Elizabeth Puterman

West Island Campaign Chair, 2014-2015

1. How did you get involved with Federation CJA – and why?

I got involved when my son, David, was born. My husband is not Jewish, but had agreed to raise David Jewishly. I wanted to raise him with the same values that I had received, and raise him surrounded by community. I was seeking support from the community, and also looking to give back, in return. I grew up in a home where my parents taught me the importance of giving (not taking), and I wanted to model this for David.

2. What is your fondest memory to date of your time working with Federation CJA?

My fondest memories are of launching exceptionally memorable events and programs that brought the community closer together. These include Yom Ha’atzmaut, Déjà Vu and the West Island Campaign. All of these experiences marked me.

3. Can you recall a particular moment or event that impacted you profoundly?

My first WP retreat in Ottawa in 2010 was the most moving experience I have had with Federation CJA. I met so many inspirational women, and I also met my closest community friend, who I am still very close with today.

4. What advice would you give to the young women following in your philanthropic footsteps?

Don’t let your social/economic situation hold you back from being a community leader. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. The most rewarding thing is to have first-hand experience making a difference.

5. What is your legacy?

I am a deeply passionate and hard-working volunteer, and I have never said “no” when my community needed me. I have always been surrounded and supported by community, and I want my son to be surrounded by the same supportive environment. This is the legacy I leave to the next generation.

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