CARING FOR THE VULNERABLE

Montreal poverty relief vulnerable The Talmud states: “Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” Providing assistance and support to those in greatest need within our community, in keeping with our Jewish value of chesed, is a paramount expression of our collective responsibility for the well-being of the Jewish community. In 2016-17, we allocated $10.6 million to care for the vulnerable, including close to $2 million in direct and indirect poverty relief, helping to break the cycle of poverty.

5,184 NUTRITIOUS KOSHER LUNCHES WERE PREPARED AND DELIVERED LAST YEAR THANKS TO OUR TOV LUNCH FOR A BUNCH PROGRAM NOURISHING STUDENTS ACROSS 17 SCHOOLS WHO WOULD HAVE OTHERWISE GONE WITHOUT.

"[The annual Yom Yocheved Clothing Giveaway] helps a lot. It's very hard when you have 5 children and need to buy kosher food, to buy clothes for each of them. We are very lucky because we have a Jewish community that takes care of each other. Thank you very much for thinking of us" - A young mother of 5 children under 12 years old

BASIC NEEDS

#POVERTY RELIEFOne in five Jews in Montreal currently lives below the poverty line, including over 3,650 Jewish children under the age of 15. Our priority is vulnerable families, individuals and seniors. We provide access to emergency and crisis services to those in need, and financial support and assistance to a growing number of marginalized seniors, many of whom are Holocaust survivors. For youth, our focus is on breaking the cycle of poverty with necessary support services, employment and training opportunities, defraying the cost of a Jewish education, and capacity-building programs.

We ensure that nutritious, kosher food is accessible through a wide-range of food security options such as delivery of food baskets, food banks and kosher cafeterias including our own Le Café, where hundreds of volunteers served over 25,000 free, hot meals last year alone (over 180,000 meals to date).

2,149 PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY RECEIVED CRISIS INTERVENTION SERVICES IN 2015-16 INCLUDING ACCESS TO FOOD AND SHELTER, COUNSELING AND VITAL SUPPORT TO MOVE FROM VULNERABILITY TO OPPORTUNITY.

“I’m a widower… and it can be lonely. I have been coming to Le Café since it opened in 2009. I can meet new friends and old, share a meal, and be part of the community. For some, a hot meal makes all the difference. I really feel welcome here.” - Jack

 

SENIORS

#SENIORSThe proportion of elderly in the Montreal Jewish community is much higher than the proportion of seniors in the overall Montreal population (20.4% vs. 13.5%), and many rely on us to remain independent, live with dignity, and stay active and connected to the community. Recognizing this critical need, Federation CJA allocated $2.2 million in 2016-17 to caring for our seniors. Whether offering social services, housing, enriching programming or basic needs such as homebound care, Federation CJA is there.

4,543 MONTREAL SENIORS BENEFITTED LAST YEAR FROM SERVICES INCLUDING PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT, TRANSPORTATION, HOMECARE, RECREATION, HOSPITAL VISITS, MEALS ON WHEELS AND DAY SERVICES.

2,230 HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS DEVELOPED A SENSE OF BELONGING AND AUTONOMY THANKS TO COMMUNITY PROGRAMS TAILORED TO MEET THEIR NEEDS LAST YEAR.

“The drivers [of the community’s assisted transportation service] accompany me to medical appointments and occasionally to the shopping centre, which allows me to get out of the house – important since my wife has passed and macular degeneration has left me legally blind. I am thankful to be living in a community where this service is available to seniors.” - Ralph

 

EMPOWERING OUR YOUTH

#Montreal young youth jewishEnabling our Jewish youth to reach their full potential is a top priority, particularly among those living in economically or socially challenged environments. The needs of thousands of our youngest community members are supported through programs such as tuition assistance allocations, early interventions, educational support to help youth at risk achieve social and academic success, as well as employment services and school services.

2,920 STUDENTS ENROLLED IN JEWISH DAY SCHOOL LAST YEAR BENEFITTED FROM A TUITION-ASSISTANCE ALLOCATION MAKING FORMAL JEWISH EDUCATION MORE AFFORDABLE FOR LOWER INCOME FAMILIES.

OVER 5,431 STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES BENEFITTED FROM ASSESSMENT, INTERVENTION AND SCHOOL-RELATED COUNSELING SERVICES LAST YEAR.

“I volunteer at an after-school program with an amazing 11-year old girl. We do her homework, different activities, eat dinner together and talk about our day. Thanks to the community, we have the opportunity to give [these children] the educational support and the undivided attention they may not receive at home. Those hours each week make a big difference in her life… Watching her develop the skills she needs to succeed academically and socially makes me very happy.” - Julia, a youth-at-risk volunteer

 

MENTAL HEALTH

Mental healthFederation CJA supports a wide range of mental health programs to help reduce isolation, boost self-esteem, stabilize illnesses and reduce setbacks and hospitalization.

8,661 PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY RECEIVED HELP COPING WITH LIFE CHALLENGES AND CRITICAL SITUATIONS ARISING FROM ADDICTION, ABUSE AND STRESSFUL UNFORESEEN EVENTS.

 

SPECIAL NEEDS

#SPECIAL NEEDSIn 2016-17, we allocated close to $1 million to 23 programs to support children and adults with special needs and their families in meeting their unique challenges, including: school-based academic intervention, therapy, camp experiences, supported employment and recreational programs.

4,718 OF OUR JEWISH DAY SCHOOL STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM A MULTI-TIERED APPROACH TO PROVIDING HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION MATCHED TO STUDENT NEEDS, IDENTIFYING STUDENTS AT-RISK FOR LEARNING DIFFICULTIES AND MONITORING THEIR PROGRESS.

 

IMMIGRATION

#IMMIGRANTSFrom the moment they arrive, through their integration into daily life, Federation CJA is there to assist newcomers to our community, and ensure that they feel at home.

Last year saw 1,647 recent immigrants from France, the Ukraine, Russia and Argentina provided with a wide range of community support services including pre-migration consulting, arrival and integration services, language courses, social activities and employment assistance.