Josie Suissa Lupovich

Sepharade Women's Campaign Chair, 2007-2008

My connection to the Jewish Community started at the young age of 5. I can still picture my mother preparing and serving hot meals for children during lunch and after school, despite our family hardships. ‘Neighbourhood House’ on Darlington Ave. was the warm, welcoming Community Centre for Jewish Immigrants. It was a place that felt like home.

My first winter coat was courtesy of JIAS (Ometz). My fondest childhood memories are of summers spent at Camp B’nai B’rith, a place I often recall as my salvation. Friendships were forged there and it was a getaway for my siblings and me. I rejoiced in Jewish traditions including Shabbat, chanting Birkat Hamazon and singing Hatikvah.

My involvement as a philanthropist began in earnest in 1980, the year I got married. My father-in-law suggested that I make a gift in my own name. Soon after, I began volunteering and hosted a ‘Parlour Meeting’ in my home.
A young woman, who had been living on the streets, delivered a touching testimonial on how Federation CJA turned her life around.

My personal mandate is to educate, engage and sensitize the next generation. My husband, along with my four sons served in a soup kitchen (Le Café) in honour of my birthday. I choose to celebrate family simchas through acts of kindness. Community life starts at home!

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