Perspectives by Deborah Corber, CEO

Edition 11,  October 8, 2015

Coming to the Table

Deborah Corber I’m writing this issue of Perspectives during the Days of Awe – Yamim Noraim: the period of reflection between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when we are called upon to think deeply about our conduct over the previous year and our resolve to do better in the year ahead.

Needless to say, I can identify areas for improvement in my personal life: to be more patient with others, to listen more attentively to the many voices around me, to improve my Jewish literacy, to appreciate my physical health and take greater care of preserving it, to make time, even on my busiest days, for a quick call to my beloved husband, and yes, to phone my mother more often, too.

In the context of community, I have been reflecting on a message conveyed by my rabbi, and by our newly-installed President of Federation CJA. In his Rosh Hashanah sermon, Rabbi Scheier spoke about the importance of showing up and not coming empty-handed. And in his inaugural speech at our Annual General Meeting, Evan Feldman reminded us that we are commanded to “choose life,” that is, to be players in building the community we want to see, for today, and for our children’s future.

We live in a wonderfully diverse community, one that offers a rich array of options for living a meaningful Jewish life in whichever ways we, as individuals and as families, may define that. This magnificent community, however, and all that it affords us, cannot be taken for granted. We have a shared responsibility to support it, to nurture it, to challenge it, and to re-create it over time.

Of course, it’s human nature to be an arm-chair critic, a Monday-morning quarterback. It is easy (and entertaining) to watch the leadership debates on both sides of the border, to sneer at the contenders as they struggle to score points under the hot lights of the stage and the glare of an unforgiving public. It is easy (and fun) to deconstruct last night’s [choose your sport] game, to ‘tsk-tsk’ the fall from grace of the celebrities we love to hate. And it’s easy (though perhaps not fun) to point fingers at our communal institutions and leaders for all the things we believe they are doing wrong.

It’s not quite so easy to actually come to the table, to participate in the debate, to struggle with the choices and their consequences, and then to own the decisions once they’ve been made.

Federation CJA values the wide variety of perspectives and viewpoints that characterize our community. We endeavor every single day to be responsive to our community’s aspirations and opinions, within the context of our core values of chesed, tzedakah, klal israel and tikun olam, and while ensuring the greatest possible impact of the financial resources entrusted to us.

And we strive to do this within a culture of innovation. That means adopting new strategies, using different tactics, and being open to fresh ways of doing things. It also means sometimes making mistakes, being willing to acknowledge those mistakes and ready to learn from them.
We welcome the feedback that our choices may bring. We will always examine our actions and try to do better.

What we ask from our stakeholders is that they take one further step. That they join the conversation and offer their positive suggestions about how we can be the community they want to see. That they assume their mutual responsibility to strengthen us from within. That they try to influence the decisions and shape the institutions, rather than simply commenting from the sidelines.

As I prepare to atone and resolve to do better, my deep wish is that we find the inspiration this year, in our personal and our communal lives, to show up and not come empty-handed.

 


  Of Note

Federation celebrates past year at AGM Federation celebrates past year at AGM
Making Federation CJA more inclusive of all segments of an increasingly diverse Jewish community was a recurring theme during the organization’s 98th annual general meeting on Sept. 10.
http://bit.ly/CJAAGM


Une année exceptionnelle pour la Fédération CJA

Une année exceptionnelle pour la Fédération CJA
Des réalisations majeures ont pu être menées à terme grâce au vigoureux soutien et à la grande générosité de nombreux membres de notre Communauté, a rappelé la Présidente sortante, Susan Laxer, lors de l’allocution qu’elle a prononcée à l’occasion de l’Assemblée générale annuelle de cette Institution federative.
http://bit.ly/CJAAGMfr

5775: The year in review  5775: The year in review
It’s been a busy 12 months for the Jewish world, in Canada and beyond. Here are some of the most memorable moments, according to the Canadian Jewish News.
http://bit.ly/5775inReview

Irreverent Yiddish comedic web series back for season ‘tsvey’Irreverent Yiddish comedic web series back for season ‘tsvey’
Now with celeb cameos, Canadian creators Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion discover viewers of all backgrounds relate to their ‘YidLife Crisis’.
http://bit.ly/YidLife

« Merci Shanghai » : La vidéo israélienne qui fait le buzz en Chine « Merci Shanghai » : La vidéo israélienne qui fait le buzz en Chine
Une vidéo remerciant spécialement les chinois a été créée par le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères pour les résidents de Shanghai, qui ont sauvé plus de 20 mille Juifs pendant l’Holocauste.
http://bit.ly/MerciShanghai

Discovering the Montreal Jewish Community Discovering the Montreal Jewish Community
Consul General of Israel for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, Ziv Nevo Kulman, reflects upon his past year in Montreal.
http://bit.ly/ZivRosh

Montrealer's painstaking work as a Torah scribe- Montrealer's painstaking work as a Torah scribe
According to Jewish tradition, all 304,805 characters of the Torah must be written out by the hand of a trained scribe
http://bit.ly/MTLscribe

 

Federation celebrates past year at AGM

Federation celebrates past year at AGM
Making Federation CJA more inclusive of all segments of an increasingly diverse Jewish community was a recurring theme during the organization’s 98th annual general meeting on Sept. 10.
http://bit.ly/CJAAGM

Une année exceptionnelle pour la Fédération CJA

Une année exceptionnelle pour la Fédération CJA
Des réalisations majeures ont pu être menées à terme grâce au vigoureux soutien et à la grande générosité de nombreux membres de notre Communauté, a rappelé la Présidente sortante, Susan Laxer, lors de l’allocution qu’elle a prononcée à l’occasion de l’Assemblée générale annuelle de cette Institution federative.
http://bit.ly/CJAAGMfr

5775: The year in review

5775: The year in review
It’s been a busy 12 months for the Jewish world, in Canada and beyond. Here are some of the most memorable moments, according to the Canadian Jewish News.
http://bit.ly/5775inReview

Irreverent Yiddish comedic web series back for season ‘tsvey’

Irreverent Yiddish comedic web series back for season ‘tsvey’
Now with celeb cameos, Canadian creators Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion discover viewers of all backgrounds relate to their ‘YidLife Crisis’.
http://bit.ly/YidLife

« Merci Shanghai » : La vidéo israélienne qui fait le buzz en Chine

« Merci Shanghai » : La vidéo israélienne qui fait le buzz en Chine
Une vidéo remerciant spécialement les chinois a été créée par le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères pour les résidents de Shanghai, qui ont sauvé plus de 20 mille Juifs pendant l’Holocauste.
http://bit.ly/MerciShanghai

Discovering the Montreal Jewish Community

Discovering the Montreal Jewish Community
Consul General of Israel for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, Ziv Nevo Kulman, reflects upon his past year in Montreal.
http://bit.ly/ZivRosh

Montrealer's painstaking work as a Torah scribe-

Montrealer's painstaking work as a Torah scribe
According to Jewish tradition, all 304,805 characters of the Torah must be written out by the hand of a trained scribe
http://bit.ly/MTLscribe

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Federation CJA.

 

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