Fany Ettinger

Sepharade Women's Campaign Chair, 2005-2006

1) How did you get involved in the Federation CJA – and why?

I discovered the Federation in 1980 after arriving from France. My husband was very involved.

Through the Federation CJA, I was able to discover my Jewish identity. I’m happy that this organization tackles the problems facing the most vulnerable members of our community.

It’s long been said “strength lies in unity.” That’s what I discovered when I got involved with the Federation CJA. I was Co-President of my section before becoming President in 2005. What a privilege, what an honour, what a mitzvah, what enrichment, what satisfaction volunteering is! It’s a world in which our one and only goal is to focus all of our efforts, all of our energy and our ideas to come to the aid of vulnerable people in the community!

Why? To put it simply, a life without tzedakah, a life without learning to give, a life without concern for others, a life without showing compassion, a life without co-operation, a life without helping others, is a completely empty life!

It’s our privilege to help disadvantaged people enjoy life! Our duty is to do it with motivation, enthusiasm, determination, energy and optimism!

2) What is the fondest memory you have today of your time working with the Federation CJA?

My fondest memories are from the time when, after closing the Campaign, we announced the amount of money collected, that is, the financial resources that would brighten the lives of the least fortunate of our community.

The great memories of a team of volunteers, all working together in good spirits! It’s how we were able to be so successful!

3) Do you remember a moment or an event in particular that deeply impacted you?

The testimonies! The stories told by families, parents or children. All sorts of stories of lives or hardships, of catastrophes of all kinds that had just hit these families. Distraught people, alone, fighting, struggling, living in emotional terror, in a black hole! And suddenly, at the end of this dark tunnel, a glimmer! The Federation CJA shines as a light of generosity and salvation bringing comfort to so many families. A starry sky bringing help to all of these families!

The JEM Workshop which helps people with disabilities, mental or physical, to find their way by offering them employment and helping them maintain their dignity!

The list goes on!

4 ) What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to follow in your footsteps in the field of philanthropy?

I would tell all women to make the choice to HELP! Helping others is an integral part of any life!

Among other things, giving yourself, your time, your money and your knowledge is to offer someone in need a glimmer of hope in their life!
A glimmer that will enable them to move forward in their life by shedding light on a darkened path!

You hold the torch of tomorrow. The flame of the Federation burns bright so that it will always be able to respond to the needs of the disadvantaged. Pass the flame on to your children! Strengthen and add links to this chain in order to make it longer and stronger! Never give up. Our unity is our strength and we will always be there to help others and add beauty to darkened lives!

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