100 years of build­ing com­mu­nity

The Canadian Jewish News (Montreal) - - News -

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.

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