President’s Chanukah Message, December 2018

As the days get shorter, and the temperature drops, we are reminded that winter is upon us. Before we know it, Chanukah will be here.

The fall has been a busy season for NCJWC. In October we held our annual general meeting in Winnipeg. Thirty women attended the two days of meetings and enjoyed reconnecting with Council friends from across the Country. Lots of opportunities to share information, identify challenges and work toward solutions. Program ideas from different sections were shared, and some of these will be adopted by other sections.

For a few months, I have been working with Toronto member, Helen Silverstein, who has made her home about one hour north of Toronto in Innisfil, Ontario. We have been discussing ways to create a new Section of NCJWC in this Ontario area.

Helen reached out to the local synagogues and people she has met, speaking enthusiastically about the benefits of bringing NCJWC into their area. On November 12 there was a get together at Helen’s home for interested people. Helen, Linda Steinberg, our VP of Service and Education, and I spoke about the benefits of joining NCJWC and described possible projects. The response was overwhelmingly positive from the twenty-two people who attended the meeting. The women, from all walks of life, were all engaged and excited about organizing a Section for the area. That night 12 people joined and the new Section called Simcoe County was born, continuing to grow as more and more people are hearing about this wonderful organization.

There are many smaller communities in Canada that would benefit from forming a section of NCJWC. If you know of a place where there are Jewish women who may want to become involved in improving social deficits within their community by becoming a part of NCJWC, and you know at least one woman willing to work with me to make this happen, please contact me and together we will try to make this a reality. NCJWC is based on Jewish values but is not religious in nature. As such, we can be a beacon for any Jew in a community who would like to become involved with other like-minded and motivated women to fulfill unmet needs in their communities.

Sometimes we all get complacent and forget how special NCJWC is. There is no other Jewish organization in Canada like us. Our raisin d’etre makes us unique. Our commitment to really making a difference within our communities by helping women, children, families, the disadvantaged, seniors and new immigrants continues to be valued. We must all be ambassadors for our organization, encouraging people to join and continuing to seek opportunities to satisfy our mission.

In May Toronto will host the International Council of Jewish Women’s Executive meeting. We are pleased to showcase our organization as a whole and Toronto Section. Women from 36 countries representing Jewish women’s organizations in their countries will have a two-day meeting. Global concerns will be discussed, including women’s issues, antisemitism, poverty and environmental world issues. Only the Executive members can vote, but all NCJWC members are invited to attend as observers. Please contact me at if you plan to attend.

If you have supported NCJWC this year by contributing to our Vital Connection Campaign, thank you. If you have not yet had a chance to make your donation, please do so. You will receive a 2018 tax receipt for all donations received before December 31st. Your support allows us to continue to support our Sections and continue our work nationally and internationally.
I have been President for one year now and my enthusiasm has not waned. I am so proud of our organization. Our National endeavours continue to affect positive changes within our communities and on the Canadian landscape as a whole.
Enjoy the winter season. I wish all of you a happy Chanukah!

Best regards,
Debbie Wasserman
President, NCJWC