The National Council of Jewish Women of Canada is a voluntary organization which, in the spirit of Judaism, is dedicated to furthering human welfare in the Jewish and general communities Locally, Nationally and Internationally. Through an integrated program of education, service and social action, the organization helps to fulfil unmet needs and to serve the individual and the community.
Fall 2021 Greetings from the President
As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is much to reflect upon and share. In spite of the challenges of social distancing, lockdowns and travel restrictions, technology has enabled the women of NCJW Canada to connect, collaborate and create.
Communication was facilitated by the planning and execution of exciting and dynamic national and section programming. Nationally, this included a Women and Justice webinar series and an international (USA and Canada) advocacy webinar featuring a documentary and panel discussion about Nasrin Sotoudeh, an activist from Iran. We continue to press for her release in tandem with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre in Montreal
At our last AGM, Anat Hoffman spoke from Israel about her women’s rights organization, Women of the Wall. One of their causes is that of the Agunot.
Our Israel project, ALUMA (previously known as Israel Family Counselling Association (IFCA)), was showcased via Zoom to the membership. This demonstrated the value of our yearly monetary contribution to this important counselling centre and the great need they have for more financial aid.
In the spring, National started a new project called Creating Connections, a project to support local women and children in need. It debuted in our 3 western sections this month…initiating unique projects to support their local communities. We hope to expand this project to Toronto and Simcoe Sections in the future.
Our involvement with International Council of Jewish Women has continued to be a priority for NCJWC. In March, many of our members had the opportunity to participate in the sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Excellent speakers discussed issues affecting women today.
NCJWC has also recently become a member of the Commonwealth Jewish Council women’s action group, formed to reflect Commonwealth Jewish women’s voices. We hope to create strategies to tackle issues with respect to women and leadership, social action, the environment, Jewish education in small communities, interfaith and women in the workplace. I am on the steering committee for the group and am the co-chair of the women and leadership committee along with a woman from Uganda. Other members from our National Board have joined the Commonwealth Council and have chosen a committee of interest to them.
We are increasingly connected to national organizations like B’nai Brith and CIJA (Canada Israel Jewish Affairs), Friends of Simon Wiesenthal, strengthening our alliances with them in representations to Parliament, the Prime Minister and Minister of Global Affairs on matters of anti-Semitism and IHRA.
Recently, NCJWC has joined the Maspik Coalition, a coalition of Canadian Jewish organizations and community leaders, aimed to bring innovative approaches to combating the scourge of antisemitism in Canada. It is being powered by the expertise of CIJA, as well as such organizations such as Friends of Simon Wisenthal and B’nai Brith . This group has empowered organizations to contribute to the fight in a united effort.
We continue to look for opportunities to contribute and learn.
Thus, our national organization continues to thrive under trying conditions. Our website and YouTube channel have been updated and new branding showcases the cohesiveness of the sections. On a local level, newsletters and e-blasts share information between members locally and nationally.
On Tuesday October 12th, we are proud to present a webinar entitled Journalists Defending Human Rights: A Global Challenge. Register for this must-see panel discussion!
Our next Annual General Meeting will be on Sunday October 17th beginning at 10am. All members are invited to attend. Our keynote speaker will be Professor Irwin Cotler, currently Canada’s Special Envoy on preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.
We are proud of the resilience of our national organization and look forward to continuing our good work in the future.
May we continue to grow from strength to strength….
I look forward to being able to meet in person again soon. I wish all of you a very happy and healthy new year. L’shanah tova!
All the best,