Vision for our Future

November 26, 2019

As the new President of Federation CJA, I am truly honoured to be joining a long line of incredible leaders who have guided this amazing community for over 100 years; leaders who have passed the torch from one to another in an unending chain, ensuring the vibrancy of Jewish life here in Montreal and securing our position as one of the best Jewish communities in North America.

I am fortunate to have been born a second-generation Montrealer, with grandparents on both sides who were immigrants from Russia and Poland. I am a proud product of our Jewish community initiatives. I went to Jewish day school at UTT and JPPS, and was in the first Grade 7 class at JPPS-Bialik; I attended Jewish summer camp at YCC; and I was active in Jewish youth group through BBYO. Without even realizing it at the time, Federation CJA, through its support of our community institutions, played a profound role in instilling in me the Jewish values of Chesed, Tzedakah and Tikun Olam. These values have inspired me throughout my adult life and have guided my Community journey.

My incredibly supportive husband, Alan, and I have four amazing kids and we are thrilled to welcome our first grandchild, Charlotte Emme, who was born last week. Danielle, Jaclyn and Jarred, and Adam have also benefited from the rich Jewish experiences offered by our community: attending Jewish day school, Jewish summer camp, and programs like March of the Living and Birthright. I am thrilled that all of them will make their permanent homes here in Montreal. It is especially meaningful to be leading Federation CJA at this time, when I am, more than ever, acutely aware of the importance of working to secure a bright future for the next generation.

To begin planning for how to fulfill our vision of a strong, thriving Jewish community in 2040, we know that we need to develop new models that will better resonate with the constituents of tomorrow. We must continue to open our tent wide, so that young people — whatever their backgrounds, languages, interests, and ways of identifying Jewishly — can find a meaningful place within our community. We must recognize the reality that millennials may express their philanthropic needs differently than their parents, and may want to support more strategically, to ensure direct impact and transformation with their commitment. And we must begin to measure our impact, evolving to a more data-based business model, focusing on the outcomes and not the outputs of our programs and services.

To help me in this important undertaking, I am thrilled to announce that Joel Segal has accepted the honour of being Federation CJA's First Vice President. Joel is a lifelong learner, innovator and connector, whose visionary leadership has been instrumental to the success of the Generations Fund CAPS program and the Passport to Jewish Life. His previous community work is characterized by a deep understanding of the rapidly changing nature of both philanthropy and Jewish identity. Among other positions, he has served as Chair of Federation CJA's annual campaign, President of the JCF, and President of the Segal Centre.

During my term, I look forward to building on the incredible momentum of my predecessor, David Amiel. Rest assured that I am approaching these changes to our 100+-year-old model with the appropriate caution, as well as with enthusiasm, confident that we are improving our organization, which will ultimately enable us to move our community forward. I am truly fortunate to be surrounded by a dedicated and talented group of leaders, including Federation CJA's Board of Directors, volunteers and professionals who are all invested in our common purpose and have the collective experience, knowledge, wisdom and ability to ensure we are successful in meeting our strategic objectives and fulfilling our mission. With this team by my side, I feel confident and excited about facing the challenges and opportunities ahead.

May we continue to go from strength to strength,

Gail Adelson-Marcovitz
President, Federation CJA

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