the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies allocated funding in 1919. 3 1923 Women’s Campaign urged donors, “Wear last year’s hat and give the cost of a new one to Federation.” 4 During the Depression, the Federation established its first Employment Bureau to help those looking for jobs and a kosher soup kitchen to alleviate hunger in the community. 5 1935-36 campaign poster for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. 6 Jewish volunteers to the Canadian Armed Forces file into the YMHA. 17,000 Jews, nearly half of whom were from Montreal, joined the Forces between 1939 and 1945. 7 Jewish community agencies launched an urgent appeal to raise funds to help the Jewish refugees of Europe. They reminded Montreal’s Jewish community that the euphoria of the end of World War II was tempered by the continued difficulty of those who had already suffered so grievously. 8 Holocaust survivors were in desperate need of relief and resettlement in the aftermath of World War II. 9 An appeal for donations to help Israelis with the difficult task of establishing the infrastructure and services that would lay the foundations for a modern state. 10 In 1957, an appeal was made to help Jews who were suffering under oppressive regimes around the world. 11 During the early 1960s, Operation Rescue was an international effort to help Jews escape to Israel from the brutal anti-colonial war in Algeria. 12 Annual Report 1962. 13 During the 1960s, canvassers from the Women’s Division went door to door soliciting donations for the Combined Jewish Appeal. 14 The largest wave of Sephardic immigration was in the 1960s. Most came from Morocco and other parts of North Africa. Today, the Sephardim make up 23% of Montreal’s Jewish population and are an important part of the great cultural diversity within the community. 15 A volunteer loads a car to deliver Meals on Wheels, circa 1968. 16 Protestors gathered in front of the Soviet Consulate in downtown Montreal to express their opposition to the Soviet Union’s oppressive policies (1973). 17 The Festival Sépharade is the largest exposition of Sephardic and North African arts and culture in Quebec. It is run by the Communauté sépharade unifiée du Québec. 18 Since 1988, the Montreal Jewish community has been a partner in the development of the Negev city of Beer Sheva and surrounding region of Bnei Shimon. 19 Since Operation Solomon brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews home to Israel, several missions have been launched to save more Ethiopians from despair and poverty. 20 Taglit Birthright Israel, co-founded by Charles Bronfman (fourth from right), has provided more than 500,000 young Jews – including close to 9,000 Montrealers – with a free trip to Israel to strengthen their Jewish identity. 21 Launched during the recession of 2008, Le Café, Federation CJA’S dignified soup kitchen, serves over 25,000 meals annually. 22 In 2014, Federation CJA led the largest community mission to Israel in two decades, with close to 600 participants.
It began as a dream in 1917. To support and nurture those building a better life. To heal and care for those in need. To save, rescue and welcome those in peril. To speak up for those who could not speak for themselves. To celebrate, teach and carry on our traditions. A century later, no other Jewish organization has helped so many people in so many ways. Thanks to you and all who came before us, Federation CJA continues to be the driving force of the Montreal Jewish community. And our history is only our beginning.